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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Navigating Research Boundaries: disciplines, methodologies, environments, identities

Cultivating openness and embracing discomfort in becoming inter and trans-disciplinary researchers
Credit to Anne
Credit to Anne Stalinski (

This summer school will offer a unique environment to explore what going beyond different research boundaries means and entails for you and your research. Ecological crises, competing ethno-nationalisms, microbial pandemics, and rising inequalities are some of the seemingly intractable problems that many communities face today. Where researchers are engaging with these multiscalar and interwoven phenomena, disciplinary, methodological, and sectoral silos seem woefully inadequate. Yet, academic research that is undertaken to make sense of and alleviate some of these challenges often continue to be bound to disciplinary and methodological perspectives, and to specific (academic) environments. This is compounded by the comfort that “we” as research practitioners find in holding on to “our” professional identities and familiar ideological territories.

We hold that only research that thinks and acts beyond such boundaries is adequate to seriously grapple with the challenges that these multiplying crises pose to current ways of knowing and acting. “We” researchers must embrace the discomfort emerging from the possibility that our familiar methodologies may simply be mirroring or (re)producing the inequities we seek to challenge. To move beyond this, we propose that as researchers we must cultivate an openness that centres affect (anger, anxiety, grief, sadness, but also joy and happiness), epistemological uncertainty, and careful attention to the environments and relations in which we conduct our work. Honesty and mess must be at the heart of our intellectual creation if we are to meaningfully traverse and reconfigure research boundaries and the worlds and relations we inhabit.

This summer school offers space to explore what might enable such approaches in your own research, to aid reflection on relevant questions, methodologies, disciplines, as well as the challenges and discomforts that may emerge. The programme is designed to take you through the different aspects involved in negotiating research boundaries and to equip you with the skills necessary to embark on your inter- and trans-disciplinary research journey.

The week-long summer course will take place online and will combine lectures, small group discussions, group, and solo work. PhD or advanced research (such as 2nd year ReMa) students who are conducting or interested in conducting inter and transdisciplinary are invited to apply. 25 students will be selected to participate. Participants will be assigned to a tutor who they will work with throughout the week in small groups.

Practical information

Dates & location 17 - 21 May 2021, online

€110 - Students from University of Groningen & other institutions
€ 50 - Students from Non-OECD countries
Five student scholarships will be offered to students who indicate their interest in receiving a full waiver of school fees in their motivation letters.

Academic coordinator

Dr. Geetha Reddy, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences


Helin Sahin, Administrative Coordinator


This summer course is designed for ReMa students (2nd year) and PhD students interested in conducting inter and transdicsiplinary researched. Foundational knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods is necessary.

It is expected that participants have sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Learning outcomes

After this course you will be able to:

  1. show a deep understanding of challenges involved in engaging in inter and transdisciplinary research
  2. approach these challenges with openness and confidence
  3. utilise various strategies in managing these challenges
  4. adopt a reflexive and critical perspective of different disciplines, methodologies, environments, and identities related to your own research projects


Participants who attend all sessions will receive a certificate of attendance signed by the coordinators of the summer school. Upon request the certificate can mention the workload of 46 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

Audrey Verma
Dr Audrey Verma /

Audrey (she/her) is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow and ethnographer whose research revolves primarily around the connections and frictions between humans, nature and technology. Her current research asks what it means to be human and a citizen in the digital anthropocene, and the next project she is piloting examines the impacts of heat inequalities. In addition to the interdisciplinarity of her own research practice, Audrey previously led a study of the nature of knowledge production within a large cross-sector and multi-disciplinary project in northeast England.

Dr Coll de Lima Hutchison

Coll (he/his) is an inter/trans disciplinary researcher of microbes, antibiotics and their associated humans, which he playfully refers to as an anthropology of microbes. His present research combines an anthropology of science with critical engagement of the biomedical sciences to explore the motivations (e.g. personal, existential, political, economic, disciplinary etc.) of scientists and policymakers in their “fight” against antimicrobial resistance as a global phenomena. He is currently based at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and is a co-investigator on the Antimicrobials in Society project.

Dr Geetha Reddy

Geetha (she/her) is a social psychologist based at the University of Groningen. In her current position as Assistant Professor of Transdisciplinarity and Sustainable Cooperation, she focuses on developing transdisciplinary research and teaching methods within the social sciences. Her research takes an intersectional perspective on identities, racism, migration, and multiculturalism, highlighting power structures and systems that influence the psychology of the individual as they traverse multiple social worlds.

Prof Lucy Avraamidou

Lucy (she/her) is a Rosalind Franklin Fellow and an Associate Professor of Science Education at the Institute for Science Education and Communication. Her research is associated with theoretical and empirical explorations of what it means to widen and diversify STEM participation in school and out-of-school settings through the lens of intersectionality. At the heart of the account of her work is an exploration of minoritized individuals' identity trajectories and negotiations with the use of narrative and life-history methods.

Dr Maria Ioannou

Maria (she/her) is a social psychologist and currently an Assistant Professor at the University College (UCG) of the University of Groningen. As a lecturer at a Liberal Arts institution, she is invested in developing and teaching interdisciplinary courses such as (the Philosophy, Biology and Psychology of) Love. As a researcher she is interested in intergroup conflict (resolution); a topic she has approached using multiple methods including large scale surveys, experiments, and narratives, and in collaboration with researchers from other disciplines such as media studies and political philosophy.

Application procedure

To apply, kindly fill out the online application form. Selection will take place after the deadline has closed, on 1 March 2021.

Please note that you will be asked to upload the following documents:

  • CV (max. 2 pages)
  • Letter of motivation (max. 1 page)
  • Short abstract of current research (250 words)

Please attend to the following questions in your motivation letter:

  1. How are some of the key ways inter- or transdisciplinarity feature in your current or future projects?
  2. How will attending this summer school be beneficial for you?
  3. Which lecturer's body of work are you most closely aligned with? Outline briefly what connections exist between your research interests and theirs.

The first day of lectures will be free and open to all who are interested. There will be three days of intensive workshops and panel discussions for the 25 participants. The last day will highlight participants’ presentations.

Five student scholarships will be offered to students who indicate their interest in receiving a full waiver of school fees in their motivation letters.

Last modified:31 May 2021 6.42 p.m.