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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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Assessing interdisciplinary research

What are the challenges?

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.

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.

Page last updated 10 April 2017