It takes an academic village: Establishing an interdisciplinary research school and educating the first generations of PhDs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearch


To better understand how to structure interdisciplinary education, there is a need to study and learn from programmes at all levels in the academic system. While considerable effort has been devoted into examining bachelor’s and master’s programmes, the challenges and rewards of doctoral programmes receive less attention. In this chapter, we present the LUCID Ph.D. research school as an example of an international, interdisciplinary programme that integrates social and natural dimensions of sustainability. First, we introduce the programme’s aims and structure. We then present the main activities to facilitate student interaction over its initial seven years of operation including a common and integrated working environment, course offerings, co-authorship, and a range of the different interdisciplinary courses, seminars and workshops that exist. Subsequently, we present and discuss the difficulties relating to the process to initiate, maintain, and improve a competitive international and interdisciplinary programme, covering the challenges of dual departmental affiliation for Ph.D. candidates, interdisciplinary knowledge production and publishing, and the ambition to foster a diverse, open and inclusive educational environment. The main message is that it takes an academic village, an extended group of dedicated and reflexive staff at different levels and departments, working together in a variety of cooperative research and education processes to develop an interdisciplinary Ph.D. programme and educate the first generations of sustainability scientists.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiversity in Education
Subtitle of host publicationCrossing cultural, disciplinary and professional divides
EditorsNaoko Tojo, Bernadett Kiss
Place of PublicationLund
PublisherLund University (Media-Tryck)
ISBN (Print)978-91-87357-20-6
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 20

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


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