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Achieving the sustainable development goals: investing in early career interdisciplinarity

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Roxanne Keynejad, H. Manisha N. Yapa, Poushali Ganguli

Original languageEnglish
Article number153
JournalHumanities and Social Sciences Communications
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Accepted/In press12 Mar 2021
PublishedDec 2021

King's Authors

Abstract

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) emphasize the inextricable connections between improved health and wider development indices. This vision is not matched by the ways that progress towards each constituent goal is achieved, and the SDGs are not on track to being met. This commentary considers theories and frameworks capturing the inter-relationships between health and its wider determinants, before discussing examples from mental health and HIV which demonstrate the power of interdisciplinary research. This commentary proposes solutions to integrate wider determinants of health into future research and practice, considering evidence from the PLuS International Interdisciplinary Researchers (PIIR) program between Arizona State University, King’s College London and the University of New South Wales, and how other approaches to interdisciplinary training can enhance clinical-academic progress in the post-COVID-19 era. Despite several frameworks promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, specialists continue to be segregated by funding, training and departmental structures. Early career researchers are well-placed to lead innovative approaches to pressing research questions. International partnership models and interdisciplinary training for early career researchers can expose participants to new perspectives and integrate wider determinants of health into future research and practice. University communities must embrace the need for a radical reimagining of boundaries and connections, if academia, too, is to “build back better.”

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