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Interdisciplinarity and Development Impact - what have we learned?

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Argyle House

3 Lady Lawson Street

Edinburgh

EH3 9DR

United Kingdom

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Interdisciplinarity has been key to ESPA’s ethos and theory of change from the outset. Almost 10 years later, it remains crucial: an interdisciplinary approach is seen by most research funders as essential to meaningfully tackle complex real world challenges (as shown, among others, by the recent GCRF call for Interdisciplinary Research Hubs to Address Intractable Challenges Faced by Developing Countries). If the potential benefits of interdisciplinarity are well known, however, so are its conceptual and practical challenges: interdisciplinary research is often more difficult to do (or do well), fund, and publish.

As the ESPA programme is coming to a close, we are keen to capture our shared learning so that it cannot get lost and can be useful to other programmes, funders, researchers and partners. Questions that will be discussed include:

  • what have been the (expected and unexpected) benefits and challenges of working across disciplines? What trade-offs have emerged?
  • what concrete strategies and approaches have you used to overcome the challenges of working across disciplines?
  • what lessons have been learned, and how can they be useful to funders, partners and ESPA alumni?


About the facilitator:

Dr. Laura Meagher is an independent consultant specialising in the evaluation of complex processes of change related to research and higher education. Interdisciplinarity of research projects and/or funding schemes has been a primary focus of her evaluation work, which has included clients such as various UK Research Councils, UK government, Scottish Government and others. She regularly designs and conducts forward-looking interdisciplinary workshops and facilitates the actual development of interdisciplinary initiatives. Laura has published extensively on interdisciplinarity and co-authored the ESPA Learning Review in 2013.


Joining instruction and agenda will be shared with registered participants closer to the date.

After the session, we'll be heading out for informal dinner nearby for those who are interested!


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Date and Time

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Argyle House

3 Lady Lawson Street

Edinburgh

EH3 9DR

United Kingdom

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