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Helping young researchers cross disciplines has lasting benefits

A short, sharp burst of training can help early-career researchers weave interdisciplinary approaches into their careers, say Milena Žic-Fuchs and Helen Bridle.

The town of Stresa in the Italian Alps is very beautiful and very isolated. You can see Lake Maggiore from almost everywhere. This made it the ideal place to host a 2012 meeting to help early-career researchers develop interdisciplinary projects around the theme of water sustainability and management.

Many early-career researchers are keen to do inter- disciplinary work, seeing it both as a way to address societal problems and a source of professional satisfaction. But such work is risky for early-career researchers. The lack of a disciplinary home makes it harder to publish papers and win jobs and funding, and projects can demand a high investment of time for little initial reward.

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