This paper explores the relationships and division of tasks and responsibilities (boundary arrangements) between research and stakeholders in policy processes in competing claims contexts. The paper starts from the idea that better understanding about the role of research in multi-stakeholder policy processes requires going beyond the research–policy interface, by analysing boundary arrangements at multiple research–stakeholder interfaces. The paper describes five episodes in the policy debate on biofuel sustainability in Mozambique. Within each episode, the boundary arrangements at the different research–stakeholder interfaces in relation to the policy context, research activities and stakeholder dynamics inside and outside the policy arena are described and analysed. The analysis creates awareness about the complexities, pitfalls and opportunities of actively engaging in multi-stakeholder policy processes, as this is likely to result in situations where multiple boundary arrangements at different research–stakeholder interfaces co-emerge and coexist. The direction in which boundary arrangements at a research–stakeholder interface develop over time is affected by the credibility, legitimacy and salience of the research as perceived by the specific stakeholder group, the changing policy context and boundary arrangements at other research–stakeholder interfaces. Different boundary arrangements relating to policy content and policy process can coexist at a research–stakeholder interface. Furthermore, boundary arrangements show patterns of path dependency in terms of their credibility, legitimacy and salience for different stakeholders through time.