Transdisciplinarity research partnership

The specific aim of LPTransition is to collectively support the development of transdisciplinary research trajectories in various existing research teams at university.

Our vision is that knowledge mobilization, production and translation for social and ecological transition requires active co-involvement of researchers and practitioners during the entire research process. The end goal of such partnerships is to produce both better scientific knowledge and more socially robust knowledge. Such a "dual purpose" science has also been endorsed by major research funders (such as the Horizon 2020 program in the EU) and international research consortia such as Future Earth.

At the hart of transdisciplinary research partnerships lays knowledge co-design at all stages of the research cycle (cf. Nowotny et al. 2001, CSRH, 2012, Cornell et al. 2013)

  • Framing of research questions: whilst researchers are responsible for the scientific methodologies, both researchers and practitioners are involved in the socially robust framing of the research questions and the analysis of the problems
  • Validation : interpretation of results, formulation of recommendations and salient new research questions is done jointly by the researchers and practitioners
  • Translation : dissemination of research to the societal actors results from a joint investment in selecting the most salient research outputs, the target audiences and the appropriate dissemination formats


Popa, F., Guillermin, M., Dedeurwaerdere, T. 2015. A pragmatist approach to transdisciplinarity in sustainability research: From complex systems theory to reflexive science. Futures 2015 (65):45–56 (Open Access).

Cornell, S., Berkhout, F., Tuinstra, W., Tàbara, J. D., Jäger, J., Chabay, I., de Wit, B., Langlais, R., Mills, D., Moll, P., Otto, I. M., Petersen, A., Pohl, C., van Kerkhoff, L. 2013. Opening up knowledge systems for better responses to global environmental change, Environmental Science & Policy vol 28 2013: 60-70.

Nowotny, H., Scott, P., & Gibbons, M. 2001. Re-thinking science: knowledge and the public in an age of uncertainty (p. 12). Cambridge: Polity.

CRSH, 2012. Stratégie de mobilisation des connaissances de 2009-2011, Ottawa, Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada.

Essential reading

Nelson, I. A., London, R. A., & Strobel, K. R. 2015. Reinventing the Role of the University Researcher. Educational Researcher