skip to primary navigationskip to content

Cambridge Global Challenges

The Cambridge Strategic Research Initiative for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Studying at Cambridge


Should we discipline interdisciplinarity?

last modified Dec 06, 2017 04:44 PM
A recent study published in Nature looked at how we could overcome the challenges of embedding interdisciplinarity in the academic mainstream if relevant expertise were defined and recognised as a new discipline.

Such expertise includes the ability to combine knowledge from different disciplines, as well as to assess which disciplines and stakeholders have relevant perspectives, figure out how elements of problems are interconnected, decide how to deal with critical unknowns, and use research to support evidence-based change.

A new discipline of integration and implementation sciences (I2S) would codify such knowledge and skills, especially for dealing with complex societal and environmental problems. It would operate in an analogous way to the discipline of statistics, as a

  1. collaborative hub within teams
  2. focus for dedicated methods journals and
  3. lobby group for effective application.

Key initial tasks are to develop a repository of currently hard-to-access methods, and an identifiable academic community; both guided by a unifying and motivating vision of where disciplining interdisciplinarity will lead.


Please find the article here.

Cambridge Global Challenges is a Strategic Research Initiative of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing global challenges and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.


Find out about open funding opportunities, pre-call announcements, responsive calls, studentships and awards relevant to the global challenges agenda.

Read more