Increasing the effectiveness of transdisciplinary research for sustainable development

Project C1-28

In the face of increasingly severe problems of global change, science is requested to produce knowledge that can help to advance sustainable development. Accordingly, scholars have successfully developed and applied transdisciplinary research approaches to enable sound collaboration between researchers and practitioners. Nonetheless, transdisciplinary research has remained a challenging endeavour. A major reason for this is that programme and project development still relies too heavily on the views of academic actors. So far there are no systematic meta-level analyses that would show to what extent the contributions of transdisciplinary projects to sustainability might be improved by drawing more extensively on the perceptions of practitioners participating in these projects.
The proposed project will address this gap by facilitating a learning process in which committed participants from six transdisciplinary research projects and two funding schemes reflect on what needs to be changed to increase the effectiveness of transdisciplinary research for sustainable development. The focus will be on social and societal learning processes that occurred in the context of these transdisciplinary research projects. Moreover, we will investigate the perceptions of non-academic stakeholders in innovative and successful transdisciplinary research projects about related social learning processes for sustainable development. Finally, we will jointly develop a larger research proposal based on transdisciplinary interaction between academic and non-academic actors.

Project leader
Dr. Flurina Schneider
University of Bern
Centre for Development and Environment CDE

Involved universities
University of Bern

1.11.2014 - 28.02.2016

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