The Strategic Research Areas, in collaboration with Sustainability Forum, arranged the workshop series with focus on the Sustainable Development Goals during 2021-2022. The goal was to increase capacity for sustainability related research and co-creation, exchange experiences and strengthen the collaboration between different research areas. All researchers, PhD students and research coordinators at the University were welcome to participate.
Lund University has since 2009, lead, participated and further developed research within 12 Strategic Research Areas (SRA). This has given the university an opportunity to develop long-term research with a high international standard. The combination of specific research environments and interdisciplinary collaborations has resulted in productive conditions for excellent research within a wide range of subjects.
As the climate and other planetary crises escalate, there is a need to develop the SRA’s to better meet the societal challenges and to find solutions to achieve a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable development worldwide. Inspired by last year’s SRA conference on the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) set up by the UN, the SRA collegium at Lund university is organising a series of joint workshops with focus on sustainability and societal relevance.
The aim of the workshops is to develop work processes of common interest, exchange experiences and strengthen sustainability collaboration between the SRA’s, as well as to create a broader reflection on sustainability issues at Lund university and in society. The sustainable development goals can in this context function as a common language connecting academic activities with policy goals. There is also a need to involve younger researchers and to strengthen the competence of doctoral students. Two doctoral courses will therefore be offered in connection to the workshop series.
The themes of the year will offer opportunities for discussions across the different SRA’s regarding issues such as underlying conflicts between the SDG’s, and different ways of understanding and working towards sustainability.
The workshop series is organised in collaboration with Sustainability Forum, which is providing support for coordination, implementation and communication.
Workshops will mainly target researchers, doctoral students and research coordinators/ administrators from the Strategic Research Areas, but the workshops will be open to all staff within Lund University.
The theme focuses on proposal writing, in particular the issue of formulating societal relevance, indicating which SDG's the proposal will affect, and demonstrating sustainability impacts.
These workshops will support the capacity to address SDG targets in research proposals, generate a discussion on how impact can be measured, and support reflection on which effects research projects have on human societies and the environment. The researchers will both exchange experiences and benefit from the expertise of invited guest participants.
In connection to the theme Proposal writing, the doctoral course Sustainability Impacts and Societal Relevance in Research Proposals is offered, open to all doctoral students.
Policy and research development
The theme touches on questions of policy driving national and international research agendas. The aim is to offer a space for discussions on foreseeable developments in national and international research policy agendas with respect to sustainability and the SDG's, and updated information on available research funding.
These workshops will support collaborations oriented towards the SDG's within large research proposals, as well as increasing awareness of EU and national sustainability requirements in applications.
This theme focuses on foundational methodological issues in dealing with sustainability challenges, in particular the difficulty of estimating probabilities, forecasting, mapping systemic interlinkages, modelling and research design for identifying relevant or emerging causal mechanisms that go beyond past experiences.
The aim of these workshops is to strengthen innovative capacity and transdisciplinarity through collaboration across the research areas to develop new approaches in research methodologies oriented towards sustainability challenges and build a bank of best-practice materials and examples, as well as a network of experts.
Content can include issues such as statistical approaches to rare events, ways to approach ‘emergence’, formalising uncertainty, combining modelling and expert knowledge, systemic mapping and systems dynamics, organisation of databases to enable the retrieval of subsets of observations and contextual information, or approaches involving exploration of alternative futures.
In connection to the theme Future-oriented methodologies, the doctoral course Future-Oriented Methodologies (FOMs) will be offered, open to all doctoral students.