There is a plurality of definitions of transdisciplinary research (TDR), as each is dependent on the context, field and purpose of research. This is why we consider it especially important that researchers make it explicit to which goals and principles of TDR they refer to. Generally, the process of TDR brings together scientists across disciplines and stakeholders across sectors to jointly analyse the problems, discuss desirable futures, and explore strategies and actions towards these more desirable futures.
In the context of societal challenges, TDR aims at transgressing boundaries between scientific disciplines as well as between science and practice. The objective is to develop new knowledge that can help to solve, mitigate, or prevent societal challenges. This means, that not only knowledge to understand the problem is produced but the the problem itself is addressed.
In a nutshell, TDR links societal problem solving with scientific knowledge production in a process of co-producting knowledge.
Based on several authors, we propose seven principles for guidance of TDR: