Disciplinarity Crops For Health® has an explicit emphasis on promoting integrative research bridging multiple disciplines. It is envisioned that faculty and students will engage in the discovery process at one of several levels of cross disciplinary participation.
What does this mean? According to Rosenfield (1992), participation in cross disciplinary can occur at three levels, or tiers: multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary. According to Rosenfield, multidisiciplinarity is a process in which researchers from different fields work independently or sequentially, each from his or her own disciplinary perspective, to address a particular research topic. Interdisciplinarity entails greater sharing of information and closer coordination among researchers from various fields than occurs in multidisciplinary projects, yet the participants remain anchored in their respective disciplinary models and methodologies as do the members of multidisciplinary teams. Transdisciplinarity is a process by which researchers work together to develop a shared conceptual framework that integrates and extends discipline-based concepts, theories, and methods to address a common research topic; for CFH this is disease prevention through crop improvement. An advantage of transdisciplinary collaborations is that they often lead to fundamentally new conceptualizations of scientific and societal phenomena and transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries that frame multi- and interdisciplinary analyses, and it is this process that we anticipate will advance the field of biomedical agriculture.