Theories, instruments and methods for sustainability studies (TIM)

Project C1-26

This project aims to strengthen interdisciplinary research within the University of Lausanne by bringing together researchers from diverse institutes belonging to earth sciences, life sciences and social sciences to cope with sustainability questions collectively. We target creating a network of researchers that are both well trained in their respective disciplines and able (a) to work as a team with other disciplines and (b) to deal with complex problems related to sustainable development issues.
The project objective is to train young and senior researchers on theories, instruments and methods relevant for developing sustainability research. Thus, we expect to help scientists from the Lausanne research community to take a step back from their own discipline and to explore research approaches that combine natural and social sciences. We will follow three steps:
In the first year we will organize a series of seminars that confront different theories, instruments and methods for sustainability research to better identify common roots of approaches sometimes presented as irreconcilable ;
In the second year, we will organize a summer camp where the participants will jointly study a particular sustainability problem, using the theories, methods and tools acquired through the first year and launch the development of an interdisciplinary research proposal based on the outcome of this joint research ;
In the third year we formalize the previous work through establishing a research network of expertise on interdisciplinary sustainability science and submit a proposal for a training course on interdisciplinary research on sustainability addressed to junior and senior researchers as well as Ph.D. students.

Project leader
Prof. Valérie Boisvert
University of Lausanne
Institute of Geography and Sustainability

Involved universities
University of Lausanne

Project duration
1.6.2014 - 31.12.2016


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