Interdisciplinary research: intermittently theorised, frequently funded, increasingly valorised.
But how is it actually done?

 

In 2015, HtV launched a project intended to provide answers to this very question. The result? Working Knowledge – a website dedicated to the practical ins and outs of interdisciplinary research. The site published a wide range of ‘Project Shorts’ – short, accessible introductions to everything from managing a project’s social media presence to running experimental design hackathons, hiring a project coordinator and collaborating with experts by experience.

Following a British Academy and Wellcome-funded workshop on Collaboration in the Critical Medical Humanities held in Durham last September, we’re delighted to announce that four new Project Shorts have just been added to the collection:

  • The Hybrid Academic (Jen Grove, Sanja Djerasimovic and Jenny Crane) documents the challenges – for individuals, projects and institutions – of new postdoctoral roles which combine research with a significant responsibility for supporting public engagement and impact.
  • The Precarious Postdoc (Sophie A. Jones and Catherine Oakley) analyses the new reality of humanities and social science postdocs doing interdisciplinary research in an age of casualised academic labour, proposing some best practice guidelines for PIs, funding bodies, and universities.
  • The Price of Agreement (Britt Dahlberg, Robbie Duschinsky and Sophie Reijman) uses case studies from a variety of projects to argue for the importance of “0-degree agreement” in interdisciplinary work – the consensus to engage with unformed ideas in a joint uncertainty.
  • So, what do you believe then? (Ben Alderson-Day and Adam Powell) considers how interdisciplinary projects can tackle the tensions arising from different disciplinary and individual claims about a shared, independent reality.

Spanning three distinct themes – Working TogetherPeople & Roles and Engaging Others – these Project Shorts make a valuable contribution to the series, and are a must-read for anyone considering funding or embarking upon interdisciplinary research. All Project Shorts can be downloaded freely online, and hard copies are available upon request.

We hope that the collection of Working Knowledge Project Shorts will continue to expand, and welcome the chance to discuss possible contributions from anyone who is interested in proposing ideas for Project Shorts from their own projects. If you would like to propose an idea for a Project Short, please email the series editors.

Series editors: Charles Fernyhough, Angela Woods and Victoria Patton.

For more information about the other Project Shorts in the collection, visit the Working Knowledge website.

 

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