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University hosts workshop with Europe’s leading Research Council

On Friday 29th of October, the University of Luxembourg will host a joint workshop with the European Research Council (ERC) on the ‘Evaluation of Interdisciplinary Research’.

Society’s complex problems, including equity and environmental issues, are often better understood from the perspective of several disciplines, rather than just relying on models steeped in assumptions of just one disciplinary perspective, such as economics.

Challenges to ‘interdisciplinary’ research are manifold. Questions to be explored include ‘How has knowledge production changed over the last decades and what are the impacts on the organisation of research?’ and ‘What is the meaning of ‘success’ in interdisciplinary research, what might, and what might not be achievable?’

The workshop is co-hosted and funded by the "Fonds National de la Recherche" (FNR) and co-organised by the University’s Cell for Sustainable Development. After words of welcome by Prof. Rolf Tarrach, Rector of the University of Luxembourg, the President of the ERC Board Prof. Helga Nowotny, will provide an expert overview on research across disciplines and how it is evaluated by Europe’s leading research council.

The workshop will serve to explore how to better organize research that is aiming to have positive impacts on society at large, such as research on social impacts of new approaches to medicine, or political disputes over water management. Discussions will consider practical examples of research projects funded by the ERC and the FNR.

At the University of Luxembourg the development of interdisciplinary research has been coupled to the definition of the research priorities of the university, as can be seen in the creation of its two interdisciplinary centers. The SnT , the Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust and the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine. ‘We believe that interdisciplinarity is a useful benchmark in gauging the societal relevance of our research.’ says Rector Rolf Tarrach.

The workshop will present a platform for connecting research, administration and policy- and decision-makers interested in interdisciplinary research. The event will distil recommendations for conducting and evaluating interdisciplinary research to tackle socially salient challenges.

Britta Schlüter | idw
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