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Promoting multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary ageing research in the United Kingdom

Hennessy C & Walker A (2011) Promoting multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary ageing research in the United Kingdom. Ageing and Society, 31 (1), pp. 52-69.

Multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary working has for long been advocated in gerontology, and sometimes contested. Although collaboration between disciplines is common practice in many areas of ageing research, much remains to be done to develop and support such work. Internationally, funding agencies, scientific associations and other stakeholders in ageing research are actively involved in establishing the methods and means to promote cross-disciplinary co-operation in the field. In the United Kingdom (UK) since the late 1990s, the statutory Research Councils with key interests in ageing and older people have been actively pursuing research programmes that feature multi-disciplinarity and inter-disciplinarity. The National Collaboration on Ageing Research (NCAR), a partnership among four of the Research Councils to stimulate cross-disciplinary collaboration, worked with scientists, funding bodies, and research users to develop approaches to multi- and inter-disciplinary research, and their work informed the New Dynamics of Ageing (NDA) Programme, a major cross-Research Council programme of multi-disciplinary research which spans the social, medical, biological and engineering sciences and the arts and humanities. Drawing on the authors' participation in these activities, this article reviews key developments in the promotion of multi-disciplinary science on ageing in the UK and highlights how this is being pursued in the NDA Programme. © 2010 Cambridge University Press.

science policy; research development; multi-disciplinarity; inter-disciplinarity

Ageing and Society: Volume 31, Issue 1

Author(s)Hennessy, Catherine; Walker, Alan
FundersUniversity of Sheffield
Publication date31/01/2011
Publication date online17/09/2010
Date accepted by journal25/06/2010
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