Barriers and solutions to conducting large international, interdisciplinary research projects

Pischke, Erin C.; Knowlton, Jessie L.; Phifer, Colin C.; Gutierrez Lopez, José; Propato, Tamara Sofía; Eastmond, Amarella; Martins de Souza, Tatiana; Kuhlberg, Mark; Picasso Risso, Valentin; Veron, Santiago Ramón; Garcia, Carlos; Chiappe, Marta; Halvorsen, Kathleen E.
Publication Year
Published version
Global environmental problems such as climate change are not bounded by national borders or scientific disciplines, and therefore require international, interdisciplinary teamwork to develop understandings of their causes and solutions. Interdisciplinary scientific work is difficult enough, but these challenges are often magnified when teams also work across national boundaries. The literature on the challenges of interdisciplinary research is extensive. However, research on international, interdisciplinary teams is nearly non-existent. Our objective is to fill this gap by reporting on results from a study of a large interdisciplinary, international National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education (NSF-PIRE) research project across the Americas. We administered a structured questionnaire to team members about challenges they faced while working together across disciplines and outside of their home countries in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Analysis of the responses indicated five major types of barriers to conducting interdisciplinary, international research: integration, language, fieldwork logistics, personnel and relationships, and time commitment. We discuss the causes and recommended solutions to the most common barriers. Our findings can help other interdisciplinary, international research teams anticipate challenges, and develop effective solutions to minimize the negative impacts of these barriers to their research.
Instituto de Clima y Agua
Fil: Pischke, Erin C. Michigan Technological University; Estados Unidos
Fil: Knowlton, Jessie L. Michigan Technological University; Estados Unidos. Wheaton College; Estados Unidos
Fil: Phifer, Colin C. Michigan Technological University; Estados Unidos
Fil: Gutierrez Lopez, José. University of New Hampshire; Estados Unidos
Fil: Propato, Tamara Sofía. INTA. Instituto de Clima y Agua; Argentina. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Agronomía; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina
Fil: Eastmond, Amarella. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Yucatán; México
Fil: Martins de Souza, Tatiana. Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro; Brasil. Conservation International; Brasil
Fil: Kuhlberg, Mark. Laurentian University; Canadá
Fil: Picasso Risso, Valentin. Universidad de la República; Uruguay. University of Wisconsin–Madison; Estados Unidos
Fil: Verón, Santiago Ramón. INTA. Instituto de Clima y Agua; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Agronomía; Argentina
Fil: Garcia, Carlos. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores Unidad Morelia; México
Fil: Chiappe, Marta. Universidad de la República; Uruguay
Fil: Halvorsen, Kathleen E. Michigan Technological University; Estados Unidos
Environmental management 60 (6) : 1011–1021. (December 2017)
Latin America
Research Projects
Interdisciplinary Research
América Latina
Proyectos de Investigación
Investigación Interdisciplinar
Socioecological Systems
Sistemas Socioecologicos
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Restricted access
INTA Digital (INTA)
Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria
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