Evaluating an interdisciplinary research project: Lessons learned for organisations, researchers and funders

Bark, Rosalind H., Kragt, Marit E. and Robson, Barbara J. (2016) Evaluating an interdisciplinary research project: Lessons learned for organisations, researchers and funders. International Journal of Project Management, 34 (8). pp. 1449-1459. ISSN 0263-7863

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Abstract

Interdisciplinary research is often essential to develop the integrated systems understanding needed to manage complex environmental issues that are faced by decision-makers world-wide. The scientific, institutional and funding challenges to interdisciplinary research have been the subject of considerable discussion. Funders remain willing to support such research and to evaluate its impact. In this paper, we develop and apply a set of review concepts to systematically evaluate a large interdisciplinary research project. The project was conducted at a national research organisation that seeks to facilitate interdisciplinary integration. We categorise evaluation concepts as process- and outcome-related and propose five practical management interventions to bridge the concepts to improve interdisciplinary integration. These management interventions are: agree on a conceptual model, incorporate independent review, support synthesisers, foster intra-project communication, and build-in organisational learning. We end with reflections on lessons for the structure of research organisations and of the research team to develop effective interdisciplinary research as well as providing a set of recommendations for interdisciplinary research funders.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: We gratefully acknowledge the Water for a Healthy Country Flagship. Thanks also to Jan Mahoney and Rose Davis for their assistance on the post-project review and to Dr. Daniel Walker and Dr. George Quezada, CSIRO, for their constructive comments on an earlier version of this paper. This project was completed with funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 659449 . Publisher Copyright: © 2016 Elsevier Ltd, APM and IPMA
Uncontrolled Keywords: evaluation,interdisciplinary integration,interdisciplinary research,matrix organisation,project review,business and international management,management of technology and innovation ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1400/1403
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2021 01:56
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2021 01:56
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/82164
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2016.08.004

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