Transdisciplinary research: mixing methods

Transdisciplinary research is based on the objects of integration and implementation. The research process aims to create space for common thinking, mutual learning and joint action between partners from diverse disciplines and societal fields in order to create knowledge, understanding and induce transformation. Therefore, an integrative methodology has to be set up consisting of a series of different types of methods which are mixed and coupled in transdisciplinary research.

These methods range from cooperation methods providing conditions for integration on a social and cognitive level to assessment and deliberative methods for systematically dealing with diverse sources of knowledge, interests, values and norms; they include management and evaluation methods as well as respective disciplinary or interdisciplinary research methods. Due to the idiographic character of transdisciplinary research, these combinations and adaptations vary according to the research setting and issue of concern. As a consequence, transdisciplinary research methodologies have to be arranged specifically for each research project. Thus, to consolidate transdisciplinary research it is important to clarify the dynamics and diversities of mixing and coupling methods.

This video covers different types of methods which are applied in transdisciplinary research, as well as how new inter- and transdisciplinary methods emerge. The presentation also includes an epistemological order of methods for transdisciplinary research and a conceptual model for a reflexive transdisciplinary research process.

Video (32 minutes; YouTube link at end of this page): “Mixing and Coupling Methods in Transdisciplinary Research and Research-Based Learning” presented by Ulli Vilsmaier and Matthias Bergmann was a plenary talk at the First Global Conference on Research Integration and Implementation held in Canberra in Australia, online and at three co-conferences (Lueneburg in Germany, The Hague in the Netherlands and Montevideo in Uruguay), 8-11 September 2013. The Microsoft PowerPoint presentation from the video is available as a  PDF (711KB).

Posted: November 2014
Last modified: November 2014