Network for Transdisciplinary Research

Our contribution to address complex societal challenges: We link scientific communities, support transdisciplinary careers and promote the development of competencies and methods.

Community news

Here you will find all the news of the last four months from the transdisciplinary community. The website is constantly updated. If you have any messages you would like to share, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Bekanntmachung Transformationscluster Soziale Innovationen für nachhaltige Städte und erster Förderaufruf

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt


Mit dem neuen Förderformat „Transformationscluster Soziale Innovationen für nachhaltige Städte“ fördert das Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) ab Ende 2024 sozial-ökologische Forschungsprojekte zu Sozialen Innovationen. In den Transformationsclustern wird erforscht und erprobt, welches Potenzial Soziale Innovationen für eine nachhaltige Stadtentwicklung konkret haben, wie dieses Potenzial erschlossen werden kann und wie sozial-innovative Lösungsansätze in eine breite Anwendung gebracht werden können. Die Förderrichtlinie ist als eine Rahmenbekanntmachung konzipiert, die Veröffentlichungen von Förderaufrufen – in der Regel alle zwei Jahre – vorsieht. Die Bewerbungsphase für den ersten Förderaufruf zum Thema „Nachhaltige und klimafreundliche Gebäudebestandserneuerung und effiziente und suffiziente Flächennutzung in bestehenden Stadtquartieren und Siedlungsbereichen“ ist eröffnet. Projektskizzen können bis zum 23. Februar 2024 eingereicht werden. Eine Online-Informationsveranstaltung zu dem ersten Förderaufruf findet am 15. Dezember 2023 statt. Weitere Informationen sind auf der FONA-Website der Fördermaßnahme zu finden.



Panel 083 on Boundary Workes at the EASST Conference 2024

Bianca Vienni Baptista, Ulirke Kuchner, Isabel Fletcher, Maria Goñi


Interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity (ITD) are seen as important means of producing knowledge for transformation, e.g through addressing societies’ grand challenges. However, disconnects between different communities who undertake collaborative research are evident in the literature and in practice. This disconnect is particularly puzzling in the case of STS and ITD scholars. Yet, with some notable exceptions, there is little articulation between these communities. We see this as problematic as knowledge and recognised good practice on how to better foster inter- and transdisciplinary research are rendered invisible, causing unnecessarily fragmented approaches to shared knowledge domains.


This panel explores the many conceptual and methodological intersections between STS and ITD scholarship. We seek to discuss their mutual enrichment and their contributions to the advancement of transformative research. The following questions will be explored:


- What are the ways and means by which STS and ITD research enrich each other?

- How can ITD and STS unite to contribute to the making and doing of transformations?

- What are the roles researchers and practitioners perform when working in the intersections of STS and ITD? How are these roles transformed?

- How can problem spaces be methodologically and conceptually defined when combining STS and ITD perspectives?

- How does the emergence of new techniques of producing, distributing, evaluating and experiencing knowledge contribute to transformative ways of ITD and STS?

- How can science-society interfaces be more inclusive when STS and ITD work together?


Confidentiality and anonymity in teams



Do confidentiality and anonymity have a place in teamwork? What are the risks and how might they be mitigated? Can teams move past the need for confidentiality and anonymity? It takes time and intentional effort to create an environment within a team that is safe for interpersonal risk-taking (ie., a psychologically safe environment). As a team works to develop a psychologically safe environment, teammates will likely be more and more willing to speak openly about challenges.


Achieving change by transforming engagement



How can civil society organisations, which rely on volunteer efforts, contribute more effectively to societal change? How can they position engagement with volunteers in a forward-looking way, so as to unleash the potential of committed people? What lessons does this have for researchers interested in social change efforts and in stakeholder engagement?


Collaboration Planning

The Team Science Lab


Spending time up-front to discuss your team’s approach to work together can preempt conflict and increase your team’s ability to do high-impact science. Betsy Rolland has delivered Collaboration Planning to more than 40 teams and trained nearly 200 Collaboration Planning facilitators across the US, making this intervention one of the most widely adopted and implemented team science interventions available.


CIPRA-Podcast - new Episodes

CIPRA - Leben in den Alpen


CIPRA has produced two new podcast episodes, one of them in cooperation with the YOALIN project:


Nuding in Alpine toursim | speciAlps podcast

How can visitors to sensitive natural areas in the Alps be encouraged to behave responsibly without either prohibitions or financial incentives? The role of behavioural psychology in this field was discussed by some 150 participants in the webinar entitled “Nudging in Alpine Tourism”, held in September 2023. 


