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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 plans.

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.

 

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