“The best of all possible worlds”: Leibniz PhD Network Conference on Interdisciplinarity


Development of new technologies and knowledge led researchers to cross borders of traditional scientific disciplines to evolve in an interdisciplinary way to do research. Today´s questions and problems including healthy ageing, global crises, etc. require a multidisciplinary approach that integrates, interacts and synthesizes knowledge in a comprehensive and holistic way. The results of this approach are more effective solutions for the current societal problems, generation of new disciplines, greater creativity and an increase in new collaborations between researchers. Inspired by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who used his knowledge in influencing a variety of scientific fields, today the Leibniz Association gathers a variety of expertise in different disciplines spreading among 93 institutes across Germany, divided into 5 sections.

In their early career, young researchers often find themselves isolated in their laboratory and specific projects, leading to few connections with other researchers and limited knowledge regarding opportunities for interdisciplinary research and its benefits. Our conference aims to broaden the knowledge about this topic, both theoretically and practically. During the two days of the program we would like to address the following questions:

  • What is interdisciplinarity and why is it important for research?
  • How could interdisciplinarity help young researchers in their PhD projects?
  • How does interdisciplinary research impact society?
  • What are the challenges that interdisciplinary research faces?
  • How is academia rewarding interdisciplinarity?
  • How can we improve and strengthen networking among Leibniz doctoral researchers?

For the first day, we plan keynote lectures and a panel discussion where speakers give their general view on the topic and share their own experiences. On the second day, our program will be more practical, bringing together PhD students in 5 cross-sectoral interactive workshops, including healthy ageing, global crises, improving science impact, start-up companies and political consulting themes. The rationale behind this is that meaningful connections are quickly established in face-to-face interactions and exchanging experiences and ideas help on solving real problems in a better way. A poster session, science slam and social activities will give the opportunity to get together and share ideas, settle new connections and strengthen networking. We believe interdisciplinarity has the power to lead to stimulating advancements in science and society.