tdAcademy for Transdisciplinary Research and Studies

  • Project team:

    Lang, Daniel (Project leader); Nina Frölich; Annika Weiser

  • Funding:

    Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Robert Bosch Stiftung

  • Start date:


  • End date:


  • Project partners:

    Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE), Frankfurt; Center Technology and Society (ZTG), TU Berlin; Öko-Institut, Freiburg

  • Research group:

    Designing Real-World Laboratory Research

Project description

As a platform for transdisciplinary research, the tdAcademy project entered its first phase in June 2020 and is now in its second phase.

In the completed first phase, work was carried out along four thematic lines: social and scientific impacts, context dependencies, formats, and methods. Orientation was provided by the overarching modules Researching, Enabling, and Strengthening. The four thematic lines and the modular orientation will be continued in the integrating research of the current second phase. However, the thematic lines are now more strongly related to each other. In addition, innovative questions are dealt with at the interfaces by re-examining, analyzing, and enriching data and results that have already been collected.

Firstly, the project aims to set standards for high-quality transdisciplinary research. A new, integrated consideration of essential requirements that have so far been examined separately (social and scientific effects, context-dependencies, formats, and methods) should lead to overarching quality characteristics and success factors, which will be made available to research and research funding in the form of a reflection guide.

Secondly, the project thus builds a necessary bridge between the development of such integrated quality requirements and the intended continuation in the form of the “Society for Transdisciplinary and Participatory Research”, whose foundation in 2023 was supported by several universities and non-university research institutions.

As part of the tdAcademy project consortium, the ITAS project team focuses on synthesizing the preliminary work from the perspective of topic line 3 (context) of the first project phase. In the second phase, the ITAS team will build on the respective results in cooperation with the Öko-Institut and its perspective of topic line 4 (formats).

At this interface, the question of the context-dependency of formats and methods arises. More precisely, this leads to the following questions: Which contextual conditions of a research project are particularly relevant for successful transdisciplinary project work and how can formats be selected and adapted according to these conditions? Furthermore, how can a common understanding of the context be established between different actors?

Within the framework of the project, ITAS and the other project partners will also develop and test specific capacity-building formats.


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

Tel.: +49 721 608-22336