Interdisciplinary Research HE Sector Day was organised by BU’s Research & Knowledge Exchange Office and invited academics, funding bodies and facilitators from across the UK to talk and learn more about interdisciplinary research.
Attendees participated in a full day of talks, seminars and networking sessions aimed at encouraging academics to work with colleagues and companies from different subject disciplines.
Professor Michael Wilmore, Dean of the Faculty of Media & Communication opened proceedings and was followed by key note speaker, Dr Louise Mansfield from Brunel University and the What Works Centre for Wellbeing.
Topics ranged from the benefits of cross-sector research, to funding availability and interdisciplinary research case studies. Participants on the day were encouraged to use the networking sessions to share research best practice and to explore the challenges and benefits of working collaboratively with colleagues from different areas.
BU’s Professor Adele Ladkin spoke about her research, Family Rituals 2.0, which was an interdisciplinary project involving colleagues from three other universities each of them with a different specialism. Adele explained how Family Rituals 2.0 developed from a sandpit exercise hosted by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and the research group they formed at the event were awarded funding from EPSRC.
Dr David Hutchinson from the University of Portsmouth spoke about his adventures in science as an interdisciplinary research facilitator and academic. Speaking after the event, he said: “I have a real passion and interest in interdisciplinary research. I think it’s really important that we get good at it because it’s the thing that will really help us solve these big society challenges.”
He also spoke about the qualities needed to be an interdisciplinary researcher, he commented: “It’s not about the money, it’s not about the funding agencies. Good interdisciplinary research boils down to good relationships between different sorts of people.”
You can find out more about research at BU by visiting the research webpages.