Interdisciplinary Initiatives

University of Minnesota - Scholars WalkAbout 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.

Contact Us

Vicki Field, Director, Office of Interdisciplinary Initiatives | Email: | Phone: 612-625-6532 | General Email:
The Graduate School | 321 Johnston Hall | University of Minnesota | Minneapolis, MN 55455

Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship

The Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship (IDF) provides a unique opportunity for outstanding PhD students who are engaged in interdisciplinary research to study with faculty at one of the University’s interdisciplinary research centers or institutes during the fellowship year.  Applicants designate the host center or institute they believe is the best match with their planned dissertation 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.

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 (The committee acknowledges the substantial contributions of J.B. Shank and Alan Love in drafting this document.)

Interdisciplinary News

February 16, 2017

Social Science Research Council Interdisciplinary Dissertation Proposal Development Program

April 28, 2016

24 grad students receive awards totaling almost $100K to support summer research internships

Zachary Pope demonstrates the MapMyFitness app to a study participant
April 25, 2016

One researcher’s quest to improve student health