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.


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.

28.07.23  |  i2insights

Children as research actors


From a transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge perspective, how can children’s capacity for reflection, analysis, curiosity, discovery and creativity be recognized? Why and how can the involvement of children in the research process be promoted by giving them a co-researcher status?

19.07.23  |  GTPF e.V.

Join the Society for Transdisciplinary and Participatory Research


The recently founded Society for Transdisciplinary and Participatory Research (GTPF e.V.) is now inviting individuals and institutions from German-speaking regions to apply for membership. The GTPF, initiated primarily by the project tdAcademy and its network of partners, welcomes researchers, educators, and practitioners, and works towards the advancement and dissemination of transdisciplinary and participatory research through conferences, workshops, publications, and educational programs in collaboration with national and international partners. The first general assembly will take place during the 2nd Conference on Networking and Strengthening Participation in Science on November 22, 2023, in Chemnitz, Germany (conference language is German). 

19.07.23  |  i2insights

A practical framework for transforming academia through inter- and transdisciplinarity


How can the role of inter- and transdisciplinarity be re-imagined at higher education institutions?

This i2Insights contribution presents a practical framework developed with Julie Thompson Klein and based on fifteen case studies from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and North America that described how inter- and transdisciplinarity have been institutionalised in higher education. The framework is a practical tool that offers a means to rethink or imagine how interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary initiatives are (or will be) embedded in institutions and with which purposes.

19.07.23  |  Citizen science for Health Working Group & LGB OIS Center

Survey: "ethics of Citzien Science for healtch and participative/PPIE research


The LBG OIS Center together with the Citizen Science for Health Working Group (CS4H WG) of the European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) prepared a short survey to collect problems and needs around the topic of ethics of Citizen Science for health and participative/PPIE research. The target group is the larger European community active in participatory research in health, PPIE, Citizen Science for health, including not only academics but also citizen scientists and practitioners. The results of this survey will help to develop further actions and outcomes to support the community around this topic.

Please share your experience and needs in the survey and share the call within your community, your colleagues and your co-researchers

17.07.23  |  Universität Zürich

Studieren an der STS


Möchten Sie Ihren Horizont über das Fachstudium hinaus erweitern? Ab dem 16. August können Sie inter- und transdisziplinäre Lehrangebote in Bereichen wie Nachhaltige Entwicklung, Ethik und Digitale Transformation buchen. Die School for Transdisciplinary Studies hat ein breites Lehrangebot im kommenden Herbstsemester.

29.06.23  |  Institute of Transdisciplinary Technologies

Launch of Interantional transdisciplinary projects


The non-profit organization “Institute of Transdisciplinary Technologies” in cooperation with the non-profit organization “International Center for Transdisciplinary Studies” announce the launch of International transdisciplinary projects in the field of Higher Education and Sustainable Development (2023-2030).


Disciplinary scientists, specialists, professors, organizers of higher education, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary experts, as well as universities, national interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary centers and organizations from different countries interested in achieving the following goals are invited to participate in these projects:


  • to revive in the higher education environment the understanding of the responsibility of universities for achieving results of development and constant self-renewal of society;
  • to form the need of universities for new disciplinary forms of student education based on the combination of systems thinking and transdisciplinarity;
  • to develop an international educational standard of higher education, namely, master's degree in the major of “systems transdisciplinary generalist”;
  • to adapt the discipline "Systems Transdisciplinarity" to its use in the disciplinary structure of the university (creating a textbook and the necessary documents which would allow organizing training of students in specialized departments of systems transdisciplinarity).

26.06.23  |  CDE

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

Outdoor recreation and nature sports hold both potential and threats for mountain environments and societies. This MRD Talk will explore how different actor groups can help ensure that outdoor activities benefit local societies and the environment. An MRD author will present research on managing visitor flows in protected areas. Other panelists will share their experiences of developing a climbing area and supporting the conservation efforts of the outdoor industry and sports organizations.


20 July 2023, 15:00 CEST/UTC+2, on Zoom

20.06.23  |  i2insights

Using the arts to flip understanding: An arts intervention for non.arts researchers


What do the arts bring to interdisciplinary research? Can arts practices lead STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) researchers to new insights on their work? The authors — a choreographer-and-professional-facilitator (Margot), a scientist-athlete-facilitator-entrepreneur (Martina), and a dancer-turned-arts-researcher (Veronica)—had a hunch that the arts have something to offer STEMM researchers: a different understanding of their own work.

19.06.23  |  i2insights

Towards a theory of change to institutionalise integration experts and expertise


Integration experts and expertise are crucial for realising the full potential of inter- and transdisciplinary research. However, the expertise of those who lead integration is poorly recognized in the current academic system and these academics often experience a range of impediments to their careers. What can be done to recognise integration experts and expertise and to support the careers of such experts?

19.06.23  |  International Science Council

Transdisciplinarity Matters


Transdisciplinarity - both noun and verb – has not become mainstream in academia and scientific research owing to structural reasons including conceptual, ideological, and institutional factors. Nonetheless, numerous cases of innovative teaching and training, theoretical and applied research, and community-led projects are documented in all regions of the world.


Registration for the 2023 INsciTS Annual Conference is now open!


The INSciTS Annual Conference is the flagship event of the International Network for the Science of Team Science (INSciTS). It continues to be the premier annual gathering of scholars, practitioners, and providers in the field of Team Science, bringing together a broad range of disciplines to share and advance the latest evidence-based methods in team collaboration and transdisciplinary science. Speakers and attendees will include investigators, administrators, students, funders, and policymakers. Our community includes academia, government, industry, and many other sectors, and spans a multitude of knowledge domain spaces. Anyone interested in improving collaborative research and discovery is welcome!

31.05.2023  |  i2insights

An analytical framework for knowledge co-production


How can students and academics starting out in transdisciplinary research begin to come to grips with knowledge co-production? A useful analytical framework comprising the following four elements was developed:

  1. typology of actor roles (who?)
  2. research phases (when?)
  3. objectives and forms of actor integration (why?)
  4. types of knowledge (what?).

31.05.2023  |  MRD

Mountain Research and Development Vol 43, No 1 available online and open access


Articles in this open issue focus on a new interactive mudflow database for risk reduction in Kazakhstan, the economic benefits of a social innovation in a Swiss Alpine valley, the need to find a common language about empty houses to tackle rural depopulation in Bhutan, the effects of land use on local climate in Ecuador, what it takes to achieve a people-centered energy transition in the Andes and the Hindu Kush Himalaya, ICIMOD’s new strategy and action plan, and the appropriateness of the adjective “alpine” to broadly describe high-elevation ecosystems. The issue closes with an obituary of Pauline Ives, editor of MRD during the journal’s first 2 decades.

31.05.2023  |  Universität Zürich

Sonderausstellung der UZH: Künstliche Intelligenz im Dienste der Ökologie


Jede achte Spezies ist heute vom Aussterben bedroht. Dieser Biodiversitätsverlust ist eine riesige, globale Herausforderung. Mit der transdisziplinären Ausstellung BITS, BYTES & BIODIVERSITÄT thematisiert die Universität Zürich deshalb den Einsatz vielversprechender Technologien in der Ökologie, einem ihrer zentralen Forschungsgebiete. Es die erste Sonderausstellung im neueröffneten Nationalparkzentrum in Zernez. Indem sie Besucher:innen in aktuelle Forschungsprojekte eintauchen lässt, soll sie den Austausch zwischen Forschung und Öffentlichkeit fördern – und zu einem gemeinsamen Engagement für den Erhalt der globalen Biodiversität aufrufen.


Ausstellungsdauer: 4. Juni 2023 bis 9. März 2024 im Schweizerischen Nationalpark Zernez.

19.05.2023  |  i2insights

Lessons for strengthening community-university partnerships


Lessons for successful community-university partnerships are described by David Hart, Bridie McGreavy, Anthony Sutton, Gabrielle Hillyer and Darren Ranco in this blog post. They include using diversity to spur creativity to motivate problem solving; listening to a wide range of questions, concerns & stories; ongoing negotiation of differences, with eye on addressing unintended exclusions & unequal power; building trust; using students as vital connectors, destabilising usual power structures and learning “science as service”; shared search for answers, even if incomplete, along with humility, learning, creativity & experimentation; using boundary objects for shared focus, along with shared writing & mapping; persistence for the long haul.

19.05.23  |  OIS

Neue Webinarreihe zum Thema "Inklusion und Diversität"


Das LBG Open Innovation in Science Center startet Mitte Mai eine neue, mehrteilige Webinarserie: „OIS zam: Wie kann Inklusion gelingen?“ In dieser Veranstaltungsreihe widmet sich das LBG Open Innovation in Science Center der Frage, wie Diversität und Inklusion in partizipativen Forschungsprojekten umgesetzt werden können.

15.05.23  |  Mountain Research and Development


MRD Talk #03 | How can social innovations contribute to local mountain economies? Learnings from science and practice | Insights and recording available online

Social innovations can help revive mountain economies, including through alternative economic pathways. The panelists presented inspiring examples from Switzerland, Georgia, Nepal, and Ecuador, and offered recommendations on how to best promote social innovations for the benefit of mountain economies. A recording of the event and a summary of key insights are now available online.


11.05.23  | i2insights

Video of the fifth great webinar of the Interach webinar series now online

The videos in this playlist are from the annual webinar series organised by the Interdisciplinary Integration Research Careers Hub (Intereach). i2S Talks hosts the videos of the webinars which are also made available on the Intereach website. The first webinar series occurred in 2017 and there has been an annual series since then. Now, the video of the fifth great webinar has been published.


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.

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