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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Welcome to the

Transforming The Way We Think


The Institute of Advanced Study is a prestigious, ideas-based Institute with global reach. We bring together world-leading researchers from all disciplines to work with Durham colleagues on collaborative projects of major intellectual, scientific, political and practical significance. At least twenty visiting IAS Fellows join us in Durham each year to work with Durham scholars to spark new investigations, set tomorrow's agenda and participate in a varied programme of activities.

Each year, the IAS supports four ambitious interdisciplinary projects tackling major research questions. Leading researchers from around the globe join Durham colleagues in collaborative teams to develop ground-breaking ideas, explore interdisciplinary synergies and develop new programmes of research.

The Institute also serves as a top-level forum, enabling key-decision makers and experts to discuss pressing policy problems in an intellectually stimulating and unrestricted manner. We put on a wide range of public lectures and other events. There are also opportunities for postgraduates and other early career researchers to get involved.

The IAS aims to build research capacity, realise potential, and meet the challenges of a changing world. There are many ways to participate in the life and work of the institute. We warmly welcome your involvement.


Evaluating Interdisciplinary Research: a practical guide (Professor Veronica Strang and Professor Tom McLeish)

(23 July 2015)


A number of experts in interdisciplinary research, from UK and EU funding organisations and from a number of British Universities, participated in a workshop at Durham's Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) in early 2015 to compare and discuss methods of assessment and the criteria applied to interdisciplinary research (IDR), and to discuss how best to address the challenges of evaluating and re-valuing interdisciplinary research. 

From those initial discussions and ideas, these practical guidelines have been developed and are aimed at a range of audiences: research funding organisations and their advisors (nationally and internationally); journal editors; peer reviewers assessing work for book publishers, journals and other media; research users (for example policy makers); reviewers in University internal programmes (for example promotions committees). 

Download a copy here or alternatively to request a hard copy please contact enquiries.ias@durham.ac.uk.


IAS Contribution to the evaluation of interdisciplinary research in the REF

For a number of years the IAS has been closely involved in the development of methods of evaluating interdisciplinary research, working collaboratively with UK funding bodies/the REF. Its Executive Director, Professor Veronica Strang, is a member of the UKRI Interdisciplinary Advisory Panel, which is guiding this aspect of the REF process, and a regular speaker at the Annual REF Forum and related events. Her report Evaluating Interdisciplinary Research: a practical guide (Strang and McLeish 2015), written in consultation with a range of funding bodies, has been taken up widely, nationally and internationally. With the REF submission date coming up soon, colleagues who are considering interdisciplinary outputs for submission, or who will be involved in evaluating such research for REF sub-panels, may find this publication helpful.