10 Years of the Forum for Interdisciplinary Research – A review
The Forum for Interdisciplinary Research, FIF, has evolved over the course of over ten years since it was founded in 2008. You could even say that it has grown with its responsibilities. These include tasks related to academic management (such as the organisation of interdisciplinary project funding at the TU Darmstadt within the framework of the Funding Initiative for Interdisciplinary Research) as well at the development of new event formats – for example Interdisciplinary Day which has been held since 2016, the FiF Lecture held for the first time in 2017 and the Denkräume or Realms for Thinking, launched in 2018. It was above all the Senate decision of 2017 which recognised and stabilised FiF as one of the university’s central institutions and created a basis for the continued promotion of interdisciplinary research in future. The anniversary year in 2018 was an opportunity to celebrate with a range of top-class events, not least a festive ceremony and reception. The small publication published to commemorate the anniversary of FiF (Zwischendrin, published by Andreas Großmann, Heike Krebs and Josef Wiemeyer, Darmstadt 2018) gives insight into the “engine room” of FiF and to the current and future challenges faced by institutionalised interdisciplinarity at the TU Darmstadt.
In this sense: ad multos annos!
The FiF was founded as a result of a senate vote from December 2008 and confirmed as a permanent institution by the senat in March 2017.
In its current form, working broadly throughout the university to foster networks, it is the result of an internal university discussion on how best to reorganise interdisciplinary research.
The Forum for Interdisciplinary Research builds on the successful and long established interdisciplinary work at the TU Darmstadt. It understands itself as a bridge-building instrument fostering the interdisciplinary culture at the university.
Up to 5 selected scientists at the TU Darmstadt serve for approx. 3 years as Fellows of the Forum. The Fellows comprise the active core of the interdisciplinary research forum. The Fellows ensure the continuity of the plenum, plan the Forum's yearly retreat and draft – above and beyond the plenum – a fixed portion of the programme. They are supported and assisted by the scientific associates at the FiF and the office staff.
Mission of the Forum for Interdisciplinary Research
- serves to promote an interdisciplinary culture at the university as a beacon of responsibility, security and sustainability.
- bundles existing interdisciplinary activities
- networks internals researchers and junior researchers
- transfers research results into the classroom
- initiates ideas and cooperations
- develops interdisciplinary research projects
- offers an interdisciplinary framework for the presentation of research
- is a place for curiosity, a culture of debate, dialogue and self-reflection