First CHARM-EU Knowledge Creating Team session kicks off

Posted on: 16 June 2020

Over 170 academics and researchers from CHARM-EU’s five partner universities took part in the pilot European university’s first  induction session for potential staff on 15 June 2020. CHARM-EU’s Alliance members are University of Barcelona, Trinity College Dublin, Utrecht University, Eötvös Loránd University and University of Montpellier.

The webinar introduced CHARM-EU’s innovative new approach to transdisciplinary staffing: Knowledge Creating Teams (KCTs). KCTS bring multiple disciplines together to face global challenges and are organised not by discipline, research or educational activity but by key themes that bridge all these activities. Three themes were chosen for CHARM_EU’s first pilot masters programme: Life & Health, Water, and Food.

“KCTs will help us design and deliver innovative, transdisciplinary modules and programmes, form transdisciplinary research networks, potentially raise funding and lead commercialisation projects, and develop a shared thematic, inter-European research community,” explained Gemma O’Sullivan, CHARM-EU Research Associate. She was joined by Dr Tim Savage, CHARM-EU TCD Project Director and colleagues from Utrecht University, Jan Haarhuis and Sanne van Vugt to give an overview of the KCTs initiative.

KCTs are collaborative groups of academics, researchers and extra-academic actors (e.g. traditional and social enterprise) formed around a common expertise/interest related to a sustainability theme. KCTs have two levels of membership: Core and Expanded Network.

  • KCT Core: research, develop and teach challenge-based content in the pilot masters programme
  • KCT Expanded Network: inform curriculum design and join and build trans-institutional research communities and communities of CHARM-EU stakeholders connected to thematic challenge areas.

Through engagement with CHARM-EU, staff will be supported to build research networks with academic and extra-academic actors from across Europe and to focus their research efforts within thematic challenge areas.

Staff will receive training in transdisciplinary approaches to teaching and research and novel pedagogies including challenge-based learning. CHARM-EU particularly welcomes staff from across the full spectrum of disciplines who may not directly have experience connected to sustainability teaching and/or research.

CHARM-EU  is one of 17 European universities funded by the European Union through the first call of the European Universities initiative. It will design and test a new European University concept through the creation of a pilot masters delivered across all partners and aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. CHARM-EU represents a Challenge-driven, Accessible, Research-based and Mobile university and our mission is to bring together a new generation of creative Europeans enabled to cooperate across languages, borders and disciplines to address societal challenges and skills shortages in Europe. It will produce a transferrable toolkit before formalising and scaling-up to future-proof CHARM-EU University at the end of the funded period.

For further information on the KCTs, please contact Gemma O’Sullivan, CHARM-EU Work Package 3 Lead at

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