First CHARM-EU Knowledge Creating Team session launches

Knowledge Creating Team Information Session
Fri, 06/12/2020 - 13:27

Over 170 academics and researchers from Coimbra member universities took part in the pilot European university CHARM-EU’s first induction session for potential staff on 15 June 2020.

The webinar introduced CHARM-EU’s innovative new approach to transdisciplinary alliances: Knowledge Creating Teams (KCTs). KCTs bring multiple disciplines together to face global challenges and are organised not by discipline, research or educational activity but by key themes that bridge all these activities. Three themes were chosen for CHARM-EU’s first pilot masters programme: Life & Health, Water, and Food.

The response was overwhelmingly positive and over 170 staff have now signed up to one or more of the KCTs in three areas: Food, Water and Life & Health. These KCTs are now participating in content creation workshops to create CHARM-EU’s pilot Masters in Global Challenges for Sustainability.

KCTs will help design and deliver innovative, transdisciplinary modules and programmes, form transdisciplinary research networks, potentially raise funding and lead commercialisation projects, and develop a shared thematic, inter-European research community. The webinar was delivered by Dr Tim Savage, CHARM-EU TCD Project Director; Gemma O’Sullivan, CHARM-EU Research Associate, Trinity College Dublin; and colleagues from Utrecht University’s CHARM-EU team, Jan Haarhuis and Sanne van Vugt.

KCTs are collaborative groups of academics, researchers and extra-academic actors (e.g. traditional and social enterprise) formed around a common expertise/interest related to a sustainability theme. KCTs have two levels of membership: Core and Expanded Network.

  • KCT Core: research, develop and teach challenge-based content in the pilot masters programme
  • KCT Expanded Network: inform curriculum design and join and build trans-institutional research communities and communities of CHARM-EU stakeholders connected to thematic challenge areas.

Through engagement with CHARM-EU, participants will be supported to build research networks with academic and extra-academic actors from across Europe and to focus their research efforts within thematic challenge areas. They will receive training in transdisciplinary approaches to teaching and research and novel pedagogies including challenge-based learning.

CHARM-EU  is one of 17 European universities funded by the European Union through the first call of the European Universities initiative. It will design and test a new European University concept through the creation of a pilot masters delivered across all partners and aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. CHARM-EU represents a Challenge-driven, Accessible, Research-based and Mobile university and its mission is to bring together a new generation of creative Europeans enabled to cooperate across languages, borders and disciplines to address societal challenges and skills shortages in Europe. It will produce a transferrable toolkit before formalising and scaling-up to future-proof CHARM-EU University at the end of the funded period

All European Universities in the alliances share a long-term strategy and promote European values and identity. They will also contribute to the sustainable economic development of the regions where they are located, as their students will work closely with companies, authorities, academics and researchers to find solutions to the challenges their regions are facing.

For further information on the KCTs, please contact Gemma O’Sullivan, CHARM-EU Work Package 3 Lead at