By Christian Pohl, Pius Krütli and Michael Stauffacher
|Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research often aims at broader impact in society. But, how can you make such impact happen?
A researcher might face a number of questions (s)he was not necessarily trained to address, such as:
Over the last several years, we developed 10 steps to provide a structured way of thinking through how to improve the societal relevance of a research project, as summarised in the table below.
When working with researchers to plan their impact, we usually go through the 10 steps in a workshop format, as follows:
The ten steps work best in a context where a research project leader, for example, provides detailed project knowledge and the whole group is interested in discussing the societal impact of research.
In our experience, the ten steps trigger reflection on one’s own research and allow for fruitful coproduction of knowledge in the project team on how to improve the societal relevance of projects.
What techniques have you used to plan, and reflect on, making your research socially relevant?
To find out more:
Pohl, C., Krütli, P. and Stauffacher, M. (2017). Ten reflective steps for rendering research societally relevant. GAIA, 26, 1: 43-51. Online (DOI): https://doi.org/10.14512/gaia.26.1.10 (open access).
To see all blog posts from the partnership with the journal GAIA: https://i2insights.org/tag/partner-gaia-journal/
Biography: Christian Pohl is co-director of the Transdisciplinarity Lab of the Department of Environmental Systems Science (USYS TdLab) at ETH Zurich. He completed his habilitation at the University of Bern. His research interest is the theory and practice of transdisciplinary research as a means for sustainable development.
Biography: Pius Krütli is co-director of the Transdisciplinarity Lab of the Department of Environmental Systems Science (USYS TdLab) at ETH Zurich. His research interests are procedural and distributive justice, methods and practice of transdisciplinary (research) processes, and social sustainability.
Biography: Michael Stauffacher is Titularprofessor (Adjunct Professor) at ETH Zurich and co-director of the Transdisciplinarity Lab of the Department of Environmental Systems Science (USYS TdLab) at ETH Zurich. His research interests are contested energy infrastructures, urban development, field experiments, and transdisciplinary research.