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The Pufendorf IAS support interdisciplinary teamwork. Our Themes work at the Institute for approximately 8-10 months, between September and June the following year. A Theme is to revolve around a current research issue, which can only be solved through knowledge from several disciplines in collaboration.

How work is carried out in a Theme

A Theme usually requires the participation of 8–10 researchers from three or more faculties at the University. The number of participating disciplines is not set in stone; the essential thing is that the Theme combines the skills needed to successfully address the targeted issue. The collective knowledge of the members must be sufficient to allow them to work on the chosen issue. As the institute is primarily intended for Lund University employees, the Theme may need to strengthen its knowledge within certain sub-areas with the help of external researchers. The institute offers various opportunities for such exchange.

The Theme is to be innovative in nature and can therefore be at a stage where it does not yet qualify for actual research funding. However, the Theme must have a clear objective for the work to be performed during its year at the Pufendorf IAS. A successful Theme requires a well-composed combination of researchers with knowledge that contributes to the research area. It also requires commitment and active participation from its members.

A clear objective does not mean delivering research findings that are eligible for publication during the Theme period; instead, the Theme objectives usually pave the way for further work in the field. The Themes at the institute have often resulted in research applications, conferences, publications, research communication, networks or centres. 

Emphasis is placed on the creativity and versatility of the application, that the composition of the group’s expertise is well-justified and that the set objective for the work is feasible.