"Jump into the unknown" - Climate friendly travelling with YOALIN 
Hundreds of young people have spent the past summer exploring the Alps in a climate-friendly way with a ticket from the CIPRA YOALIN project. They show that spontaneous travelling and sustainability can be combined - without having to bend over backwards.


Registration for the Daylight Awareness Week events is now open

Daylight Academy


The Daylight Awareness Week 2023 is around the corner. From 13 to 17 November 2023, the Daylight Academy wants to make daylight related research more visible and accessible. Each day, a different aspect of daylight will be highlighted through the sharing of information and materials, and an intensive communication. In addition to blog posts, articles, and videos, three online events will mark the week and celebrate the overall topic: “Daylight and us: learning from the past?”.

Registration for these events is now open and is free:

  • Webinar “The Sun and us: ancient times and traditional knowledge”
    Monday, 13 November 2023, 17:00-18:30 CET
    Register now
  • 6th edition of the deLIGHTed Talks
    Wednesday, 15 November 2023, 15:00-16:00 CET
    Register now
  • Online film evening “Solar energy: the test of time and politics” (viewing of the documentary “A Road Not Taken”, followed by a discussion)
    Thursday, 16 November 2023, 18:00-19:45 CET
    Register now


New Research Initiative at the UZH: RE-TRANS

UZH Foundation


Although research into the impacts of environmental and climate-related disasters has increased in recent years, broader research approaches are still lacking. In order to fully understand the issues and provide sustainable responses, research projects – in addition to investigating the climate change aspect – need to include other aspects such as ecological degradation and social, economic, political and legal frameworks. This is precisely the gap that the University of Zurich’s new research project RE-TRANS aims to bridge.


Generating evidence using the Delphi method



What is Delphi? How has the Delphi method stood up over time? How can the best of Delphi be adapted to new circumstances and problems?

The Delphi method is a group-based process for eliciting and aggregating opinion on a topic with a goal of exploring the existence of consensus among a diverse group of handpicked experts. The Delphi method was developed at the RAND Corporation in the early 1950s to obtain a reliable expert consensus, which is often used as a substitute for empirical evidence when it does not exist.

The four key characteristics of the Delphi method are:

  1. anonymity, 
  2. iterative data collection,
  3. participant feedback, and
  4. statistical determination of group response.


Arts and Design for Sustainable Transformation



Discover the Zurich University of the Arts' (ZHdK) brand new web platfrom "Growing Sustainability in the Arts", which creates a unique connection between the arts, design and the pressing issues of time.

"Growing Sustainability in the Arts" is more than just a database - it is a dynamic window on the world of the arts and design's potential for sustainable transformation, as well as a tool for inspiration and innovation. Here you will find groundbreaking projects from teaching, research and outreach at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). In addition, you will find a selection of over 100 funding institutions from various areas uf sustainability.


Out and About Sustainably in Bern

University of Bern


This booklet invites you, as a student at the University of Bern, to think about what you need for a good, satisfying life. It follows the sufficiency approach, which emphasizes wealth in time and space over wealth in goods and money. In chapters titled Sustainable development, Getting around, Eating & drinking, At home, Conscious consumption, and Culture & events the authors have gathered together useful facts, ideas, and tips.


Integration and Implementation - Webinar Video now online



The video of the webinar “Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S) as “the arrow”” with a pre-recording by Gabriele Bammer and great panelist discussions by Christine Hendren and Bethany Laursen is now on the Integration and Implementation Sciences Youtube channel. This video is the second webinar in the new series ““I want to be a professional Arrow when I grow up”: Pathways and opportunities for a new workforce.”


Mountain Research and Development Vol43, No2 available online and open access



Articles show how newcomers help preserve the cultural landscape in the European Alps, discuss the implications of a post-pandemic increase in visitors to the Swiss National Park, investigate Italian mountain farmers' attitudes to herd protection, propose an agenda for integrated, transdisciplinary monitoring to improve the managment on Andean social-ecological systems, and present a transformative citizen science project in a Swiss mountain valley.


MRD Talk #05 | How can monitoring support action and policies for sustainable futures in mountains? | Insights and recording available online

MRD Journal


Systematic observation of the social-ecological dimensions of mountain areas can help us understand dynamics and trends affecting mountain communities and ecosystems. This MRD Talk brought together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to explore how best to set up monitoring systems and share the information generated to enable effective policies and action for sustainable futures in mountains. Key insights and a recording of the event are now available online.


