Aarhus University Seal

Postdoctoral training programme

The Interacting Minds Centre and the School of Culture and Society will offer a new training programme to support postdoctoral-level researchers in developing interdisciplinary research skills and experiences, starting in June 2024. The programme will consist of a series of workshops on core aspects of multidisciplinary collaboration, combining theory, exercises and networking opportunities. Seed Funding will also be offered as part of the programme for research activities, where at least one researcher has an affiliation with the School of Culture and Society.  

Interdisciplinary collaboration is considered crucial by researchers, policymakers, and funders to solve the grand challenges facing society – energy, climate and health. As a result, interdisciplinary research skills are in high demand in both academic and industry settings. However, working at the interface of different disciplines is a challenge for experienced and early career researchers alike.  

Workshops

Workshops will blend theory on interdisciplinarity, and conceptual frameworks, with practical exercises, group work, and guest lectures from international researchers. We will discuss the need for interdisciplinary research, along with its unique challenges. Practical exercises will involve trying out problem formulation and defining interdisciplinary research questions. Through group work, course participants will practice navigating uncertainties, and finding a common language and theoretical foundation. Each workshop will be planned as a day-long event, open to researchers across the university, thereby offering networking opportunities to attendees.  

Sign-up will be required for each workshop and lunch, as well as tea and coffee will be provided.  

Workshop spaces will be limited to 25 – 30, and we will prioritise early career researchers for the available spaces. More senior researchers, from Associate Professor and above, are welcome to attend if space permits.  

Seed Funding

As part of the programme, Seed Funding of up to 20,000 DKK will be made available to a number of interdisciplinary research activities or projects. The first workshop, scheduled for 27th June, will support attendees in developing a skeleton project proposal, as part of an interdisciplinary project team. Workshop attendees will play the board game “Granted”, a tool developed for collaborative grant writing. Attendees can choose to submit their “Granted” project proposal or develop a different idea.  

At least one applicant from each project must have an affiliation with the School of Culture and Society (CAS). Research activities involving collaborations between individuals with different disciplinary backgrounds will be prioritised for funding. Seed Funding recipients are strongly encouraged to attend all workshops.  

The deadline for submission of applications for Seed Funding is 5th August. Seed Funding applications will be read by an interdisciplinary research evaluation committee. Short written feedback will be provided for all applications, so that applicants can understand how their proposals have been evaluated by a committee. Applicants can expect an answer during the week beginning 12th August. 

Seed Funding of up to 20,000 DKK will be made available to each project. All Seed Funding must be used in 2024. The IMC will provide administrative support for budgeting and ensuring the funds are used in a timely manner.  

Seed Funding applicants are warmly encouraged to attend IMC activities beyond the training workshops, including the networking breakfasts, academic seminars, and monthly qualitative and quantitative research methods meetings.  

What can Seed Funding be used for?  

We recognise that different disciplines require different forms of support.  Funding must be spent within university guidelines for travel and procurement.  

Funding can be used:  

  • To pay for equipment necessary for the research activity  
  • Travel for a research activity  
  • Workshop hosting  
  • Payment of research participants (e.g., via the Cognition and Behaviour – COBE - lab)  
  • Payment of student assistants to help with data collection, interviewing, organization etc.  

Funding cannot be used:  

  • To pay for any of the project applicants’ salaries (“frikøb”)  
  • Conference attendance for an existing project 
  • Publication fees (e.g., in open access journals) 
  • Scanning costs (e.g., MRI)  
  • Ethics application costs  

Mentoring

The main applicant from each seed funding project will be assigned a mentor to support their interdisciplinary research activities. Mentors will be selected from a broad range of senior researchers affiliated with the IMC, and related centers and platforms, the Center for Humanities Computing (CHC) and the Centre for Environmental Humanities (CEH) and the BRIGHT platform (Bridging Humanities and Clinical Medicine). In selecting mentors, we will prioritise a mentor from a different disciplinary background to that of a mentee. We ask that mentors are available for three one-hour meetings scheduled until the end of 2024.

Mentoring meetings can be used to discuss, among other topics: 

  • Career planning for interdisciplinary researchers 
  • Dissemination strategy for interdisciplinary projects  
  • Grant seeking strategies  
  • Collaboration advice and networking  

What are the benefits of participating in the Interacting Minds Centre programme?

  • Formal training in best practices for interdisciplinary research  
  • Lectures and discussions with international and local researchers who have extensive experience with interdisciplinary research  
  • Practice interdisciplinary problem formulation  
  • Opportunities to interact with peers at your career level from across the university also interested in interdisciplinary research  
  • Training in research dissemination  
  • Hear about experiences of research in the public domain 
  • Develop communication skills for discussing your research with diverse audiences  
  • Learn about interdisciplinary perspectives from non-academic settings 

FAQ

Can I participate in the programme even though I am not technically a postdoc?

Answer: Our target group is researchers who have completed their PhD and who have titles such as postdoc, Researcher, Assistant Professor, but who are not yet in a permanent academic position. 

Can I participate in the workshops online?

Answer: The workshops are for in-person only attendance, as we emphasise network building and group discussions.