Lead: Sabine Hoffmann, Eawag

Aims and scope

This work package develops a joint framework for the interdisciplinary research and coordinates data gathering and interaction with stakeholders. It pursues three specific tasks:

  • Foster interdisciplinary integration within the project through joint understandings of concepts, methods, and results and enable critical reflection on interdisciplinarity
  • Support the identification of key actors, such as experts, interview partners, or survey participants, and serve as a platform for coordination of questionnaire and survey design
  • Ensure smooth communication between researchers and key stakeholders, including public and private organizations dealing with pesticide use and regulation and Swiss agriculture


We conceive of integration as a process that runs through all project stages and involves the sharing, blending, and weaving of concepts, methods, and results from the disciplines involved in the project (e.g., environmental chemistry, ecotoxicology, policy studies, decision analysis, agricultural economics, agronomy, health sciences and epidemiology). We plan to:

  • Identify and define boundary concepts with an integrative capacity for the entire project, such as “evidence”,” tradeoffs”, and “sustainable transformation”
  • Assess the current state of knowledge about the use of evidence in pesticide policy and practice in Switzerland and other high-income countries
  • Develop a common conceptual framework about the role of evidence in the transformation of pesticide governance and use to guide data gathering, analysis, and interpretation
  • Coordinate the various survey instruments used in the project (e.g., addressing decision-makers, farmers, and other stakeholders) to enhance comparability of results
  • Establish a high-level advisory board to ensure the close involvement of key stakeholders in the project and smooth communication with them
  • Facilitate reflexive discussions among project team members on interdisciplinarity and science integration in both theory and practice

Expected results

Our conceptual work lays the foundations for generating new insights into the role of evidence in supporting transformation for complex sustainability challenges, such as pesticide risk reduction. Our coordinating work on surveys as a boundary object enhances comparative research designs to assess how information treatments and evidence may change preferences of diverse types of actors in pesticide governance and use. Our work on stakeholder relations ensures that their knowledge is considered in research activities and that new scientific findings are appropriately communicated. Finally, our reflections on interdisciplinary collaboration generate lessons for leading and funding interdisciplinary research projects.