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Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research


Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research examines current
interdisciplinary research efforts and recommends ways to stimulate and
support such research. Advances in science and engineering increasingly
require the collaboration of scholars from various fields. This shift is
driven by the need to address complex problems that cut across
traditional disciplines, and the capacity of new technologies to both
transform existing disciplines and generate new ones. At the same time,
however, interdisciplinary research can be impeded by policies on
hiring, promotion, tenure, proposal review, and resource allocation that
favor traditional disciplines. This report identifies steps that
researchers, teachers, students, institutions, funding organizations,
and disciplinary societies can take to more effectively conduct,
facilitate, and evaluate interdisciplinary research programs and
projects. Throughout the report key concepts are illustrated with case
studies and results of the committee’s surveys of individual researchers
and university provosts.