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.



Workshop fpr young lecturers: We are transforming our university teaching towards sustainability

WWF, Swiss Young Academy, SDSN, Wissenschaft schafft Zukünfte


Join us for a workshop organized for young lecturers. The goal of the workshop is to help young lecturers expand their knowledge on the transformative potential of universities and how this change can be initiated internally within universities. Organized by various stakeholders active in academia, the workshop will provide essential basic knowledge, teaching strategies, and support offers to incorporate sustainable development into teaching. As a young lecturer, you can either bring your own project idea/module you would like to work on or develop new ideas on-site. We are looking forward to creating a sustainable university environment together with you! 


Workshop-Date: 23 October 2024


Innovative teaching formats at the science-society interface

Swiss Young Academy


As part of the project "Innovative teaching formats at the science-society interface", led by members of the Swiss Young Academy (Sandra Bärnreuther, Benjamin Hofmann, and Clara Zemp), you are invited to join our capacity-building workshop titled "Coaching Students at the Science-Society Interface" on September 12, 2024, from 9am to 4.30pm, at the House of Academies in Bern (Laupenstrasse 7, 3001 Bern)!


This event is for students in higher education institutions who have developed a media project (e.g., films, podcasts, blog posts, social media content) in the context of a seminar which aimed at interacting with society. This workshop will provide students with inputs and individual coaching by communication experts on various aspects of their project, such as its content, distribution, and impact. If you are a student/students' group interested in reinforcing your competences through tailored hands-on advice, then do not hesitate further and fill up this questionnaire by August 5, 12pm! Needless to say, this workshop is also open to lecturers who would like to assist in the coaching of their students.

19.01.25 - 24.01.25

Citizen Science Winter School 2025 - Participation, Power and Perspective

University of Zurich


Citizen Science refers to scientific research processes in which the public ("citizens") is engaged at various levels and for different reasons. From linguistics to public health, it is a form of public participation found in many disciplines, including inter- and transdisciplinary settings. Maybe you have heard of Community Based Research, PPI(E), Action Research, Civic Science? Citizen Science is an umbrella term encompassing a wide range of approaches and methodologies. Some projects work closely with the community whose concerns are being researched, fostering empowerment in the process. Others leverage participatory methods to obtain or analyze large or hard-to-access information. Activities range from small-scale local projects with defined target groups to large-scale international projects where everyone can participate.




In this Winter School of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, Switzerland, you will identify and develop crucial skills and competencies needed to plan and conduct a Citizen Science project, whether you are an academic researcher, practitioner or a citizen scientist. In doing so, you will:

  • immerse yourself in debates around Citizen Science
  • get to know different Citizen Science approaches, their methods and tools, their possibilities and limits
  • be able to decide how participatory approaches can be useful for your own research project
  • gain insights into local Citizen Science projects
  • get to know criteria for planning and conducting high-quality Citizen Science projects
  • work on your own project plan and engage in extensive peer learning


Date: 19 - 24 January 2025

Application Deadline: 16 September 2025


10.07.24 & 07.08.24

CSCCE Mini-workshops

Center for Scientific Collaboration ond community Engagement


The Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement (CSCCE) has opened registration for two new Mini-workshops this summer that are related to working with communities in STEM and collaborating online: 


10 July 2024: Mini Workshop: Working with volunteers

Community managers are often trying to create spaces that support group learning and self-expression to build something members of the community couldn’t create alone – and this almost always includes incorporating volunteer contributions. In this Mini-workshop, we’ll explore common community manager concerns related to working with volunteers. We’ll discuss how to flip the narrative from self-doubt and scarcity to center volunteers in a way that empowers and supports them in working together and builds your confidence as a community organizer. We will discuss making contributor pathways visible so that work gets done, while being respectful of members’ different contexts. If you’ve ever found yourself thinking things such as “I feel really self-conscious about asking for contributions from our volunteers – are we being too demanding?” and “I know that different members in our community need different things, but I don’t know where to start.” then this discussion-based workshop is for you.


Registration Deadline: 8 July 2024



07 August 2024: Mini Workshop: Making a PACT for engaging virtual meetings and events

With virtual work increasingly the norm, community managers are often tasked with convening and facilitating virtual meetings. In this Mini-workshop, you will discuss the opportunities and challenges of virtual meetings and explore the “Making a PACT” framework (Purpose, Attendees, Community management, Tech tools) for effective meeting design. You will apply the framework directly to example scenarios so that you leave feeling empowered to use the framework in your own community management.


