Interdisciplinary programmes are attractive for doctoral education. Interdisciplinary training expands the mindsets of doctoral candidates beyond the traditions of their own discipline and makes them capable of valuing different methods and perspectives of research. Many of the problems that are connected to the ‘grand challenges’ can only be approached by using different disciplines. However, interdisciplinary research needs good preparation and support, and there are obstacles to the implementation of interdisciplinary programmes that need to be discussed: cultural barriers need to be broken down and a common language needs to be created.
The Sixth EUA-CDE Thematic Workshop aims to facilitate a discussion of these issues. What is the goal of interdisciplinary training? Institutions might aim to have more open-minded doctoral candidates – they might also see opportunities to develop as institutions and attract external funding. Doctoral candidates might find that an interdisciplinary profile gives them better opportunities on the labour market. Interdisciplinary training can be seen as creating new approaches to expand the bounds of human knowledge. At the same time, interdisciplinary approaches are often attractive to applied research that aims to solve problems by using many disciplines. There are serious challenges to successful interdisciplinary doctoral education, how to organise it and how to give it merit in a research world that still values specialisation within single disciplines.
Through common plenary discussions and presentation of best practices, the workshop will try to obtain answers and recommendations on how to develop and implement interdisciplinary programmes.
The workshop will be mainly aimed at vice-rectors responsible for doctoral education, heads of doctoral schools and research staff responsible for doctoral programmes.
The workshop is only open to EUA-CDE member institutions.
Politecnico di Torino
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