UCL School of Management

19 February 2021

The need for interdisciplinary research and policy making

Academia has traditionally worked in silos and it takes perseverance and passion to change this. Forward-looking and collaborative interdisciplinary research is essential to educate future leaders and professionals.

Speaking with Al-Fanar Media, Susana Frazao Pinheiro, discussed the ever-growing importance of interdisciplinary research initiatives and how the UCL School of Management is spearheading this multidiscipline style of learning through combined programmes with UCL’s School of Pharmacy.

Covid-19 is a perfect example of a problem that demands an interdisciplinary approach. To deal with this crisis, we need the combined efforts of physicians, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, virologists, geneticists, immunologists, and mental health experts.

Pinheiro believes that in order to take promising pharmaceutical research and other innovations into the market, it is important for scientists to have an understanding of business and entrepreneurial skills, language and knowledge.

Another area that requires an interdisciplinary approach is the need to train future doctors in management skills. They need to learn how to assess the benefits and the intended and unintended consequences of potentially life-saving innovations.

For this interdisciplinary research to truly work, it requires accepting and embracing doubt and uncertainty. Interdisciplinary approaches allow for constant learning from other ways of looking at the world and from various perspectives. It is a proactive and dynamic process. For the efforts to be sustained, it is also essential that lessons are shared and clearly communicated to technical and non-technical audiences.

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Last updated Friday, 26 February 2021