Interdisciplinarity

Interdisciplinarity involves the combining of several teams coming from different academic disciplines in the pursuit of a common goal. Indeed, if specialization into separate disciplines has enabled scientific research to enter its "modern" phase, it may find its limits when facing complex issues. As a matter of fact, interactions between specialists and dialog across disciplines allow for a better understanding of a subject in a more global reality, and often generate mutual progress and knowledge advances, as shown by the example of cognitive sciences. Thus interdisciplinarity completes disciplinarity and is potentially fruitful, but also painful and unnatural to researchers driven by the recognition of their own disciplinary community. Interdisciplinarity is good to hear and talk about, but much harder to achieve actually, with pitfalls going from a superficial interdisciplinarity to the risks of conceptual confusion and approximation. Interdisciplinarity doesn't come to order. It should be a rigorous approach, initiated by specialists as an answer to concrete issues identified at the interface of their disciplines, issues that a sole disciplinary approach can't solve and which require a complete set of concepts, knowledge and technics in order to be comprehended.

A*MIDEX Interdisciplinary Fund earmarks funding for strongly interdisciplinary research projects. A call for proposals will be every other year centered on A*MIDEX’s priorities, but also opened to other disciplines. The jury will be composed of AMU and external scientists renowned for their interdisciplinary achievements. Selection will be based on 4 major criteria: (i) potential of the project in terms of socio-economic impact; (ii) academic track record of involved researchers; (iii) relevance and quality of the project in terms of disciplines combination; and (iv) complementarity with an interdisciplinary education project.

The Interdisciplinary fund in a nutshell:
Key criteria of the call for projects:
- Relevance and quality of the project in terms of disciplines combination
- Academic track record of involved researchers
- Complementarity with an interdisciplinary education project
- Potential of the project in terms of socio-economic impact
1.4 M€/ year for 2 projects financed for 2 years
Eligible costs: funding for contract staff, light equipment, operating costs.