Challenges of trainees in a multidisciplinary research program

Nano-biotechnology

Christina Kriegel, Jessica Koehne, Sally Tinkle, Andrew D. Maynard, Rodney A. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The breadth of knowledge required for the multidisciplinary field of nanotechnology challenges and extends traditional concepts of multidisciplinary graduate education. There is a paucity of information, both general reporting and peer-reviewed studies, on the challenges for graduate students working in this multidisciplinary paradigm, from the students’ perspectives. We report two graduate-student perspectives from different instructional models: (i) the core academic department that has expanded student choice by allowing additional classes to be taken from outside the core department and (ii) multiple departments working together to provide choice and diversity across the curriculum. We find, even after many years of multidisciplinary research, that traditional university organizational structure does not easily accommodate multidisciplinary research. In addition, administrative autonomy of academic departments and colleges, competition among various departments for contracts and grant submission, and a disconnect between research and teaching challenge multidisciplinary research endeavors. The students recommend that (i) university administrators support multidisciplinary departments and develop mechanisms to promote faculty participation; (ii) institutions and departments provide more multidisciplinary groups, centers, and institutes and encourage networking through broad collaboration; (iii) more graduate and postdoctoral fellowships for multidisciplinary research be created; and (iv) departments create more flexible curricula allowing their students to participate in more courses outside the department, necessary for a multidisciplinary thesis. Progress in multidisciplinary science will rely both on deep, specialized knowledge and, increasingly, on scientists who can speak a number of scientific languages and take advantage of synergistic connections. As new and more effective approaches to multidisciplinary training are developed, perhaps it is time to listen more to those with the most intimate experience of the system’s successes and failures—the students who are training now to be the next generation of research leaders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-55
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Volume88
Issue number1
Early online dateOct 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

Biotechnology
biotechnology
trainee
Students
graduate
student
Curricula
curriculum
university
nanotechnology
organizational structure
Nanotechnology
grant
networking
Teaching
Education
autonomy
leader
paradigm
participation

Cite this

Kriegel, Christina ; Koehne, Jessica ; Tinkle, Sally ; Maynard, Andrew D. ; Hill, Rodney A. / Challenges of trainees in a multidisciplinary research program : Nano-biotechnology. In: Journal of Chemical Education. 2011 ; Vol. 88, No. 1. pp. 53-55.
@article{58c89d13b58c49b2ad48d48fce0cbd28,
title = "Challenges of trainees in a multidisciplinary research program: Nano-biotechnology",
abstract = "The breadth of knowledge required for the multidisciplinary field of nanotechnology challenges and extends traditional concepts of multidisciplinary graduate education. There is a paucity of information, both general reporting and peer-reviewed studies, on the challenges for graduate students working in this multidisciplinary paradigm, from the students’ perspectives. We report two graduate-student perspectives from different instructional models: (i) the core academic department that has expanded student choice by allowing additional classes to be taken from outside the core department and (ii) multiple departments working together to provide choice and diversity across the curriculum. We find, even after many years of multidisciplinary research, that traditional university organizational structure does not easily accommodate multidisciplinary research. In addition, administrative autonomy of academic departments and colleges, competition among various departments for contracts and grant submission, and a disconnect between research and teaching challenge multidisciplinary research endeavors. The students recommend that (i) university administrators support multidisciplinary departments and develop mechanisms to promote faculty participation; (ii) institutions and departments provide more multidisciplinary groups, centers, and institutes and encourage networking through broad collaboration; (iii) more graduate and postdoctoral fellowships for multidisciplinary research be created; and (iv) departments create more flexible curricula allowing their students to participate in more courses outside the department, necessary for a multidisciplinary thesis. Progress in multidisciplinary science will rely both on deep, specialized knowledge and, increasingly, on scientists who can speak a number of scientific languages and take advantage of synergistic connections. As new and more effective approaches to multidisciplinary training are developed, perhaps it is time to listen more to those with the most intimate experience of the system’s successes and failures—the students who are training now to be the next generation of research leaders.",
author = "Christina Kriegel and Jessica Koehne and Sally Tinkle and Maynard, {Andrew D.} and Hill, {Rodney A.}",
note = "Kriegel, Christina Koehne, Jessica Tinkle, Sally Maynard, Andrew D. Hill, Rodney A.",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.1021/ed1001174",
language = "English",
volume = "88",
pages = "53--55",
journal = "Journal of Chemical Education",
issn = "0021-9584",
publisher = "American Chemical Society",
number = "1",

}

Challenges of trainees in a multidisciplinary research program : Nano-biotechnology. / Kriegel, Christina; Koehne, Jessica; Tinkle, Sally; Maynard, Andrew D.; Hill, Rodney A.

