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What is Convergence Research?

NSF Director France Córdova has stated that “Convergence is a deeper, more intentional approach to the integration of knowledge, techniques, and expertise from multiple disciplines in order to address the most compelling scientific and societal challenges.” (https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=242889)

Additional ways of thinking about convergence research include:

  • One of NSF’s Ten Big Ideas
  • Of growing interest to NIH, e.g., in team science
  • Primary characteristics of Convergence Research:
    • Research that focuses on a compelling and complex grand challenge research problem, with potentially significant societal impact
    • Research that requires deep integration across multiple disciplines
    • A high level research methodology
    • Features teams that build off of diversity: disciplinary, geographic, life experience, career level, intellectual or other perspectives, demographics, etc.
    • Collaborations that integrate into their research plans strategies for including and navigating challenges of doing research that embraces diversity, wicked problems, and incommensurability
    • Team members with an openness to new frameworks, paradigms, or disciplines that may emerge from such convergence approaches
  • An approach to research and collaboration that is evolving

What is Team Science?


What is the Science of Team Science?

Why are these the strategic directions embraced by funding agencies such as NSF and NIH?