Event to focus on multidisciplinary research

Author: Gene Stowe

Lab work

The University of Notre Dame’s Office of the Vice President for Research and the Multidisciplinary Research Committee are hosting a public discussion, “Promoting Multidisciplinary Research: Building Successful Teams and Programs,” from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Sept. 27 (Thursday) in the Eck Visitor’s Center auditorium.

The event, the second in a series on multidisciplinary research, focuses on how to promote collaborative groups and approaches. Jeannette Colyvas, an assistant professor of human development and social policy and of learning sciences at Northwestern University; and Nancy C. Andreasen, M.D., the Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry and Director of its Neuroimaging Research Center and the Mental Health Clinical Research Center at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, will speak.

“Modern scientific research thrives on the study of complex systems and problems, such as genomics, climate change or terrorism,” says Andreasen, whose topic is “Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research: A National Challenge.” “Such research typically requires an interdisciplinary approach: one that breaks down the barriers between traditional disciplines. This presentation will discuss the historical forces that drive the implementation of interdisciplinary approaches in research and teaching, will discuss the barriers that sometimes prevent this implementation, and will describe approaches for breaking those barriers down and creating an environment in which interdisciplinary research can flourish.”

Colyvas, whose talk is titled “Commercial Imprints and Scientific Footprints: How innovative practices spread and how they stick through scientific collaboration,” says modern team science “provides a window into the dynamics of organizational change — specifically how new practices move from risky and unfamiliar to widespread and appropriate.”

“The institutionalization of entrepreneurship in the academy is one of the most salient examples. This presentation demonstrates indicators of how entrepreneurial practices spread and how they stick through networks of scientific collaboration, notably those that include graduate students across disciplines,” she says. “It also highlights contemporary policy and management implications for performance metrics in the academy and the relationship between commercial and scientific innovation.”

After the talks, Don Howard, director of the Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values, will lead a panel discussion starting at 11:15 a.m. The free event is open to the public.

“Groundbreaking research depends on bringing diverse perspectives together to address big questions and grand challenges,” says Robert Bernhard, vice president for research at Notre Dame, who will open the session. “This gathering will give us tools to accomplish that goal more effectively.”

For more information, visit research.nd.edu.

Contact: Sunny Boyd, associate vice president for research, 574-631-7765, boyd.1@nd.edu