What is interdisciplinary research?
Interdisciplinary research is an important feature of the UK research base.
As a term it is often understood in many different ways.
For the purpose of these pages the term interdisciplinary is used to refer to the full spectrum of interdisciplinary activity including cross-disciplinary, multi-disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary work.
Studies into interdisciplinary research
The following reports consider some of the issues associated with interdisciplinary research.
- Crossing paths: Interdisciplinary institutions, careers, education and applications
The British Academy
- Interdisciplinarity: Survey report for the Global Research Council 2016
Global Research Council
- A review of the UK’s interdisciplinary research using a citation-based approach
HEFCE and MRC
- Landscape review of interdisciplinary research in the UK
HEFCE and RCUK
- Case study review of interdisciplinary research in English higher education institutions
- Team science: Improving recognition of team science contributions in biomedical research careers
Academy of Medical Sciences
- Interdisciplinary research: Methodologies for identification and assessment
Each report explores the issues from a different perspective but collectively they:
- highlight a range of barriers and incentives for interdisciplinary research in the UK
- explore the challenges associated with assessing interdisciplinary research
- provide some real-world examples of ‘what works’ in supporting an IDR culture in today’s higher education research institutions.
This research will inform the work of the Interdisciplinary Advisory Panel.
This panel will advise the REF team, REF panel chairs and the UK funding bodies on approaches to support the submission and assessment of interdisciplinary research in REF 2021.