Eine wirkungsvolle internationale Zusammenarbeit und ein kompetitiver Forschungsstandort Schweiz brauchen Forschungspartnerschaften mit Entwicklungsländern

Kommission für Forschungspartnerschaften mit Entwicklungsländern (KFPE)


Die Schweiz kann mit ihrer internationalen Zusammenarbeit mehr bewirken, wenn sie wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse stärker miteinbezieht. In den Stellungnahmen zur Strategie der Internationalen Zusammenarbeit 2025-2028 und zur Strategie Bildung, Forschung und Innovation 2025-2028 fordert die KFPE die Akteure der Internationalen Zusammenarbeit (namentlich die DEZA und das SECO) und der Wissenschaft (namentlich das SBFI und der SNF) auf, gemeinsame langfristige Förderinstrumente für die wissenschaftliche Zusammenarbeit mit LMICs zu entwickeln.


Towards a taxonomy of synthesizing



How do reflections on synthesizing by Howard Gardner relate to integration in interdisciplinary & transdisciplinary research? Do his suggestions for a taxonomy of what is needed to understand synthesising hold ie examining mental processes involved; media or symbol systems used; studies of synthesis & synthesisers; development of synthesising capacities; biology & neurology; computational mechanisms?


One Health beim SRF

SRF Audio


Krankheiten werden von Tieren auf Menschen und von Menschen auf Tiere übertragen, aber die Medizin ist in ihrer Behandlung sehr menschenzentriert. Der One Health Ansatz versucht genau diesen Bias zu überwinden und die Gesundheit von Mensch und Tier als eine Sache zu sehen, gemeinsam zu denken. Der Ansatz hat in den letzten Jahren an Bedeutung gewonnen, ein bekannter Vertreter ist Jakob Zinsstag, ein früherer Präsident des td-nets und einer der Projektleiter eines Fallbeispiels des td-MOOCs.


Science and music met as Centre research was presented in a concert at the Baltic Sea Festival

Baltic Sea Festival Science Lab


What happens when young composers set research on the Baltic Sea to music? How does it sound when musicians play the graphs used by underwater robot researchers? How does research on the big spike sound? Or water shortages on Öland?

Research meets classical music in the Baltic Sea Festival's experimental melting pot, the Baltic Sea Festival Science Lab, where nine young researchers and nine young composers have reimagined research on the Baltic Sea and sustainability in the three performances Sense of Place, Emergence and One Health.


"The Baltic Sea Festival Science Lab was a great way for presenting our transdisciplinary research project on Öland to different target audiences - and my hope is that these and similar projects could also inspire other td-researchers to explore different ways for communicating the important work they do!" - Carolin Seiferth


Ab sofort: Mitgestaltung durch Mitglieder der Gesellschaft für transdisziplinäre und partizipative Forschung



Wie in den letzten Monaten bereits kommuniziert haben, wurde auf Initiative des Projekts tdAcademy und seinem Partner*innenkreis im Frühjahr 2023 die Gesellschaft für transdisziplinäre und partizipative Forschung (GTPF e.V.)gegründet. Sie wird es ermöglichen, die Aufgaben der Vernetzung und Weiterbildung von transdisziplinär und partizipativ Forschenden über das Projekt td-Academy hinaus fortzuführen und auszuweiten. Sie wird ebenfalls die Vertretung der Interessen dieses Forschungstyps gegenüber der Politik wahrnehmen.

Nachdem einige Formalia geklärt werden mussten, ist es nun soweit: Ab sofort lädt die GTPF Einzelpersonen und Institutionen aus dem deutschsprachigen Raum ein, als Mitglied die Strukturen und Aktivitäten der Fachgesellschaft mitzugestalten. Sie ist offen für Wissenschaftler*innen, Lehrende und Praxisakteure und kooperiert mit nationalen und internationalen Partner*innen. Weitere Informationen und die Möglichkeit, Ihre Mitgliedschaft via Online-Formular zu beantragen, finden Sie unter dem Link unten.


How to organize an all hands meeting



An all-hands meeting differs from a science conference in two main ways. First, its participants are identified members within the boundary of the organization. It is usually not open to a wider audience. Second, its topic areas extend beyond the research projects supported by the organization. Such topics can include strategic planning among leadership, community building among early career researchers, professional and interpersonal capacity building topics, and development of team science competency.


Making the Nominal Group Technique more accessible



Looking to gain real insights from those with lived experience about a specific topic? Interested in a low-cost method that fosters equal participation and discussion over participant domination in a research focus group? Want to know about modifications to make pan-disability (ie., working with participants with different impairments) research focus groups more inclusive?

