Group picture of young researchers

Interdisciplinary conference helps young researchers find new collaborations

On 14-15 March, the Young Researchers Conference (YRC) brought together around 30 young researchers, PhD students and postdocs from across the university in Kalmar. The conference is a platform for knowledge development, new research relationships and personal growth.

Young researchers presented during the conference their research projects in various fields from Chat GPT applications and elm disease to the circular economy. This year's programme encouraged hands-on collaboration, with participants working on projects aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Participants also heard a plenary talk by sustainability researcher Jakob Lundberg from the global network Future Earth.

During the conference days, conference participants from different research areas met.  This in turn can generate synergies and give rise to new cross-border research collaborations.

“An important part of the conference is to create an arena where young researchers can meet and get to know each other so that they can build their networks. Since the conference is recurring, we can already see that around a third of the participants are returning, which creates a basis for a network that the university can develop further with, for example, seminars,” says Magnus Bratt, collaboration advisor.

A positive spin-off effect from last year's YRC conference, is that six young researchers will present their research at the World Forestry Conference IUFRO, which will be held in Stockholm on 23-29 June.

What is a Linnaeus Knowledge Environment?

Meeting societal challenges with knowledge in creative environments that integrate education, research, and collaboration – knowledge environments – is something that permeates Linnaeus University’s vision and work.

Seven of our knowledge environments have been appointed Linnaeus Knowledge Environment. They all work interdisciplinary in order to get a broad take on the societal challenges within each field.

Hopefully, the conference can be further developed to include all doctoral students and young researchers interested in sustainable development. Linnaeus University will then have the opportunity to create a large interdisciplinary conference based on the knowledge environments' basic idea of collaboration across academic subject boundaries.

“The potential for the future is very large, and we have only begun to open the door to something that can become a large and important event in the future,” states Caroline Littlefield, conference organiser and project assistant at the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences.   

YRC 2024 was jointly organised by the Knowledge Environments Linnaeus Green Sustainable Development and Water.