5 Benefits of Interdisciplinary Collaboration In Graduate Research

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Updated August 4, 2020

Benefits of Interdisciplinary Collaboration In Graduate Research

  • Develops Critical Thinking Skills
  • Provides More In-Depth Perspectives
  • Develops Creative Solutions
  • Heightens Communication Skills
  • Helps Prepare for a Career in a New and Emerging Field

Interdisciplinary collaboration is often the basis for advanced education. It is usually practiced in the healthcare industry but brings a number of advantages in other areas as well. This concept involves crossing various disciplines or fields and integrating different ideas into cohesive thoughts so that they work in unison to accomplish a common goal.

Resource: 50 Best Graduate Research Institutes

Here are five benefits it brings to graduate research.

1. Develops Critical Thinking Skills

As graduate students work past disciplinary boundaries, they develop essential critical thinking skills, including self-awareness and open-mindedness. Critical thinking relies on evidence and not emotions and recognizes prejudices and biases. It follows the methods used in scientific investigation.

Many argue education has become stagnate, and classroom learning has become overly focused on factual information. Oftentimes, students are taught what to think over how to form thoughts, which is the basis for critical thinking. When graduate students learn the difference, they will be on the path to success.

2. Provides More In-Depth Perspectives

When a student is rooted in one frame of thought, certain aspects of a topic may be ignored or overlooked. However, interdisciplinary collaboration brings students together and allows them to explore and discuss multiple perspectives. As opposite mindsets unite, topics are thoroughly discussed on a number of levels, and results have an in-depth analysis. This means research will have a deeper scope than with only one perspective.

3. Develops Creative Solutions

When a student considers only one line of thought, solutions to problems are limited to a narrow line of possibilities. However, collaborating with individuals in other fields broadens a person's perspective and allows the group to borrow ideas and blend theories to develop creative solutions. Today's world faces a high number of challenging dilemmas, so it is vital to cover as many avenues as possible. Converging thought processes is a smart way to uncover new ways of overcoming obstacles.

4. Heightens Communication Skills

When people from different backgrounds or areas of study join forces for research purposes, it is essential to tap into effective ways to communicate ideas and thoughts. For instance, a graduate student studying ecology may not have much in common with a political science major. However, with the complexities of problems facing the world, including climate change and population growth, these individuals must work together by honing their communication skills. Learning how to convey or receive information in an effective manner from others who have little knowledge about a particular topic is a strong asset and will help a student gain success outside the university setting.

5. Helps Prepare for a Career in a New and Emerging Field

With the opportunity to work with people in other disciplines, it opens a person's eyes and thoughts to various career paths. Interdisciplinary collaboration in graduate research often shines new light on emerging fields that may never have been considered with conventional learning. Thanks to advancements in technology, medicine, and other scientific industries, a person has the chance to help make strides in important areas of study that create significant meaning for the betterment of others.

Interdisciplinary collaboration in graduate research allows for the evolution of ideas and the mixture of characteristics from various disciplines. Also, it deals with students' individual differences and provides the ability to develop vital skills like communication and critical thinking. It is an effective tool that sparks enthusiasm for learning.

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