Zen and the art of transdisciplinary postgraduate research: workshop resources

Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS
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Increasingly, researchers and research students are engaged in problems that require approaches that transcend disciplines, at least in part because problems of society are increasingly complex and interdependent and cannot be tackled adequately from specific individual disciplines – in these realms, the whole must be greater than the sum of the parts. Supervising research students working in these ways brings particular challenges. Prominent among these challenges is the question of how to recognise and ensure quality in the processes and outputs of their labours when they are drawing on disciplines, theories, and methodologies with deeply different ways of understanding the world around us. An ALTC Fellowship sought to shed light on both the summative criteria that might be helpful for evaluating the outputs of such research – a thesis, papers, etc – as well as the formative processes supervisors and students might use to engender such criteria. These workshop resources are intended to provide a structured way in to talking and learning about, and developing responses to, the quandaries in this space. They are complemented by two resource documents – one focused on quality criteria and another focused on ideas for good practice.
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