Closing the Loop: Enhancing Interdisciplinarity in Research and Teaching (CLEAR)

Starting date: 1.11.2016
Duration: 33 months
Main applicant: Jörg Balsiger
Co-applicants: Pauline Plagnat Cantoreggi (Unige-ISE), Frédéric Darbellay (Unige-FAPSE), Philippe Haeberli (UNIGE-PSEA)

Project Description:

The CLEAR project seeks to analyze the role of non-academic experts (practitioners or stakeholders from the public sector, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, or the private sector) in funding and programming decisions for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and teaching (ITRT) in the field of sustainable urban development. We suggest that addressing the COST Action challenge or promoting interdisciplinarity can benefit from closing two types of loops: one joining scientists and practitioners and one joining research and teaching. The project’s main hypothesis is that the status and application of interdisciplinarity in research and teaching (and, ultimately, sustainable urban development) varies with the role and modalities of non-academic expert involvement during all phases of the funding and programming cycle. With the assistance of a post-doctoral research associate, the empirical work will involve the systematic analysis of selected programme and project documentation, as well as individual and focus group interviews with representatives of Swiss and European ITRT funders, with a view to comparatively assess the correspondence of types of non-academic actor engagement, types of inter- and transdisciplinarity called for in funding programmes, and ITRT outcomes. Intermediate results of the analysis are presented, discussed and refined by means of a Delphi process with an Expert Group established for this purpose.