Since 2009 the ISGP has drawn upon research supervisors in 35 different departments, schools and institutes at UBC. In addition to these cooperative relationships with units that offer their own degree-granting graduate programs, ISGP has also successfully created collaborative relationships with other research units on campus which do not offer graduate programs. These partnerships have covered a wide range of activities including lectures, courses, the recruitment and support of students, and involvement by faculty members on the ISGP Faculty Advisory Committee. These relationships have helped us move ahead on our Strategic Plan. A brief description of each collaborative relationship follows.
Green College has a multi-faceted partnership with the ISGP. Green College is one of two graduate residential colleges at UBC and its specific focus is to support interdisciplinary teaching, learning and research. The ISGP and Green College have co-sponsored annual lecture series on “Interdisciplinarity in Action” as well as special events such as the “Celebrate Research Week” lectures and panel discussions, which are of interest to students and faculty in both units. Green College students have participated in a number of events and activities that were mounted as part of the strategic plan, including lectures, the online journal and the student research conference.
The Liu Institute on Global Issues conducts and facilitates research on global issues, mobilizing knowledge into solutions and policy. Since 2012 the Liu and ISGP have recruited and facilitated the applications of students with interdisciplinary global issues research interests. In the 2012-2013 academic year ISGP and the Liu co-sponsored a lecture series on community-based research. ISGP students also have the opportunity to apply to the Liu Scholars program to be a part of the Liu-ISGP partnership. ISGP students admitted to the partnership program are eligible for shared office space at the Liu Institute, in addition to the support available for all Liu Scholars.
The National Core for Neuroethics describes itself as “an interdisciplinary research group dedicated to tackling the ethical, legal, policy and social implications of frontier technological developments in the neurosciences”. Like the Liu Institute, it is another research unit on campus which does not offer degree programs. The National Core, however, approached the ISGP to serve as an academic framework for many on their research staff – recruited from academia, private enterprise and the health sciences – who were conducting cutting edge research in the neurosciences. The founder of the National Core sits on the ISGP Faculty Advisory Committee and is a consultant to the student editorial board of Cutting Edge, the ISGP student-edited online journal.
The B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS is a nationally and internationally recognized research and treatment facility which explores the epidemiological, clinical, social, and policy factors that influence infection and treatment of individuals with HIV/AIDS. Numerous researchers over the years have been ISGP students who work in the domains of medical anthropology, psychology, policy analysis, urban studies, infectious diseases, economics and international development. Staff members from the Centre have frequently given lectures and presentations on the Centre’s work to the ISGP community.
The Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC) “was established in 1991 to foster research in media technology…through the training of highly qualified personnel and transfer of knowledge and technology for media, graphics, visualization, human-computer interaction and communication technologies to the community.” Like the Liu Institute, the National Core on Neuroscience and the BC Centre of Excellence for HIV/AIDS, MAGIC partners with the ISGP in the recruitment of graduate students with interests in computer graphics, social networking and graphics.
The ISGP created a strategic partnership with the undergraduate Integrated Sciences (IS) program in which senior level undergraduates explore their research interests by integrating knowledge and understanding across the traditional boundaries of individual disciplinary sciences. A joint faculty and student planning committee from both ISGP and IS planned an interdisciplinary lecture series in the 2012-2013 academic year titled, “Mind, Science and Society”, the highlight of which was a presentation by Vice-President, Academic, and Provost, Dr. David Farrar, on the student-selected topic entitled, “Why do Universities Love Disciplinary Programs more than Interdisciplinary Programs?” Plans are afoot to hold a similar series in the 2014-2015 academic year and to explore the possibility of ISGP students serving as Teaching Assistants in the IS program.
The Centre for Applied Ethics (CAE) is an interdisciplinary unit currently housed in the School of Population and Public Health and offers degree programs as well. Similarly, the School of Social Work (SWK) also offers degree programs. Both CAE and SWK often cross-list their courses with the ISGP because there is a strong sense of shared focus and intentionality among the instructors who teach these cross-listed courses which include graduate students from all three units.
The Institute for Asian Research (IAR) supports a wide range of research and educational activities which include, “the impact of globalization in Asia; trade and human rights performance; natural resources and sustainability; socio-economic and political transformation; Canada-Asia relations; migration and mobility in the Asia Pacific region, urbanization in the Pacific Rim; political and legal reform; poverty management; and environment policy”. IAR scholars have supervised ISGP students and the IAR and ISGP co-sponsored Professor Amartya Sen’s visit to campus in 2011.