KNOTS: Fostering Multi-Lateral Knowledge Networks of Transdiciplinary Studies to Tackle Global Challenges (KNOTS)

(Project Period: 2017-2020, funded by Erasmus +)

Supported by Erasmus+, KNOTS (Fostering Multi-lateral Knowledge Networks of Transdisciplinary Studies to Tackle Global Challenges) was established in October 2018 with the help of a grant by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ program. The overall objective of KNOTS is the creation of dynamic regional and international knowledge networks of multi-lateral transdisciplinary studies to address new challenges in a rapidly changing world. The networks will increase the innovative capacity for training and development of academic and professional staff within the participating institutions.

The following partners are involved in the project:

  • UNIVIE University of Vienna (Austria)
  • UBO University of Bonn (Germany)
  • KU Charles University (Czech)
  • Chulalongkorn University (MAIDS)
  • Chiang Mai University (RCSD)
  • HCMCOU Ho Chi Minh City Open University (Faculty of Sociology-Social Work-Southeast Asian Studies)
  • SISS Southern Institute of Social Sciences (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • VASS Vietnam Academy of Social Science (Institute of Sociology)


The project aims first to develop innovative teaching methodologies on transdisciplinary comparative research; second, foster multi-lateral and in particular regional collaboration networks between partner country Higher Education Institutes (HEIs), strengthening their capacities to act as connected reference points for transdisciplinary research; and third, build systematic linkages of knowledge exchange between academic and non-academic sectors.

The core principle of the project is ongoing joint elaboration of a curriculum, teaching/learning methodology and materials to be integrated into the teaching program of each university. These resources have been tested in practical clusters comprising of joint teaching sessions, field trips, summer schools and conference. For the development of teaching methodologies, compentencies in transdisciplinary research from program partner institutions have bee merged with regional and local expertise and modified in order to fit into local structures of higher education with the best possible results.

CMU in Chiang Mai, VASS in Hanoi and SISS in HCMC (with support from HCMCOU) alternate in hosting the practical clusters consisting of joint teaching sessions, field trips, stakeholder workshops and summer-schools. The RCSD is in charge of organizing the field trips, teaching sessions and workshops with relevant non-academic stake-holders, and to host a summer-school on transdisciplinary development research and respective teaching methodology. Moreover, the RCSD provides academic facilities, including working space, internet and library access, and field-visit facilitation, and supports the development of the transdisciplinary teaching manual. So far, three summer schools were organized in Thailand (2018) and Vietnam (2017, 2019). Other activities include a stakeholder workshop (2017), a final conference (2019), and train-the-trainer (TTT) events (2017, 2018, 2019).


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