Evaluation Criteria for applications to the Incubation Programme
Interdisciplinarity in the Lancaster context
This note sets out the criteria to be employed by the Academic Board
to evaluate bids to support interdisciplinary projects. They should be interpreted in the Lancaster context rather than
omnibus terms. In particular, whilst programmes are open to participation
from colleagues in any part of the University, funding
from the Incubation Programme is intended primarily for programmes that are initiated and led by colleagues
in FASS and LUMS and fall largely within the concerns of these faculties.
- An inter-disciplinary programme identifies a philosophical, methodological,
or substantive theme or problem whose character will be illuminated
by combining the theoretical approaches, techniques, and skills of colleagues
in two or more departments (or, more generally, from traditional disciplines).
This could also be termed "additive interdisciplinarity".
This criterion rules out IAS funding for programmes that are already firmly
located and adequately approached within one department or centre –
funding for these is appropriately sought elsewhere. This criterion
will be met where one of the philosophical, methodological, or substantive
dimensions has an interdisciplinary aspect.
- A post-disciplinary programme identifies a philosophical, methodological,
or substantive theme or problem that challenges the legitimacy of established
disciplinary boundaries as defined by existing departments and research
centres at Lancaster and seeks to investigate that theme and/or to resolve
that problem through discipline-transcending or other novel forms of
inquiry. This could also be termed "integrative inter-disciplinarity".
An interdisciplinary aspect to one of the philosophical, methodological,
or substantive dimensions is sufficient to meet this criterion. The
principal purpose of this criterion is to exclude post-disciplinary
programmes that are already firmly rooted in – and largely confined
to – one of the trans-disciplinary institutes or centres in Lancaster
and therefore appropriately funded by that institute or centre or from
elsewhere. Programmes that have significant involvement from colleagues
beyond a given institute or centre (including from other such institutes
or centres) will normally be considered to meet this criterion.
- Among programmes that meet these criteria, priority will be given to
proposals that identify outcomes that contribute to local capacity-building or are otherwise beneficial to relevant faculty and university strategic
These criteria are intended as guidelines and do not exclude any particular
philosophical, methodological, or substantive theme from consideration.
The aim is to encourage innovative programmes that would benefit from seedcorn
funding rather than to reward already consolidated inter- or post-disciplinary
groupings for doing what they already do well. In the absence of funding
requests that would benefit from seedcorn funding, IAS funding can also
be used for bids that promote consolidation. Proposals that are essentially
seeking support for the publication of scholarly or research output are
ineligible for IAS funding.