Practice-based research of interdisciplinary higher education

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Practice-based Research of Interdisciplinary Higher Education is a collection that aims at building a community and building capacity around the study of interdisciplinary teaching and learning at universities and colleges around the world. The higher-education landscape is changing toward increasingly societally engaged models that re-position disciplinary silos. This change generates questions about ‘what works’ in interdisciplinary higher education and about the operationalization and implementation of the values behind this educational change. Research of interdisciplinary higher teaching and learning is currently being presented at conferences aimed specifically at exchange about practicalities and best practices, and the research also finds its way to conference proceedings in more general fields interested in the study of university and college education, liberal education, academic writing, team science, and so on. The literature about interdisciplinary higher education is currently scattered and research gaps are hard to identify, define, and defend.

So, there is a need for improving publication possibilities for practice-based projects using interdisciplinary teaching and learning as input for research and, vice versa, using research to improve interdisciplinary teaching and learning. This collection responds to this niche interest whilst explicitly striving toward maintaining the plurality of research approaches responding to the challenges of interdisciplinary higher education. Topics that will be considered include:

  • Conceptual Approaches of Multi-, Inter- and Transdisciplinary Higher Education
  • Integrative Teaching and Learning in Theory and Practice
  • Differences and Commonalities between Interdisciplinary Higher Education and Challenge-Based Learning, Community-Engaged Learning, Practice-Based Learning, etc.
  • Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning and the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning and the Inner Development Goals
  • Recognition and Reward of Interdisciplinarians at Universities and Colleges
  • Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning as Transformational Process
  • Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in Interdisciplinary Higher Education
  • Co-creating Interdisciplinary Higher Education with Students
  • Educational Tools for On-site, Hybrid, and Online Interdisciplinary Higher Education
  • Assessment of Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning
  • Teacher Competences for Interdisciplinary Teaching
  • Governance of Interdisciplinary Programmes at Universities and Colleges
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Ida Kemp has over 25 years of experience in the interdisciplinary Higher Education environment. As a holder of a Liberal Arts degree from the USA, she has experience in learning and developing programmes which cross disciplinary ‘boundaries’, as well as success in managing and developing university processes that support exceptional interdisciplinary academic practice and student-facing systems. She was instrumental in establishing UK Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching Conferences, based in the UK, which have continued to run annually in a range of sponsoring UK universities. These conferences have attracted presenters and delegates from around 15 countries around the world, with contributors representing approximately 40 different institutions. She has worked as an external assessor/examiner for multi-subject programmes at a number of UK universities, including The Open University, Newcastle University, University of Liverpool and most recently Anglia Ruskin University.



Catherine Lyall is Professor of Science and Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh where she holds a position in the School of Social and Political Science. Her career at Edinburgh has progressed from part-time Research Officer to Full Professor via numerous research contracts within grant-funded research centres and service as Head of the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies Group and as Associate Dean for Research Careers. She brought this experience to bear in her book Being an Interdisciplinary Academic. How Institutions Shape University Careers (Palgrave) which highlights some of the enduring challenges faced by researchers attempting to embed interdisciplinarity in their own career trajectory and seeks to encourage greater dialogue on how we can collectively address incongruities within the governance of interdisciplinarity. She was Co-Investigator on Shaping Interdisciplinary Practices in Europe, SHAPE-ID (Horizon 2020 grant agreement No. 822705) and led the team that developed the SHAPE-ID toolkit.



Simon Scott is an Associate Professor in the Department of Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences at the University of Birmingham. His PhD was on Nietzsche and Deleuze, and his research interests primarily cover Plato, Nietzsche, and twentieth-century French philosophy. He also teaches, and has research interests in, interdisciplinarity. He is currently researching the ethics of interdisciplinarity.





Iris van der Tuin is a Professor of theory of cultural inquiry in the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, where she is also university-wide Dean for interdisciplinary education. Iris is interested in humanities scholarship that traverses the ‘two cultures’ and reaches beyond the boundaries of academia. As such, she contributes to the new and interdisciplinary humanities and to practice-based research of interdisciplinary higher education.