Registration Deadline: 31 July 2024



15.07.24 - 29.08.24

Creating Community Playbooks (PBK)

Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement


Course overview

We’ll cover the different types of playbooks, privacy vs. transparency, platforms for creating and sharing playbooks, different ways of creating (or co-creating) a playbook, and how to socialize your playbook to ensure it’s used. 

Each week of this course will involve two 90 minute sessions. The first two sessions will be lecture-based with some interactive activities, and then the remaining sessions will be a combination of introducing templates, all hands discussion, and breakout co-working. You’ll receive personalized guidance from the instructors throughout, however certification program learners are encouraged to sign up for an additional office hours session if they would like more individualized feedback on their playbooks.

To graduate from PBK, you will need to have made significant progress towards completing your playbook, and attend a majority of sessions (up to two absences is ok). The amount of time you spend on your playbook outside of class is up to you, but we recommend scheduling co-writing sessions with your teammates while the course is running or shortly after so that the material is fresh in your mind. 


Course outputs

This course, like all CSCCE trainings, is designed to be highly practical and respect learners’ busy lives. Worksheets, templates, and scaffolded activities, plus facilitated debriefs will minimize the time required from learners outside of the two weekly classes.

By the end of the course you will have:

  • Created a “lite” community playbook for your community team, community members or community champions program addressing each of the six core elements of a playbook in the CSCCE playbook framework. 
  • Created a plan for socializing your playbook to ensure it’s used and maintained. 
  • Expanded your professional network to include STEM community managers who have already created and used playbooks in their own community-building work


Registration Deadline: 21 June 2024

Date: 15 July - 29 August 2024


ARL International Summer School 2024: "Spatial Transformation from a Planning Perspective"

ARL, University of Vienna




Spatial transformation holds a central role in addressing the multifaceted challenges of the 21st century, extending beyond the pressing concerns of climate change. The intricate interplay of ecological and social issues shapes the landscape of our future lifestyles, necessitating a profound shift towards sustainability. The spatial perspective emerges as a key protagonist in steering the transformation of cities and regions, energy and mobility systems, land usage, and the pervasive digitization across all facets of life. Embracing a socio-spatial lens in the pursuit of sustainability acknowledges that transformation processes are not only occurring within our living spaces but also shaping the conditions for future changes. Spatial planning has a great potential to play a pivotal role by addressing the complex dimensions of the built and unbuilt environment.
However, this transformative potential of spatial planning has not yet been fully exploited, many frameworks seem to be spatially blind. We are looking forward to analyzing and discussing the role of spatial planning in transformation processes. These research endeavors focus on diverse knowledge dimensions, spanning spatial system analyses, normative target knowledge, and transformation knowledge. This holistic perspective aims to understand how transformation processes can be collaboratively supported and developed by society, generating socially relevant knowledge.




Theoretical reflections and practical research approaches in spatial planning grapple with fundamental questions in transformation processes of all kinds (energy, mobility, agro-food transitions etc.). We invite contributions from doctoral students internationally and across a range of disciplines, such as geography, planning, urban studies and other social sciences, humanities and engineering. Our aim is to have a broad range of issues in the above topical contexts addressed, including:

  • Theoretical and conceptual contributions to the field of spatial transformations (disciplinary as well as interdisciplinary approaches), e.g. in the realm of social justice, democratic decision-making, spatial answers to target conflicts etc.
  • Theorizing on the role of spatial planning in transformation processes (anchored in planning theories or elsewhere)
  • Transdisciplinary tools and methods to gain societal relevant knowledge (such as real word labs, citizen science approaches etc.)
  • Empirical insights in diverse fields of transformation like urban transitions and/or energy, mobility, agro-food transitions etc.



Application Deadline: 01 April 2024

Date of the Summer School: 26 to 28 September 2024


4th International workshop on System Innovation towards Sustainable Agriculture (SISA-4): Transitions towards sustainable agriculture and food systems: Connecting research and practice

various organizers


Societies are facing enormous and persisting sustainability challenges. Research, international negotiations, EU and national policies try to address these
with different degrees of ambition and direction across societal fields. One of the fields that has increasingly drawn attention is the system around agricultural production and food consumption. Research insights from agricultural knowledge and innovation system (AKIS) studies’ insights have led to new forms for research and development at national and international level. These are giving participatory, inter- and transdisciplinary research approaches more prominence in order to take the multifaceted and complex nature of agri-food knowledge and innovation systems, their interconnections to other systems and the systemic characteristics of change into account (Elzen et al. 2004 and 2012, Cornell et al. 2013, Leach et al. 2020, Brouwer et al. 2020, Hebinck et al. 2021, Kok and Klerkx 2023, Knierim and Birke 2023).