In: Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 88, No. 1, 2011, p. 53-55.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Challenges of trainees in a multidisciplinary research program

T2 - Nano-biotechnology

AU - Kriegel, Christina

AU - Koehne, Jessica

AU - Tinkle, Sally

AU - Maynard, Andrew D.

AU - Hill, Rodney A.

N1 - Kriegel, Christina Koehne, Jessica Tinkle, Sally Maynard, Andrew D. Hill, Rodney A.

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - The breadth of knowledge required for the multidisciplinary field of nanotechnology challenges and extends traditional concepts of multidisciplinary graduate education. There is a paucity of information, both general reporting and peer-reviewed studies, on the challenges for graduate students working in this multidisciplinary paradigm, from the students’ perspectives. We report two graduate-student perspectives from different instructional models: (i) the core academic department that has expanded student choice by allowing additional classes to be taken from outside the core department and (ii) multiple departments working together to provide choice and diversity across the curriculum. We find, even after many years of multidisciplinary research, that traditional university organizational structure does not easily accommodate multidisciplinary research. In addition, administrative autonomy of academic departments and colleges, competition among various departments for contracts and grant submission, and a disconnect between research and teaching challenge multidisciplinary research endeavors. The students recommend that (i) university administrators support multidisciplinary departments and develop mechanisms to promote faculty participation; (ii) institutions and departments provide more multidisciplinary groups, centers, and institutes and encourage networking through broad collaboration; (iii) more graduate and postdoctoral fellowships for multidisciplinary research be created; and (iv) departments create more flexible curricula allowing their students to participate in more courses outside the department, necessary for a multidisciplinary thesis. Progress in multidisciplinary science will rely both on deep, specialized knowledge and, increasingly, on scientists who can speak a number of scientific languages and take advantage of synergistic connections. As new and more effective approaches to multidisciplinary training are developed, perhaps it is time to listen more to those with the most intimate experience of the system’s successes and failures—the students who are training now to be the next generation of research leaders.

AB - The breadth of knowledge required for the multidisciplinary field of nanotechnology challenges and extends traditional concepts of multidisciplinary graduate education. There is a paucity of information, both general reporting and peer-reviewed studies, on the challenges for graduate students working in this multidisciplinary paradigm, from the students’ perspectives. We report two graduate-student perspectives from different instructional models: (i) the core academic department that has expanded student choice by allowing additional classes to be taken from outside the core department and (ii) multiple departments working together to provide choice and diversity across the curriculum. We find, even after many years of multidisciplinary research, that traditional university organizational structure does not easily accommodate multidisciplinary research. In addition, administrative autonomy of academic departments and colleges, competition among various departments for contracts and grant submission, and a disconnect between research and teaching challenge multidisciplinary research endeavors. The students recommend that (i) university administrators support multidisciplinary departments and develop mechanisms to promote faculty participation; (ii) institutions and departments provide more multidisciplinary groups, centers, and institutes and encourage networking through broad collaboration; (iii) more graduate and postdoctoral fellowships for multidisciplinary research be created; and (iv) departments create more flexible curricula allowing their students to participate in more courses outside the department, necessary for a multidisciplinary thesis. Progress in multidisciplinary science will rely both on deep, specialized knowledge and, increasingly, on scientists who can speak a number of scientific languages and take advantage of synergistic connections. As new and more effective approaches to multidisciplinary training are developed, perhaps it is time to listen more to those with the most intimate experience of the system’s successes and failures—the students who are training now to be the next generation of research leaders.

U2 - 10.1021/ed1001174

DO - 10.1021/ed1001174

M3 - Article

VL - 88

SP - 53

EP - 55

JO - Journal of Chemical Education

JF - Journal of Chemical Education

SN - 0021-9584

IS - 1

ER -