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About the IAS

Mission and approach

Our mission is to advance cutting-edge interdisciplinary research that addresses complex scientific and societal challenges.

To support our mission, we aim to foster a vibrant environment that stimulates and facilitates multidisciplinary exchange. We enhance excellence by involving some of the world’s leading thinkers.

System's thinking as common denominator

To make the transition from disciplinary to interdisciplinary research, researchers must speak each other’s language. At the IAS, we use system's thinking, and specifically complexity science, as our common language to explore challenging interdisciplinary research topics. It provides us a framework with which to integrate information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, and/or theories from a wide range of disciplines, and to study the interaction between various determinants.

Collaborative development of our work programme

Developing our work programme is a creative, collaborative process that is driven by the contributions of the researchers affiliated with the IAS. Researchers can contribute to this process by joining one of our current areas of research or submitting a proposal for a new interdisciplinary research topic. Most research proposals are submitted to us as part of a fellowship application, but new research directions also often emerge during lively discussions at IAS events.