"Transformative research aims to develop technical, social, and organizational solutions to current problems in a collaborative process between scholars and practitioners" (Schader Foundation)


"Transformative research is oriented towards concrete social problems and is characterized by an explicit claim to intervention. The goal is to catalyze concrete change processes and to actively involve stakeholders in the research process" (Wuppertal Institute).


„Our mission is to develop transformative knowledge for pathways to sustainable societies. To this end, we conduct transdisciplinary, transformative and co-creative research in order to develop solutions to pressing sustainability problems together with our partners from science, society and politics and to support decision-making processes at national and international level.“ (IASS)




Listen to Barbara Schellhammers thoughts on Transformative Research. You can click on "show transcript" to read this text.


Prof. Dr. Barbara Schellhammer, Professor of Intercultural Social Transformation, defines transformative research as follows:


"Transformative research aims at change processes in at least three directions:

First, it aims to bring about change through the research process itself (rather than through its results). Second, the research project exposes itself to change by addressing concrete factual issues. This is continuously and critically accompanied on a meta-level. Third, the researchers themselves emerge differently from this process."




You are interested in joining the international and interdisciplinary working group on transformative research of the Center for Social and Development Studies?
We are happy to receive your email: zgf@hfph.de.




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Being and the Transformation of a Place

On my daily walks with my dog out in the nature surrounded by trees, lakes and mountains, I hear the wind in the trees as I watch the ravens in the sky being playful chasing one another. As an artist, I’m looking for ordinary places, still points in space and time that don’t scream at you with their beauty or strength of their personality. I love… - Itai Katz


Towards Transformative Research

COVID-19 uncovered interlocked systems of exploitation and discrimination for human and non-human life. In these unprecedented times, people face a global turnover that challenges the lived “normal” in a way that social research has to face societal changes in new ways. This article calls for a paradigm shift and poses open questions for further reflection; an invitation to think against the grain, but towards Transformative Research... - Josephine Eberhardt



For more information:


We blog about transformative research on Kontrapunkte - global. solidarisch. transformativ. 


Podcast Kontrapunkte - global. solidarisch. transformativ.



More about transformative research at the Center for Social and Development Studies





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