Institute for Technology Assessment and  Systems Analysis (ITAS)

Doctoral project - Disciplinary research in transdisciplinarity. Doctoral theses in technology asssessment (TRANSDISS)

Project description

Junior researchers in the field of technology assessment (TA) are facing specific challenges TA as problem-orientated research typically involves inter-, resp., trans-disciplinary perspectives. In the beginning this may constitute a difficulty for most researchers with a disciplinary scientific background. The own disciplinary view of a problem may conflict with the views of other scientific disciplines which can lead to an adaptation the proper disciplinary view and the perspective in which one’s own discipline is related to other disciplines. Considering postgraduate PhD work, these difficulties become even stronger. The disciplinary scientific aspects not only have to be integrated in an inter- and trans-disciplinary research setting, but postgraduates have to maintain and extend their disciplinarily knowledge, because it is still the disciplinary qualification which is examined in doctoral examinations.

TRANSDISS constitutes a discussion forum for the support of PhD students who do their research in this highly demanding field.

The funding measure TRANSDISS calls for PhD students in the vast field of TA (technology assessment, practical ethics, systems analysis, risk research, technology shaping for sustainable development, innovation- and technology analysis, future studies) that deal with trans-disciplinary problems, which they approach from a disciplinary perspective.

TRANSDISS is funding a series of 10 to 12 workshops that are aiming at:

  1. Presenting and discussing the concepts of TA as mentioned above in order to convey the basics of TA
  2. The PhD students introducing the current state of their work having the opportunity to discuss their results in a trans-disciplinary context

Three meetings each year are planned, as the case may be, in the frame of the NTA conferences. The outcome of the discussions within the project is meant to lead to active participation (via posters and other contributions) at the conferences of the TA network (NTA). In this way, the PhD student will be connected to the TA community.

Further information on the project and on the prerequisites for student allowances can be found here (German).


Decker, M.
Vordenken - Mitdenken - Nachdenken. Einführungsvortrag zum Workshop.
2012. Workshop “Technikfolgenabschätzung im Dienste einer pluralistischen Politik” (2012), Bern, Switzerland, October 29–31, 2012 


Prof. Dr. Michael Decker
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe

Phone: +49 721 608-23007