However, progress to make agri-food systems around the globe more sustainable and resilient is overall complex and slow. Moreover, sustainability transition efforts have become confronted with the impacts of disturbance and disruptions such as societal conflicts and crisis events. Developments in the EU and the Global South, not least due to recent crises in the last years, leave actors somewhat without directionality. The present European movement of farmers in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, France and India particularly echoes the importance of developing research and studies about transitions when they at the same time ground societal expectations, political promises and critiques from


To address these challenges, the planned workshop deals with the following overarching question: What have we actually achieved and learned so far
through the many initiatives in research, policy and practice around agrifood sustainability transitions? What knowledge is needed to inform actors
and society on feasible pathways to feed the changing world in a sustainable manner and how can we stimulate these?


To apply for participation you are requested to submit an abstract of your contribution by 22 March at latest. The abstract should use the format that can be
downloaded from the workshop website and be no longer than 2 pages in that format.

Workshop Date: 07-09 October 2024


International Summer School - Transdisciplinarity methods and tools for dealing with sustainability and land use conflicts



About the summer school

We live in a world in transformation in which we are faced with complex global problems such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, hunger and social inequality. The urgent need for a sustainable transformation forces us to take decisions in situations of uncertainty and to continuously adapt our societal strategies.


As professionals, as researchers, and ultimately as citizens we want to embrace this process of transformation. We need to be able to design, build, create, but also to listen, observe and understand to make sustainability changes happen. A disciplinary approach will not be enough to solve the complex problems we are faced with in the 21st century. Academia does not have all the answers, neither does politics, economy or civil society. We rather need a collaborative endeavour to be able to reach a truly sustainable society.


Transdisciplinary research and practice is an approach that allows to bring together different perspectives from science and society and to catalyse the solution of real-world problems. In the summer school we want to transmit the basics of co-producing knowledge, co-designing solutions, and co-evaluating the results of such research practices to Master and PhD students from technologically-oriented disciplines (e.g. engineering, planning, environmental studies) as well as from other fields (e.g. social sciences). To ensure the link to the ‘real-world’, we will apply what we learn to sustainability problems in the region of Alt Empordá, Spain.


Aim of the course

The aim of the summer school is to gain insights into the basics and challenges of transdisciplinary research and practice. We want to convey central know-how of how to plan a transdisciplinary project in different steps and to gain experiences with carrying out methods for transdisciplinary research.



Date of the Summer School: 14th to 20th September 2024

Application Deadline: 30th April 2024


Digital Innovations for a Happier, Healthier Aging: A Transdisciplinary Training

University of Geneva


We live in an ageing world that is undergoing remarkable changes. Every global region is experiencing an increase in longevity, which naturally brings more physiological limitations and threats to maintaining an adequate quality of life. This phenomenon creates new demands for innovations that cover different health-related quality of life (HRQoL) domains and can support individuals to live longer in good health. In this context, HRQoL innovations intend to use digital technologies to maintain the older adults’ good health and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), delay care dependency, and even prevent non-communicable diseases.

Technological advancement is an important factor in this ecosystem since it is continuously creating new opportunities to apply emerging resources that attend to the needs and desires of older adults, integrating them into the social and physical environments in which we age. Therefore, innovators must, on the one hand, be aware of the opportunities and threats related to these technologies, while, on the other hand,  must engage in iterative co-design with older adults rather than designing ‘for them’, and must develop solutions that are responsive to the older adults’ needs while maintaining user control, and support their health and everyday quality of life (QoL).

The summer school will address important questions at the heart of current digital technologies and older adults. Several of these questions will emphasize the concept of prevention, which typically consists of methods or activities that seek to reduce or deter health issues, protect the current state of well-being, or promote desired HRQoL outcomes or behaviours.

Participants will be able to learn about different types of digital technologies, their application areas, the design considerations related to such technologies, and the ethical, legal, and other factors to be considered while designing and implementing such systems.

The course will include lectures, case studies, mock debates, group work on a joint project presented in front of the external jury at the end of the course, and more. It will also emphasize the importance of transdisciplinarity, collaboration, and end-user participation when designing new objects, products, services, or experiences for the ageing population through a project-based approach and a human-centred design process.


Date: 01-05 July 2024

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House of Academies

Laupenstrasse 7

P.O. Box

3001 Bern


Contact directly our team