Stellenbosch University
Welcome to Stellenbosch University
Workshop for doctoral supervisors from all disciplines
Start: 10/10/2023, 08:30
End: 10/10/2023, 12:30
Contact:Ms Natasha Swartz -
Location: Room 3008, Education (GG Cillie) Building, Main campus (c/o Ryneveld & Crozier streets), Stellenbosch

Are you curious about how to conduct interdisciplinary research, or wonder what it means to be 'interdisciplinary' in your research supervision? Do you want to prepare yourself to reach the sustainable development goals of Agenda 2030? Do you wish to extend your doctoral supervisor network beyond disciplinary boundaries? In that case, you are warmly welcome to this workshop! The workshop is facilitated by both senior and junior scholars from Sweden and South Africa (see below), who will guide you through the following:

  • Key features of interdisciplinary research
  • Competences needed to conduct interdisciplinary doctoral supervision
  • Practicing interdisciplinary collaboration within the workshop
  • Peer support

Workshop outline

Date: 10 October 2023

Time: 08h30-12h30

Venue: Room 3008, Education (GG Cillie) Building, Main campus (c/o Ryneveld & Crozier streets)

Cost: FREE

08h45-09h00Welcome & meet the team 

Approaching interdisciplinary research:

What is 'interdisciplinary research'?

Awareness of skills needed to conduct interdisciplinary research supervision

Finding your potential and/or actual interdisciplinary connections

Facilitated by Dr Karin Steen & Prof Liezel Frick


10h00-10h25Coffee/tea and snacksComfort break

Practicing interdisciplinary collaboration:

Use your interdisciplinary skills to create and supervise joint research projects

Identify challenges and define what kind of support is needed

Facilitated by Prof. Eva Brodin & Dr Yolisa Madolo


11h40-11h50BreathingComfort break

Enabling peer support:


Writing groups

Support available for interdisciplinary research supervision

Facilitated by Prof. Martin Stigmar & Mr Sinoyolo Nokutywa




Background of the workshop

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) of Agenda 2030 established interdisciplinarity as key to solving so-called 'wicked problems' and as a quality criterion in the EU framework of innovative doctoral education (EU 2011, p. 6)[1]. Research has shown that quality ESD requires students to develop a range of key competences such as systems thinking, strategic agency, collaborative skills, critical and creative problem-solving, self-awareness, and deep understanding of different normative values (UNESCO 2017)[2]. However, how these competences can be integrated in curricula and encouraged in educational practice is still unclear in interdisciplinary doctoral education.

This workshop is part of a research project funded by the South Africa Sweden University Forum (SASUF) and is carried out in collaboration between Stellenbosch University and Walter Sisulu University in South Africa, and Lund University and Malmö University in Sweden. The project aims at outlining a context-sensitive framework for developing interdisciplinary doctoral research, and for this reason you may choose to participate in our research project through your engagement in the workshop (see separate information about consent). Your choice will not affect the workshop activities. If you have any questions about the project and/or workshop, please contact Prof. Liezel Frick:

South African team members

Prof. Liezel Frick (Project leader), PhD in Education, Vice-dean of research and postgraduate studies, Faculty of Education, Stellenbosch University. Expertise: Doctoral education; Higher education studies; Intercultural supervision; Creativity; Early career researcher development.


Dr Yolisa Madolo, PhD in African Languages, Senior Lecturer and Acting Head of Department of Arts, Walter Sisulu University.

Expertise: Languages, translation, literary criticism.


Mr Sinoyolo Nokutywa, MA in African Languages, Junior Lecturer at the Department of Arts and Culture, Walter Sisulu University.

Expertise: Languages, translation, literary criticism.



Swedish team members

Dr Karin Steen (Project leader), PhD in Sustainability Science, Senior lecturer at Lund University Center for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS) and the Division for Higher Education Development (AHU), Lund University.

Expertise: Educational development, Education for Sustainable Development, Gender, Social Change, Sustainability, 'Key competencies' for ESD.


Prof. Eva Brodin, PhD in Education, Senior lecturer at the Division for Higher Education Development (AHU), Lund University, and affiliated Extraordinary Professor at the Centre for Higher and Adult Education (CHAE), Stellenbosch University.

Expertise: Doctoral education, Research supervision, Learning, Academic identity development, Critical and creative thinking, Interdisciplinary research.


Prof. Martin Stigmar, PhD in Education, Professor of higher education pedagogy at the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CAKL), Malmö University.

Expertise: Supervisor and doctoral student relationship, Interprofessional tutor courses, Student dropout.



Please RSVP to Ms Natasha Swartz at by 6 October 2023