Multidisciplinary Research Themes and Training

Dr. Diane Payne (School of Sociology, UCD)

Room 333, Arás Moyola, NUI Galway 11:30 :: 10th October 2011

More often we think about research problems in a structured way informed by our own disciplines. Even when we are aware of the wider context of a particular problem we tend to abstract from those potential ramifications for the sake of tractability. This trade-off between tractability and complexity forms one kind of barrier that discourages us from doing multidisciplinary research. The objective of this series is to explore the scope and the range of multidisciplinarity that one can achieve in particular research problems that are situated in business studies and in social sciences. In order to achieve this objective we need to explore the interstitial spaces that exist between disciplines, and this series provides a forum to facilitate such a dialogue within the Institute.

‘Break the Barrier’ series is designed for this purpose and it is intended to provide an informal atmosphere for an open and critical dialogue between members of various clusters to identify those interstitial spaces that exist between the research themes. Over the next four weeks we have invited external speakers to discuss, explore and engage with the Institute members on the opportunities and benefits of conducting multi disciplinary research. Following this we would like to invite members of the institute to lead this series. This format of the presentation would be to give 30-35 minutes to individual speakers or a group to present their ongoing research problem and conclude their presentation with a critical analysis of their own discipline barriers in incorporating wider ramifications of their research problem. The floor will be opened for discussion after the presentation for a dialogue on various aspects of the research problem.

We believe that this exercise is an important first step that would inform us all of the potential synergies that can be derived across the existing research themes, and across various clusters within these themes. Our aim is that this series, and other initiatives that we have planned, would help us to develop a multidisciplinary research agenda through a bottom-up process. In order to facilitate such a process we plan to culminate these activities with a two-day workshop/off-site meeting in December this year, which, we hope, would provide an inclusive forum to consolidate the research agenda of the Institute.

We would like to welcome you to participate and contribute to the series, and hope it would provide a constructive and critical forum for exchange of ideas that will strengthen and shape our multidisciplinary research agenda.

The inaugural talk will be held on Monday the 10th of October in room 333, Aras Moyola at 11:30am and the talk will be given by Dr. Diane Payne, School of Sociology, UCD. To mark the occasion we plan to have a modest reception at 11am before the start of the talk in the same venue. In this talk Dr. Payne would provide an overview of the multidisciplinary research themes and training offered in the UCD Geary Institute with a particular focus on the Geary Dynamics Lab.

Dr. Payne did her doctoral research at the Interuniversity Centre for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS) at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. After the completion of her doctoral research, Dr. Payne worked at the University of Cambridge in England and co-authored with the then Leverhulme Research Professor Robert Bennett extensively on regional development in the United Kingdom. Dr. Payne has received a number of major research awards from various Irish and International funding bodies and has an excellent track record in successfully completing and publishing the research work proposed for these various research awards to date. Dr. Diane Payne is currently the Director of the Dynamics Lab at the UCD Geary Institute.

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