Navigation auf


Geographisches Institut

Empowering policy relevance of our research

The impact of our research is often measured in the number of publications or related indices. The impact on policies and practitioners is more difficult to assess and less recognized in academia. With this initiative, we aimed to strengthen the societal relevance of our research by fostering different pathways of science-policy-interfaces. 


Our exploration was guided by the following research questions:

What are examples of good practices already in place for both initiating transdisciplinary collaborations and ensuring meaningful collaborations and outcomes? 

What gaps and challenges exist for the initiation of transdisciplinary collaborations and for ensuring meaningful collaborations and outcomes? 

Is there potential for improvement of these interfaces and networks? If so, where is that potential and how do we harness it? 

Drivers and elements of successful collaborations and identified needs and struggles, respectively, based on questionnaire and interview analyses.

We found two major themes that emerged from the research. One, continued difficulties in finding a common "language", understanding and goals, and two, meaningful pluralisation of knowledge in transdisciplinary collaborations aimed at addressing global change and biodiversity loss.

As a solution, we propose to strengthen the demand and support for transdisciplinary transformative change initiatives (TTCIs) across institutions, and to account for vital functional elements for successful collaboration, and to develop critial social science (CSS) literacy tools. 

 Summary of the outcomes 

Sierra Deutsch, Roger Keller, Cornelia Krug, Annina Michel. 2023. Transdisciplinary transformative change: An analysis of some best practices and barriers, and the potential of critical social science in getting us thereBiodivers Conserv (2023).

Overview over science-policy-practice interfaces on international, national (Swiss) and subnational level

This initiative was funded by the UZH University Research Priority Programme on Global Change and Biodiversity (URPP GCB).

Sierra Deutsch, Roger Keller, Cornelia Krug, Annina Michel