02 May 2019
09:15 - 17:00

Graduate Network African Studies
Rheinsprung 21, 4051 Basel, room 00.002

Workshop / VA

Transdisciplinary Research in Action (LV 53723-01)

A workshop offered by the Graduate Network African Studies.

How do we carry out effective transdisciplinary research projects with Southern partners? What kinds of challenges await us? Where can we find resources to assist us in addressing them? This workshop uses a case study in Guatemala as a foundation to address these questions and to explore individual research projects amongst graduate and post-graduate students at the University of Basel.

The 1-day graduate workshop offers students and researchers interested in transdisciplinarity the opportunity to learn from the experiences of a multi-year international, transdisciplinary research project on zoonotic diseases in Guatemala involving partners from academia, public administration and civil society. The overall project aims to promote a transdisciplinary ‘OneHealth’ approach for developing a novel and culturally appropriate surveillance and response program for zoonotic diseases in Guatemala.

The workshop invites graduate students and researchers to consider their own research from a transdisciplinary perspective and to engage in discussions that will assist their further development. 


This workshop offers graduate and postgraduate students and researchers the opportunity to engage with and learn from a current international project in transdisciplinary research. The Guatemala case study will provide the basis for engaging the objectives, design and results of transdisciplinary research approaches more broadly.

Workshop design

The workshop includes two sections. The morning will be dedicated to the Guatemala case study. The project team will give an introduction to the project and report on its progress and outcomes. Three researchers will provide commentaries on the report from the perspective of the field of Science & Technology Studies (STS), transdisciplinary research and medical anthropology. These inputs will then be discussed by the workshop participants, opening up scope to explore individual projects.

In the afternoon, students will present their research projects, project plans or case studies and will consider them in light of readings in transdisciplinary research (made available before the workshop). The workshop participants will be invited to engage these inputs and consider them in relation to the case study and discussion earlier in the day.
The final discussion will round up and conclude with the key questions of the workshop.

Who is the workshop for?

Are you a graduate/postgraduate student or a researcher planning or carrying out research in Southern contexts? Have you considered or applied an inter- or transdisciplinary research design for your study? 

The workshop explicitly invites students and researchers from both the social and natural sciences to participate. Students can acquire 1 ECTS credit point for preparatory work and participation in the workshop. Please sign up via MONA or by email to by early April 2019.

Workshop schedule (provisional)

09.15 – 09.20



09.20 – 09.30


Objectives of workshop

09.30 – 10.00

Case study: The Guatemala Project


Summary and report

10.00 – 10.45

Methods and analysis: Transdisciplinarity and OneHealth

10.45 – 11.00

Coffee break


11.00 – 11.30

Commentary on knowledge production

Perspectives from Td research / STS / Medical Anthropology

11.30 – 12.15


Unpacking the OneHealth Guatemala project

12.15 – 13.00

Lunch break


13.00 – 14.30

Student reflections & input

Student projects / commentaries / discussions

14.30 – 14.45

Coffee break


14.45 – 16.00


Td research – conclusions of the workshop

16.00 – 17.00

Informal discussion

Take home message

*Duration of the workshop will be informed by the number of student presentations


Prof. Dr. Brigit Obrist, Anthropology and Swiss TPH, University of Basel

Dr. James Merron, Centre for African Studies, University of Basel

PD Dr. Alexandra Hofmänner, Science & Technology Studies, University of Basel

PD Dr. Piet van Eeuwijk, Anthropology and Swiss TPH, University of Basel

Dr. Monica Berger, University del Valle de Guatemala and Swiss TPH, University of Basel


Berger-González, M., Stauffacher, M., Zinsstag, J., Edwards, P., & Krütli, P. (2016). “Transdisciplinary Research on Cancer-Healing Systems Between Biomedicine and the Maya of Guatemala: A Tool for Reciprocal Reflexivity in a Multi-Epistemological Setting”. Qualitative Health Research, 26(1), 77-91.

Cole, A. (2017). “Towards an Indigenous Transdisciplinarity”. Transdisciplinary Journal of Engineering & Science, 8(1), 127-150.

Klein, J. T. (2013). “The transdisciplinary moment (um)”. Integral Review, 9(2), 189-199.

Pohl, C. (2011). “What is progress in transdisciplinary research”. Futures, 43(6), 618-626.


Td-net Methods and tools for co-producing knowledge (Swiss Academies of Arts and Science):

Download: Poster (pdf)



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