“Effectively Fund inter- and Transdisciplinary Research” – UNICA – CESAER network joint workshop

The event “Effectively Fund inter- and Transdisciplinary Research” took place on Wednesday, 14 October 2020 (10:00 – 12:00 CEST).

The workshop addressed existing barriers to achieving high-quality integration of SSH in STEM-led projects under the EU funding instruments, presented proposals on how to overcome them and developed recommendations for funders. UNICA jointly organised the event with the Task Force Link SSH with STEM, the Task Force Competitive Funding and is part of the CESAER Annual Meetings 2020, which this year takes place fully online.

The goals of the workshop have been to:

– Present and discuss proposals from various universities on how to improve funding for inter- and transdisciplinary research;

– Develop recommendations for funders how to better support inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration through EU funding instruments.


Inter- and transdisciplinary research presents new opportunities for cooperation between specialists with diverse backgrounds in both the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Such engagement – bridging different subjects, methodologies and research fields – allows complex problems to be addressed from various angles simultaneously. Moreover, bringing knowledge and ideas from different disciplines within one approach can act as a catalyst for innovations and more creative solutions to address grand societal challenges, such as COVID-19 pandemic. 

Despite the efforts to achieve deeper integration of SSH disciplines into the European research funding programmes, the success so far has been limited. The most recent statistics from 2017 show that the share of the overall annual budget going to SSH partners has gone up from 7% in 2016 to 8.5% in 2017. For topics flagged for SSH, the share of programme budget went up from 20% to 23% in this period. However, depending on the threshold of measurement used, only between 41% and 56% of projects with SSH involvement demonstrated levels of SSH integration considered to be ‘good’.

The workshop will address the existing barriers to achieving high-quality integration of SSH in STEM-led projects under the EU framework programmes for research and innovation, present proposals how to overcome them and develop recommendations for funders. 

The recordings of the workshop are available here.


The videos are available here