As part of the "Early Career Researcher Sessions" of the ITD Conference 2021, tdAcademy had the opportunity to host a workshop on "Capacity building and networking for transdisciplinary early-career researchers" in September 2021. The workshop was organized and conducted by David Lam and Josefa Kny from the tdAcademy team together with BinBin Pearce from the Swiss Young Academy.

With 27 participants from 21 different institutions and 13 different countries, there was a diverse exchange of experiences regarding further education opportunities for transdisciplinary research. In summary, the following needs were formulated:

What formats would the early-career researches like to participate in?

  • Diverse: regular exchange formats and platforms (knowledge cafés), summer/winter schools, webinar series, (peer) mentoring programs, experimental labs (art-science labs), science-society meetings
  • Especially networking opportunities to exchange and network globally with ECR peers and senior researchers

Which key needs were mentioned?

  • Gaining a better theoretical and methodological understanding of TD
  • Dealing with the daily challenges as a transdisciplinary researcher (e.g. translating between fields (e.g. different epistemologies, ontologies))
  • Learning how to monitor and measure transdisciplinarity
  • Having a space for peer exchange, e.g. to test methods and ask for support

Which methodological focal points were formulated?

  • Skills: Moderation, mediation, conflict management, stakeholder integration, publishing transdisciplinary research, transdisciplinary methods and proposal writing
  • Content: Theory of Change, Science communication, Innovation and Creativity

From the tdAcademy's point of view, the workshop was very productive. In the future, it will incorporate the findings into its own capacity building offerings and networking activities.