Jack-of-all-trades, master of none: Postgraduate perspectives on interdisciplinary health research in Australia

Gemma Carey, James A Smith

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Background: Interdisciplinary health research is increasingly perceived as an expectation of research institutions and funding bodies within Australia. However, little consideration has been given to the extent to which this re-orientation has produced a new type of researcher – an interdisciplinary health researcher.

Discussion: As cross-enrolled postgraduate research students, we assert that we do not have an intellectual home. Rather, we must forge a virtual intellectual home through the process of bridging disciplines. In this paper we explain that this virtual home affords us the role of 'interlockers' in future health research. The interlocker role privileges a breadth of understandings across disciplines, rather than a depth in one.

Summary: We conclude by reiterating that there is an undeniable need for interdisciplinary health research, and that the roles and actions of interdisciplinary health researchers need to be better understood and catered for. We therefore call for increased consideration and discussion concerning the future roles and capacities of interdisciplinary health researchers such as ourselves.
Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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