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Crossing Boundaries: How to Develop Transdisciplinary Research

Venue: Birkbeck 30 Russell Square

Book your place

The event will be hosted in Room 102, 30 Russell Square. For accessibility details please visit this webpage.

Transdisciplinary research (TDR), which crosses disciplinary boundaries and puts stakeholder (or non-academic specialist) engagement at the heart of the process, is an incredibly rewarding way of doing research. It allows scholars to address complex problems posed by global social challenges better and more thoroughly than when working from the confines of disciplinary silos. For early-career researchers, TDR is also a wonderful means to grow their research skills and get recognition for the importance and quality in their research communities (Belkhir et al. 2019). As a result, TDR has become a very important component of the research landscape.

Yet, developing TDR can be challenging as most researchers are not trained to work in this way. From finding fellow researchers interested in TDR, to finding cross-overs and aligning goals, all the way to navigating theoretical and methodological differences, finding shared publication outlets and getting funding for projects, there are many challenges on the way, so developing TDR can feel intimidating.

In this practical workshop we aim to map the transdisciplinary research practices helping to start a first TDR project or help run future TDR projects more smoothly. This is facilitated by bringing together leading academics and researchers from a range of disciplines – including arts, business law and social sciences – at Birkbeck to discuss their own experiences of TDR.

What will you get from participating in this workshop?

In this workshop you will learn:

  • What transdisciplinary research involves;
  • How to align goals, outline overlaps and organize a research team accommodating the skills and capacities of members from different disciplines;
  • What are the challenges and pitfalls of doing transdisciplinary research;
  • What are the best practices to successfully design and implement transdisciplinary research projects;
  • How to get funding for transdisciplinary research;
  • Publishing transdisciplinary research.

Who is this workshop for?

All interested academic researchers will benefit from participating in this workshop. This includes those who are thinking about utilising TDR in upcoming projects, those in the midst of a TDR collaboration or those who are simply interested in learning more about TDR. Early career researchers and PhD students are particularly welcome.

Where and when will this workshop take place?

This workshop will take place in-person on Tuesday 13th June 2023 from 11am to 2pm. Lunch will be provided for in-person attendees. Please indicate any dietary or access requirements you have when booking your place.

It will be live streamed for those who can only attend online.

The room number and online link will be shared closer to the date.

This event has been organised by the BISR Early Career Researcher Working Group (Dr Amy Kirby, Meiyun Meng, Dr Olivier Sibai and Helena Wee). If you have any questions or would like any further information please contact: 

Contact name:

  • Dr Pam Yeow -

    Dr Pamela Yeow is a Reader in Management and Assistant Dean External Engagement. Pam’s research focuses on rethinking ethical consumerism, sustainable career in creative industries and the influence of social network on group performance. She has published her research in several disciplines – from organisation theory to marketing, information systems, business ethics, environmental studies, and cultural studies. Pam set up and directs the Birkbeck MBA in collaboration with Central Saint Martins combining creative thinking and innovation with strategic management skills. The MBA was shortlisted for innovation in business education by QS-Reimagine Education in 2018.  

  • Dr Robert Topinka -

    Dr Robert Topinka is a Senior Lecturer in Transnational Media and Cultural Studies. Robert's areas of expertise are in technology, the city, transnationalism, postcolonialism, and race. He examines the ways in which media and technology affect everyday life and urban governance. His research spans disciplines and time periods, drawing on urban studies, media theory, rhetoric, and aesthetics to examine the history and present of media, race, and urban life. He was Co-Investigator on the AHRC-Funded project, 'Political Ideology, Rhetoric and Aesthetics in the Twenty-First Century: The Case of the "Alt-Right"'. He discussed the research outcomes of this project in the Reactionary Digital Politics podcast. His monograph, Racing the Street: Race, Rhetoric and Technology in Metropolitan London, 1840-1900 was published in 2020 by University of California Press. He has published research in Theory & Event, New Media & Society, Politics, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Citizenship Studies, Foucault Studies, and elsewhere. 

  • Ms Gill Hunter -

    Gillian Hunter is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Crime and Justice Policy Research (ICPR) at Birkbeck. Gillian has twenty years’ experience in conducting policy-oriented and academic research in the field of criminal justice. This includes working on many transdisciplinary projects with third sector organisations, such as the Centre for Justice Innovation and Victim Support, and with a range of funders including the Economic and Social Research Council, the Nuffield Foundation and the Bell Foundation. Her research interests focus on victims’, witnesses’ and defendants’ experiences and understandings of the criminal courts, including the Youth Court, and perceptions about access to justice across the court and tribunals system. Gillian is currently Principal Investigator on a transdisciplinary project in collaboration with Revolving Doors, on ‘Lived Experiences of the Law’, funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

  • Prof Jessica Jacobson -

    Professor Jessica Jacobson is Professor of Criminal Justice and Director of ICPR at Birkbeck. Since completing her PhD at the London School of Economics in 1996, she has developed her expertise in criminal justice research, initially as a Home Office researcher, and then as an independent research and policy consultant. She has been based at ICPR since 2011. As ICPR’s Director, Jessica oversees the institute’s ambitious and wide-ranging programme of academically-grounded, policy-oriented research on crime and justice. She has designed and led a large number of funded research projects, many of which are transdisciplinary, and published widely on many aspects of justice including prisons, sentencing, criminal investigations, and lay participation in judicial proceedings. This includes monographs, edited collections and policy briefings.