Beyond Advanced Studies Ⅰ : interdisciplinary theory and research careers (Uppsala, 8–10 November 2021)
Host: THE SWEDISH COLLEGIUM FOR ADVANCED STUDY, SWEDEN
“What is interdisciplinarity?”; “How does it exist in today’s academia?”; and “How can one build a career in interdisciplinary research?” will be the subject of the first workshop. At present, interdisciplinary research is a poorly defined concept, hindered by a number of barriers. For example, for early-career scholars, publications from interdisciplinary work may not carry the same rewards as discipline-based publications. Furthermore, a clear model of career progression is usually not available, other than to return to single-discipline roles with added responsibilities in teaching and administration. Interdisciplinary research may, on the other hand, also open up new research trajectories. At this workshop, existing conceptions of interdisciplinary research will be explored and challenged.
Beyond Advanced Studies Ⅱ: interdisciplinary methods – building collaboration, networks and trust (Aarhus, 8–9 March 2022)
Host: AARHUS INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED STUDIES, DENMARK
As global and regional drivers increasingly press ‘Nordic Model’ states for renewed efficiency, it has been argued that the traditional social contract, based on trust between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and society brokered via the state, is being replaced by a contractual relationship based on the delivery of agreed input factors and pre-determined outcomes. This can result in pressure for academics to focus on delivering high output in their own field, despite the resources made available by research councils for interdisciplinary research. This raises questions such as: “What stands in the way of interdisciplinary cooperation?”; “Can the IAS ‘bottom-up’ research model be balanced with the integration of major themes of societal importance?”; “Should IASs provide platforms for Social Science’s and Humanities (SSH) research to engage with the Natural Sciences?” These will be explored in the second workshop, which also considers current IAS models. This builds on AIAS’s history of bringing scholars and institutes together. As well as providing an effective platform for spontaneous collaborations between its independent researchers, AIAS has hosted NetIAS and EURIAS meetings, as well as interdisciplinary conferences that focus research in SSH and the Natural Sciences around hot topics.
Beyond Advanced Studies Ⅲ: interdisciplinary practice – towards a Nordic approach (Turku, 5–6 May 2022)
Host: TURKU INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES, FINLAND
Interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral, projects can add direct value to Nordic societies on a multiple levels. While this allows such projects to justify the allocation of public funds, a cross-sectoral approach can provide access to new resources and funding, while cross-sectoral mobility can diversify researcher career options. Academic engagements of this kind also carry a number of risks and challenges, many of which are at present poorly understood. For example, the potential impact of cross-sectoral mobility and funding instruments on research, for example in Social Sciences and the Humanities, is only now being investigated.
These issues raise questions such as “What is the role of IASs in strategic research and the leadership of free thought?” and “What are the risks and benefits for researchers in relationships with industry, government and not-for-profit?”. These will be explored in the third and final workshop, which will be scheduled to coincide with the annual meeting of the Finnish IASs in Turku. The workshop will also synthesise the findings of the previous workshops, and examine the role of IASs in supporting cross-sectoral research and the development of a ‘Nordic Approach’ to collaborative, interdisciplinary research as a whole.
Slides of the speakers, Workshop III: