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Celebration of UiO:Life Sciences' first generation convergence environments

In 2017, something completely new happened at the University of Oslo, the first convergence environments were created under the auspices of UiO:Life Science. The six interdisciplinary research groups that were selected after a thorough application process were to solve major societal challenges in health and the environment. Wednesday 30 March was the closing event and time to share experience and results.

Paneldebatt ledere av konvergensmiljø
On the occasion of the end of the funding period for the first generation convergence environment, UiO:Life Science invited to a closing event where the leaders of the convergence environments presented results and shared experiences of interdisciplinary research collaboration. From left Stefan Krauss, Arnoldo Frigessi, Irep Gözen, Kjetill S. Jakobsen, Kathrine Borgå, Arne Klungland and Øyvind Fylling-Jensen. Photo: Fartein Rudjord/UiO.

When the six convergence environments were established, both the concept of "convergence" and research projects with integrated interdisciplinary research collaboration were new at UiO. Rector Svein Stølen took us back in time and talked about the background for the initiative to the convergence environments in his speech. - Many of the challenges we face can not be answered by one discipline alone. They are complex and intertwined, and require knowledge and insight and different angles to understand and deal with. The strength of convergence lies in the combination of strong academic disciplines with new interdisciplinary approaches. So besides being necessary to deal with very complex issues, it also adds an innovative dimension to the research itself.

The leaders of the convergence environments were present to share their experiences of interdisciplinary collaboration, unexpected challenges and results of interdisciplinary collaboration. All expressed that interdisciplinary research collaboration is demanding. The understanding of interdisciplinarity can also vary, and several of the environments have taken measures to gain a common understanding of the concept. But regardless of the challenges, it was agreed that the interdisciplinary collaboration has been rewarding and has led to exciting publications, in addition to several new projects that have received external funding.
In the panel discussion, moderated by UiO:Life Sciences' chair Øyvind Fylling-Jensen, the leaders were challenged to suggest changes to the initiative on convergence environments. UiO:Life Science will include the input in the further work with established and future convergence environments. 

These are UiO:Life Sciences' first generation convergence environments 

The convergence environments were selected after an application round that started in 2016. UiO:Life Science funded the convergence environments with PhD and postdoctoral positions for a period of four years, from 2017 to 2021. In total, 20 convergence environments have been created with funding from UiO:Life Science.



Published Mar. 31, 2022 4:00 PM - Last modified Mar. 31, 2022 7:00 PM