Exploratory Research Space – ERS

Cupola of a Building RWTH Aachen

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:

  • The ERS Forum to help you find and develop your research idea that is at a very early and open stage yet.
  • The ERS Project Support to help you further develop your research project.
  • ERS International to create a supportive research infrastructure in order to promote internationalization.

How Do We Understand Interdisciplinarity at ERS?

Interdisciplinarity, as understood by the Exploratory Research Space at RWTH Aachen University, combines approaches, insights or methods of different academic disciplines to pursue 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 not only exchange results. The applied methods and techniques should rather be shared between the partners and preferably broaden the respective disciplinary portfolio. In contrast to multidisciplinarity, where different aspects can stand next to each other, interdisciplinarity imperatively merges the different aspects into one activity.

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

ERS defines disciplines as different if they belong to different faculties and each have a particular approach to the respective research topic.