Survey for first Interdisciplinary Science Rankings now open

Responses from academics will be used alongside other data to create new ranking

February 27, 2024
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Scholars are being asked for their views on excellence in interdisciplinary research to help fuel a new Times Higher Education ranking on the topic.

The Interdisciplinary Science Research Survey targets experienced, published academics across the world and asks for their views about their own research and their institutions’ interdisciplinary research in science subjects. It also asks them to name up to five institutions that they believe are the best in supporting interdisciplinary research between science subjects.

The survey, which is available in 12 languages and typically takes up to five minutes to complete, has been sent to universities registered with THE, who are in turn encouraged to direct it to research staff working in science subjects. It will close on 31 May.

The questionnaire can be forwarded to colleagues, but each scholar can only complete it once.

Science disciplines are defined according to THE’s mapping guide of 11 subjects and include: physical sciences, life sciences, engineering and computer science.

The results will inform THE’s inaugural Interdisciplinary Science Rankings (ISR) – a project in partnership with Schmidt Science Fellows – which will be published in autumn 2024.

The ranking will measure university performance in three areas: input (funding and recruitment); process (rewards, incentives, facilities and administrative support); and output (research quality).

Data from the survey will be used for the process and output pillars. The ranking will also draw on institutional data provided directly by universities and bibliometric data.

Universities that would like to participate in the Interdisciplinary Science Rankings must submit data via the World University Rankings portal. Data collection closes on 30 March.

A preliminary analysis published in October found that universities are not walking the talk on interdisciplinary science, with about a third of participating global universities failing to reward staff for cross-disciplinary research or to measure the success of such work.

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