Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Institute of Advanced Studies Interdisciplinary Forum: meet the researcher

2 October 2018

This five-session course is open to all PhD students, although it will be particularly useful to those in their first and second years. Each session will be led by a high-profile UCL researcher.

UCL library

Interdisciplinarity is a current ‘buzz word’ in research practice across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences and many grant-giving institutions have written it in to their requirements. However, the meanings of interdisciplinarity are often unclear and differ from one field to another. In this fortnightly two-hour workshop we will interrogate those meanings and encourage PhD students to think critically and creatively about the relevance of interdisciplinary perspectives for their own fields of research.

We will run 5 two-hour sessions in the Autumn Term of 2018. Each of these sessions will be built around the work of a high profile UCL researcher who has employed interdisciplinary practices in their work. We will ask them to circulate in advance a published paper that exemplifies their approach. Moderated by a member of IAS (Megan Vaughan and colleagues) each class will provide an opportunity for the students to engage the researcher in a discussion about their work and about interdisciplinarity in their particular field. What is gained (and possibly lost) by approaching a problem through an interdisciplinary perspective? How might conventional disciplines be transformed by these practices, and is this desirable?

Students will be divided into small groups and asked to produce, by the end of term, a proposal for an interdisciplinary Friday Forum, to take place in the IAS in the following term. We will run a competition for the best proposal. The winning proposal will be given funding for a half-day or day-long Forum.

Please find out more and register here.