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Knowledge Synthesis

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The Toolbox consists of a series of questions to probe team member views on the practice of science and acts as a stimulus for discussion. Questions cover motivation, methodology, confirmation, objectivity, values and reductionism and emergence. This philosophically structured dialogue can be used to uncover worldviews that frame what investigators see, what priorities they set, […]
Purpose: To provide a way of effectively integrating different interests by finding a mutually agreeable fair solution through a problem solving approach. Description: Principled negotiation has four steps: (1) separate the people from the problem; (2) focus on interests, not positions; (3) generate a variety of possibilities before deciding what to do; (4) look for a fair solution, based on the merits.
The ethical matrix provides a structured process for identifying, weighing and integrating different, and potentially conflicting, values among the various stakeholders concerned with an issue or problem. The matrix has three principles – well-being, autonomy and justice – on the horizontal axis, with the various stakeholders affected by the problem and decision-making listed on the […]
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Focused dialogue is the collaborative construction of powerful ideas. These ideas are essentially simple, generic and fundamental concepts which, once developed between people, can serve to build the shared understanding essential for effective communication and successful integration. Developing focused dialogue involves a number of discrete steps: 1. Identifying “the terms that will play a key […]
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A new discipline – Integration and Implementation Sciences (i2S) – could provide a systematic way to allow people to effectively mix-and-match concepts and methods from systems thinking, inter- and trans-disciplinarity, implementation science, team science, complexity science and other approaches to more effectively deal with complex real-world problems. i2S has three domains: 1) synthesis of disciplinary […]
This video overview of interdisciplinarity identifies major developments over a century of work in an expanding variety of contexts, the communities of practices that emerged, and current trendlines. (Interdisciplinarity is nearing its 100th anniversary, dating from the earliest documented uses of the term in the early 20th century.) The overview then weighs implications of common […]
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Three guides have been developed to share collective knowledge on how funders, researchers, and wider research partners can work together for better outcomes to address pressing societal challenges. A guidance note for research funders lays out seven key challenges and suggests ways forward from the pre-call stage to evaluation of completed research projects (see reference […]
This open-access book provides “practical guidance on how to conduct interdisciplinary research effectively with multi-member teams operating across departments and institutions.” Chapters are: Signposts for interdisciplinary travellers: introduction and some tips for reading this book Departure point: our approach to interdisciplinarity Planning the expedition: designing interdisciplinary research projects Making the expedition a success: managing interdisciplinary […]
Ten aspects of interdisciplinary research are covered, with the guides providing easy access to best practices for a) developing, reviewing, funding and evaluating proposals, b) supervising PhDs, as well as c) various aspects of research management. A link to a PDF file of each guide can be found on the following webpages: Short Guide to […]
A useful analytical framework for assessing knowledge co-production consists of the following elements: “typology of actor roles, research phases, objectives and forms of actor integration, and types of knowledge” (see figure below). The framework was used to analyse “what types of actors contributed what kind of knowledge in which research phase” in four transdisciplinary studies […]

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