The Nominal Group Technique developed by Ven and Delbecq (1972) has been used for more than 50 years. Key to its success is the posing of a single unambiguous and unbiased question about a problem that can generate a wide range of answers.


MRD Talk #05 | How can monitoring support action and policies for sustainable futures in mountains?

MRD Journal


Systematic observation of the social-ecological dimensions of mountain areas can help us understand the dynamics and trends affecting mountain communities and ecosystems. This MRD Talk will explore how monitoring systems and observatories can inform policy and practice. An MRD author will present research priorities for long-term social-ecological monitoring in the Andes. Other panelists will share insights from regional efforts to monitor forest fires and tourism development, and from a global initiative to make data accessible and usable. The talk will take place on the 19 September 2023, 13:30 CEST/UTC+2, on Zoom


Focus Sustainability — New Programme out! 

Focus Sustainability


This fall semester, the national centre Focus Sustainability offers students impactful workshops, networking events and coaching programmes to acquire and improve their expertise in sustainability engagement.

Through the workshops, students will be able to dive into topics such as fundraising, non-violent communication and sustainable project management. They will also be able to network and discuss with students and associations from all over Switzerland. Students from teacher training universities will be able to learn how to integrate education for sustainable development into their school curricula. The workshops are open to students at Swiss higher education institutions and free of charge.


A framework for building transdisciplinary expertise by ANU Transdisciplinarity Working Group



What expertise should everyone have in order to effectively play their role in tackling complex societal and environmental problems? Is there a framework that can help everyone develop rudimentary skills and provide a pathway to enhancing them as and when necessary? These questions were directed at all undergraduates at The Australian National University (ANU). In particular, it was asked to ensure that all ANU graduates would be able to work with others to understand and creatively address amorphous and complex problems. More formally, this was described as proposing how undergraduates could develop the “Capability to Employ Discipline-based Knowledge in Transdisciplinary Problem Solving.”


i2S News (July- September 2023)



The latest issue of i2S News features decolonisation, integration expertise and highlights from i2S-talks YouTube channel, especially Sabine Hoffmann’s talk on career paths for integration experts in transdisciplinary research. It also highlights contributions to i2Insights blog and repository on decolonisation by kate harriden, Maru Mormina, Romina Istratii, Peter Taylor, Crystal Tremblay, Ellen Lewis and Anne Stephens. 


Interdisciplinary teamwork: Expert and non-expert at the same time



How do teams engage in interdisciplinary knowledge integration and how can they be supported in doing so? Why does simple sharing and questioning of knowledge not necessarily lead to interdisciplinary knowledge integration? And what does it mean to act as both an expert and a non-expert in interdisciplinary teamwork, and why is it hard? See these insights from Annemarie Horn and Eduardo Urias. How they share knowledge & ask questions is important. They need to recognise when they are expert & non-expert & how to effectively bring that to teamwork, including that agreement without discussion is not ideal and that non-knowing does not make someone a weak teammate.


MRD Talk #04 | Outdoor activities: A blessing or a curse for mountain environments and societies? | Insights and recording available online

Centre for Development and Evironment, University of Bern


This MRD Talk brought together panelists from science, the private sector, civil society, and a global initiative to show and further explore how each of these groups can help prevent adverse impacts and increase the benefits of outdoor leisure activities for local societies and the environment. The discussion revealed clear awareness of each group’s responsibility, as well as the need and potential for greater collaboration across groups. A recording of the event and a summary of key insights are now available online.


Six lessons for newly-forming large research consortia



What are some key tips for establishing new, large consortia to tackle complex global challenges? What are the best ways to coordinate large groups of researchers, practitioners and publics towards a shared goal? Describing this type of research is cumbersome. As a shorthand we have started to use the terms ‘LMITs’ (pronounced ‘limits’) and ‘New LMITs’ to denote similarly characterised projects and teams that are: ‘Newly forming’, ‘Large-scale’, ‘Mission-orientated’, and ‘Inter- and Trans-disciplinary’.

Drawing on our own experience over the past three years of establishing a New LMIT, we suggest six primary inter-related recommendations for other New LMITs, and for those who fund or support such research groups:

1. Factor in (far) more time than you might expect
2. Seek out funders who understand
3. Build confidence in working with uncertainties and unknowns
4. Invest substantially in coordination and communications
5. Ensure a ‘psychologically safe’ environment
6. Engage in rigorous and (constructive) critical reflection.

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