National Academies Press: OpenBook

Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research (2005)

Chapter: Appendix B Charge to the Committee

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Charge to the Committee." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2005. Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11153.
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B
Charge to the Committee

The committee conducting this study will examine the scope of interdisciplinary research and provide findings, conclusions, and recommendations as to how such research can be facilitated by funding organizations and academic institutions. The committee will recognize in its deliberations that the organization of research in academic institutions is driven by teaching and other considerations

Specifically, the committee will address the following tasks:

  • Review proposed definitions of interdisciplinary research including similarities and differences from research characterized as cross-disciplinary, intradisciplinary, and multi-disciplinary and develop measures to determine whether research is interdisciplinary or not.

  • Identify and analyze current structural models of interdisciplinary research.

  • Identify and analyze the policies and procedures of Congress, funding organizations, and institutions that encourage or discourage interdisciplinary research.

  • Compare and contrast current structural models and policies and procedures in academic and non-academic settings as well as traditional and non-traditional academic settings that encourage or discourage interdisciplinary research.

  • Identify measures that can be used to evaluate the impact on research, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, and researchers ex-

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Charge to the Committee." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2005. Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11153.
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pected from their engagement in greater interdisciplinary research and cross-professional opportunities.

  • Develop findings and conclusions as to the current state of interdisciplinary research and the factors that encourage (or discourage) it in academic, industry, and federal laboratory settings.

  • Provide recommendations to academic institutions and public and private sponsors of research as to how to better stimulate and support interdisciplinary research.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Charge to the Committee." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2005. Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11153.
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Page 219
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B Charge to the Committee." National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. 2005. Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11153.
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Page 220
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Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research examines current interdisciplinary research efforts and recommends ways to stimulate and support such research.

Advances in science and engineering increasingly require the collaboration of scholars from various fields. This shift is driven by the need to address complex problems that cut across traditional disciplines, and the capacity of new technologies to both transform existing disciplines and generate new ones. At the same time, however, interdisciplinary research can be impeded by policies on hiring, promotion, tenure, proposal review, and resource allocation that favor traditional disciplines.

This report identifies steps that researchers, teachers, students, institutions, funding organizations, and disciplinary societies can take to more effectively conduct, facilitate, and evaluate interdisciplinary research programs and projects. Throughout the report key concepts are illustrated with case studies and results of the committee's surveys of individual researchers and university provosts.

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