Research design: the methodology for interdisciplinary research framework

Hilde Tobi*, Jarl K. Kampen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


Many of today’s global scientific challenges require the joint involvement of researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds (social sciences, environmental sciences, climatology, medicine, etc.). Such interdisciplinary research teams face many challenges resulting from differences in training and scientific culture. Interdisciplinary education programs are required to train truly interdisciplinary scientists with respect to the critical factor skills and competences. For that purpose this paper presents the Methodology for Interdisciplinary Research (MIR) framework. The MIR framework was developed to help cross disciplinary borders, especially those between the natural sciences and the social sciences. The framework has been specifically constructed to facilitate the design of interdisciplinary scientific research, and can be applied in an educational program, as a reference for monitoring the phases of interdisciplinary research, and as a tool to design such research in a process approach. It is suitable for research projects of different sizes and levels of complexity, and it allows for a range of methods’ combinations (case study, mixed methods, etc.). The different phases of designing interdisciplinary research in the MIR framework are described and illustrated by real-life applications in teaching and research. We further discuss the framework’s utility in research design in landscape architecture, mixed methods research, and provide an outlook to the framework’s potential in inclusive interdisciplinary research, and last but not least, research integrity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1209-1225
JournalQuality and quantity: international journal of methodology
Issue number3
Early online date27 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • Consultancy
  • Education
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • MIR
  • Multidisciplinary collaboration
  • Research design


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