Workshop: Creating an Interdisciplinary Research Environment – 20 March, London

When: 20 March 2018, 13:00 — 17:00
Venue: Room 101, 30 Russell Square, Birkbeck College, University of London, WC1B 5DT
Booking details: Free entry; booking recommended

The most complex economic challenges of our time – such as ageing population, climate change, the effects of automation and globalisation – result from interlinked scientific, technical, social and individual processes, a comprehensive understanding and addressing of which require interdisciplinary approaches. Besides addressing complex challenges, interdisciplinary research is also particularly likely to produce radically novel outcomes that create innovation opportunities. Policymakers advocate greater interdisciplinarity within academia, calling for more interdisciplinary research centres, for greater funding of interdisciplinary research, and for better ways to map and measure interdisciplinary engagement and outputs.

However, universities are historically not well equipped to support interdisciplinary research, and the incentive systems that underpin most academic activities – including funding, evaluation, academic communication, publishing and career progression – militate against it. Institutions that wish to encourage more interdisciplinarity need to implement adequate initiatives to support it. This workshop intends to bring together experts engaged in the practice, study and evaluation of interdisciplinary research, in order to uncover challenges and best practices in supporting interdisciplinarity within academia.

Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite

For more information please contact either Dr Federica Rossi ( or Dr Luca Andriani (

Workshop programme:

1.00-1.30: Sandwich lunch

1:30-1:45 Introduction, prof. Julian Swann, Pro-Vice Master for Research, Birkbeck

1.45-2.45: Panel 1: Running an interdisciplinary research centre: advantages and challenges

Catherine Griffiths, Programme and Research Development Manager, Birkbeck, and Birkbeck Institute for Data Analytics

Prof Susan Michie, Director, Centre for Behavioural Change, UCL

Prof Jacqueline Rose, Co-Director, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities

Chair: Dr Luca Andriani (Centre for Political Economy and Institutional Studies)

2.45-3.45: Panel 2: What does good interdisciplinary research look like? Views from research evaluators

Dr Lisa Mooney, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, University of East London, and REF Interdisciplinary Research Advisory panel

Prof. Andrew Pettigrew, OBE, Birkbeck, University of London and University of Oxford

Dr Rachael Kiddey, Assistant editor, Independent Social Research Foundation

Chair: Dr Federica Rossi (Centre for Innovation Management Research)

3:45-4:00 Coffee break

4.00-5.00: Concluding session: Implications for research centres

Dr Sappho Xenakis, Assistant Dean for Research, Birkbeck School of Law

Prof Alex Poulovassilis, Deputy Dean for Research Enhancement, Birkbeck School of Business, Economics and Informatics

Dr Peter Zusi, Director, FRINGE Centre, UCL


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