International Network for Transdisciplinary (post doctoral)
Research (INTR)

‘trans-disciplinarity’, by which is meant the mobilization of a range of theoretical perspectives and practical methodologies to solve problems. But, unlike inter- or multi-disciplinarity, it is not necessarily derived from pre-existing disciplines, nor does it always contribute to the formation of new disciplines. The creative act lies just as much in the capacity to mobilize and manage these perspectives and methodologies, their ‘external’ orchestration, as in the development of new theories or conceptualisations, or the refinement of research methods, the ‘internal’ dynamics of scientific creativity.

INTRODUCTION ‘Mode 2’ Revisited: The New Production of Knowledge
Minerva 41: 179–194, 2003.

Convenors: Prof. Michael Punt, Dr. Martha Blassnigg

Investigators: Dr. Martha Blassnigg, Prof. Roger Malina, Prof. Jan Baetens, Prof. Sue Denham, Philip Franses, Prof. Alan Schechner, Prof. Margarete Jahrmann, Prof. Miklos Peternak, Prof. Steven Partridge, Prof. Julia Noordergraaf, Mark-Paul Meyer, Prof. Michael Punt, Prof. Martin Zierold

The International Network for Transdisciplinary Research (INTR) is an ongoing initiative that builds upon and extends the current international collaborations at Transtechnology Research with the University of Plymouth in order to develop methods, pedagogies and resourcing strategies for transdisciplinary practice based research at the highest level. Its purpose is to (i) collate and cascade best practice at postdoctoral level in order to support early career researchers (ii) to enhance the provision and experience of PhD students working particularly with transdisciplinary practice. It has been conducting a series of international network meetings financed in collaboration with participating institutions to develop joint funding applications and research collaboration.

Its outcomes include: (i) a consolidated network and international exchange programme (ii) international doctoral supervision teams (iii) national and EU funding applications (iv) grey literature.

Blassnigg, Martha and Punt, Michael. 2012. ‘Transdisciplinarity: Challenges, Approaches and Opportunities on the Cusp of History’. In: Steps to an Ecology of Networked Knowledge and Innovation: Enabling new forms of collaboration among sciences, engineering, arts, and design. Volume II: Meta-analyses, Abstracts, and White Papers. Published by: Networks for Science, Engineering, Art and Design (SEAD) advising the US National Science Foundation, pp. 87-90. Online at:

The network is its intended to address transdisciplinary research at the highest level in order to develop methods, identify concerns and propose procedures appropriate to post-doctoral research by early career researchers in particular. Through this we also expect to dissolve some of the more consuming problems reiterated in the H. E. PhD sector and, more significantly open new perspectives for transdisciplinary research at the highest level. In particular the network will consider why practice based research might be valuable and where its issues and lessons might be applied to University research strategies in the widest sense.

Relevance to the research strategy of this network lies in its meta-topic. Transdisciplinarity (as defined above) is at the core of enterprise in its fullest sense in that it privileges creative connection in its methodology as it measures its outcomes against both fixed and contingent criteria.

The key activities of this international network so far include meetings in Plymouth, Budapest, Amsterdam, Vienna, Gdansk and Marseilles and the Whitepaper (above) as part of a SEAD report to advise the US National Science Foundation.

The meetings have been formally structured in two parts. (i) To consider presentations of ongoing research by the network, and seminars to develop policy statements and collaborative proposals. (ii) The participants offer master-classes and consultation with registered PhD students at the host institution as both a contributory and research exercise. The initial participants of the network have been selected against the criteria of the wide range of their uses of transdisciplinary practices in research with world-class outcomes as well as previous successful collaboration with Transtechnology Research.