Doing an Interdisciplinary PhD

Doing any kind of PhD in any subject area is a challenge. But very soon after starting my own, I realised that interdisciplinary studies have their own unique set of obstacles to be tackled, especially when you are one of the first to be bringing two disciplines or areas of enquiry together. Just over a year into my PhD, I wrote a piece for the Times Higher Education to reflect upon what I had learned so far, and describe the strategies that I had developed. The point was to try and turn all the things that I initially perceived as negatives into positives.

The image used with my THE article (doing interdisciplinary research is like getting two flavours of ice-cream in the same cone!)

The research area of human-computer interaction is built on top of interdisciplinarity. HCI includes psychologists, designers, computing scientists, engineers, health professionals, I could go on. In the future I would like to look at how researchers navigate bringing two areas of research together and develop an interdisciplinary research identity.