Massive Open Online Course

How to address the challenges of transdisciplinary research

The need for transdisciplinary research is growing. As a consequence, there is also an increasing demand for further training among scientists and practitioners. With the aim of continuingly strengthening collaboration between science and society, Swiss scientists have developed a Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC for short. Flurina Schneider, scientific director of ISOE ‒ Institute for Social-Ecological Research, co-developed this course and also contributes to the teaching modules.

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In order to cope with the current societal challenges, a stronger cooperation between science and society is of the essence. Inter- and transdisciplinary research approaches have proven to be valuable for shaping transformative processes. They combine ‒ methodologically sound ‒ scientific knowledge with the problem views and the everyday and practical knowledge of the actors involved. 

As a result of the growing importance of transdisciplinary methods, the demand for well-founded training programs for transdisciplinary research has also increased. The MOOC “Partnering for change: Link research to societal challenges”, designed by Swiss researchers, including the Network for Transdisciplinary Research (td-net), addresses this need. Here, participants get a chance to learn about the principles, processes, and applications of transdisciplinary approaches and how to apply them. They will also identify key questions, phases and steps of transdisciplinary research and reflect on their own role. Participants will also gain insights into a variety of case studies from different subject areas. 

The course that was co-developed by Flurina Schneider, scientific director of ISOE, is aimed at students and scientists from different disciplines as well as actors from the field who work on solving specific societal challenges. 

The online course can be used in different ways: As of now, it is offered as a self-study program. For those who prefer collaborative learning and exchange, mentoring will be offered over a six-week period starting April 17, 2023. The available team of mentors are primarily from the Network for Transdisciplinary Research (td-net). The course is published free of charge on FutureLearn by the University of Basel in collaboration with the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. 

To register for the online course please use the following link.

Press contact

Dr. Nicola Schuldt-Baumgart
Phone +49 69 707 6919-30