How we work

In close consultation with the academic community, the IAS identifies research areas, where interdisciplinary collaboration and a complexity approach are likely to create new knowledge, building on the disciplinary strengths of the university.

The IAS plays a facilitating role to identify the essence of the challenge, and formulate its main scientific questions (initiation phase). Subsequently, the institute offers outstanding scholars a haven to study scientific and societal questions from a complexity perspective (research phase).

Complex Systems methodology 

At the IAS researchers work collaboratively with complex systems methodology as their common language. It enables the integration of data, information and knowledge from different academic disciplines. Foundational phenomena of complex adaptive systems are found in most of today's most pressing challenges. Using theory and tools from complexity science, the IAS addresses questions that lead to a better understanding of:

  • Laws, processes and mechanisms underpinning complex scientific and societal questions. Some examples: Tipping Points, Emergence, Intractability, Resilience, Self-organisation etc.;
  • Complex challenges in science and society that require interdisciplinary research collaboration. Some examples: Health Systems, Climate Change, Crime and Terrorism, etc.  

Work programme

The development of the work programme is a creative process. The content, maturity level and expected output are leading when determining what kind of action is needed for each research challenge. The IAS has several instruments to shape and implement its work programme:

Published by  UvA Institute for Advanced Study

13 August 2017