On the promises and pitfalls of scientific interdisciplinarity

Modern academics are open-minded, learn from each others perspectives and find new creative solutions to age-old problems. But how does interdisciplinary collaboration work in practice? In this project, funded by the Utrecht Young Academy, we aim to understand interdisciplinary science at a fundamental level.

Interdisciplinary team research has become the model for future science. Policy makers, universities and funding institutes promote the collaboration between scientists of different disciplines to answer research questions that cannot be tackled by a monodisciplinary team alone.

However, knowledge on the success factors and pitfalls of interdisciplinary research is limited. What are the types of research themes that particularly benefit from an interdisciplinary approach? How does teamwork affect the mindset of scientists and the quality of science?

Ilona Domen

In this project, postdoctoral researcher Ilona Domen will study which of the ingredients of interdisciplinary team research work and explore the pros and cons of interdisciplinary teams in different research settings. Previously, Ilona used a mixed methods approach in her PhD research to uncover the underlying mechanisms through which men and women together maintain the current gender hierarchy. Apart from her research, she especially advocates for change concerning mental health, diversity and inclusion, internationalization, and recognition and appreciation in science.