Exploratory Research Space – ERS

  People talking to one another Copyright: © Thilo Vogel

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.


Science Needs Room for Creativity

The Exploratory Research Space, ERS for short, promotes and funds interdisciplinary research projects and provides a platform for scientists to join forces and develop highly innovative, challenging research ideas that involve a higher risk than conventional ventures.

We facilitate dialog and exchange between the disciplines and support researchers with seminars, workshops, and continuing education opportunities. ERS is targeted both at experienced scientists and early-career researchers.


Offers within ERS are:


How Do We Understand Interdisciplinarity at ERS?

Interdisciplinarity, as understood by the Exploratory Research Space, ERS for short, at RWTH Aachen University, combines approaches, insights and methods of different academic disciplines to pursuit a task that is of common scientific interest and requires a joint research strategy with contributions from all partners.

That means that the disciplines should do more than merely exchange results. Rather, the applied methods and techniques should be shared between the partners and preferably broaden the respective disciplinary portfolios. In contrast to multidisciplinarity, where individual aspects can stand side by side, interdisciplinarity merges the different aspects into one cohesive activity.

To further differentiate, in our understanding transdisciplinarity is an integrative research that combines scientific and practical knowledge to solve societal challenges.

ERS projects are intended to promote interdisciplinary collaboration across faculty boundaries. ERS defines disciplines as different if they belong to different faculties and each has a particular approach to the respective research topic. All project partners have to pursue their own research question. Projects that include a partner in a purely advisory or service role are not eligible.

In the case of topic-specific calls, the participation of partners from different departments of a faculty may be possible.