PhD Degree

Module 3 - Interdisciplinary research: approaches and methods

Date: 10 - 13 February 2020
Organizer: Dr Didier Wernli, Geneva Transformative Governance Lab, Global Studies Institute
Language: English
Credits: 6 ECTS
Number of participants: limited to 15
Deadline for application: 18 December 2019

While an important development of the science of inter- and transdisciplinarity has taken place in the last 30 years, interdisciplinary research methods are rarely taught. The module provides a structured approach to designing and performing interdisciplinary research with a focus on concrete strategies and methods. The module focuses on global studies is open and suitable for researchers in different areas of science.

The main objective of this module is to provide researchers with methods and approaches to conduct interdisciplinary research including: 1) Introducing a complexity worldview  2) Build on the disciplines to study a question that can not be answered by a single discipline 3) Building a new understanding  from the combination of several disciplinary perspectives and 4) Collecting data through interdisciplinary research methods (e.g mixed methods, network science).

The target audience are researchers (doctoral candidates and more advanced ones) that have already an understanding of interdisciplinarity and its challenge and seek to strengthen their interdisciplinary approach in a specific project. A parallel module, which introduces interdisciplinarity research, is organized by Prof. Frédéric Darbellay (Interdisciplinary research: Epistemic issues, theories, processes and academic career). 

In terms of format, the interdisciplinary training module consists of four days.  Morning are dedicated to ex cathedra presentations for introducing new topics while interactive sessions take place in the afternoon. Doctoral researchers will be able to discuss the interdisciplinary approach used in their research project and elaborate on the methodological challenges they face. Workshop and practical applications of interdisciplinary research by advanced researchers in different fields will be presented and discussed. The core team of instructors, all of them are involved in conducting interdisciplinary research, come from the University of Geneva but experts in interdisciplinary studies will be invited to participate in different activities to offer the best exposure to doctoral candidates.

Topics to be covered
• Interdisciplinary research process 
• Mixed method research
• Systems and complexity science


To be announced


To be eligible, applicants must hold a master’s degree and be engaged in a doctoral dissertation. More advanced researchers are welcome to attend. 
Attendance is free of charge. Some support is provided for accommodation/travel for doctoral researchers pursuing their PhD in higher education institutions in Switzerland. 

To apply, send an email to  with he following documents  (as pdf or docx formats):

  • A motivation letter (maximum of 500 words)
  • A short CV
  • Summary of the doctoral project (maximum of 500 words)
  • A letter of reference from PhD supervisor

For further enquiries, please send an email to