Interdisciplinary Initiatives


About the Office of Interdisciplinary Initiatives

The Graduate School’s Office of Interdisciplinary Initiatives is committed to leading the development of programs and opportunities that enhance the University of Minnesota’s ability to foster interdisciplinary inquiry by graduate students and faculty.

We expect these initiatives to remove barriers to working effectively across disciplines, to significantly improve our ability to conduct interdisciplinary research, scholarship and creative work, and to provide unparalleled interdisciplinary graduate education and training.


Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship

The Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship (IDF), administered by the Office of Interdisciplinary Initiatives for 2015-16, provides a unique opportunity for outstanding doctoral students whose research is interdisciplinary and who would benefit from interaction with faculty at one of the University’s interdisciplinary research centers or institutes. Applicants designate the host center or institute they believe is the best match with their research topic, contingent upon endorsement by the host center or institute. Applicants should check with mentors and directors early to ensure a good match. See the IDF website for complete details. DEADLINE: 12:00 noon, Thursday, November 13, 2014.

Characterizing Interdisciplinary

Defining “interdisciplinary” is challenging at best, and no single definition fits every circumstance. Recognizing this, a Graduate School committee—the Interdisciplinary Faculty Advisory Committee—in 2014 developed a multidimensional approach to characterizing interdisciplinary for use in a graduate and professional education setting. Input is invited both on the general approach developed by the committee and the document that addresses this framework. Observations and/or suggestions may be sent to field001@umn.edu. (The committee acknowledges the substantial contributions of J.B. Shank and Alan Love in drafting this document.)

News & Events

Discovery Across Disciplines

Thursday, October 16, 2 - 4 pm, 3rd Floor of Coffman Memorial Union.  The Discovery Across Disciplines showcase will highlight the exciting and engaging work of more than 50 of the University’s interdisciplinary research centers and institutes. Take time to connect with others across campus who share your research and scholarly interests at this poster-session-style event. Browse the exhibits, interact with researchers, network with colleagues, and learn about opportunities for involvement in interdisciplinary inquiry. Graduate students, postdocs, and new (and relatively new) faculty are especially encouraged to attend.

Archived News 

Archived news from the Office of Interdisciplinary Initiatives is available here.


Interdisciplinary and Integrative Leadership Opportunities

Are you a graduate student with interdisciplinary interests looking to develop leadership and/or public engagement skills?  Check out the Boreas Leadership Program, ACARA, the Center for Integrative Leadership, and the Office of Public Engagement for starters.