Enabling Interdisciplinary and Team Science: A Professional Development Program from AIBS
Reports abound from professional societies, the Academies, government agencies, and researchers calling attention to the fact that science is increasingly an inter-disciplinary, transdisciplinary, inter-institutional, and international endeavor. In short, science has become a "team sport."
There is a real and present need to better prepare scientists for success in this new collaborative environment. The American Institute of Biological Sciences is responding to this call with a new program for scientists, educators, and individuals who work with or participate in scientific teams.
Team science is increasingly common in 21st century biological, life, and environmental sciences. Collaboration is no longer limited to sharing ideas with the biologist in the lab next door. The questions confronting science often require teams that may include a mix of computer and information scientists, physical and social scientists, mathematicians, ethicists, policy and management experts, as well as community stakeholders and citizen scientists. Adding to this complexity, teams span programs within organizations, cross organization boundaries to form institutional consortia, and often include international partners.
This intensive, two-day, interactive, professional development course was designed by scientists and experts on collaboration and teamwork to provide participants with the knowledge and skills required to become productive and effective members of scientific teams. From its first offering the course has evolved to include a greater focus on team planning and teamwork, and less time allocated to university administration of interdisciplinary teams. Participants in our most recent course had this to say about the program:
- "I absolutely want to recommend this workshop to anyone who cares about teamwork in science! Actually, part of it should be incorporated into the orientation workshop for first year grad students! And new faculty members! Yes, mandatory!"
- Most useful to me in this workshop was the "applied content to science, directly translatable to day-to-day activities."
- "I will recommend the workshop to my friends. It was helpful, well organized...engaging, and [had a] great speaker."
- "It was helpful and practical!"
- "I learned a tremendous amount about both being part of the team and organizing a team."
- "It's an awesome workshop!"
Nothing teaches collaboration like practicing collaboration. This is not a course that asks you to learn in isolation. It is a microcosm of scientific collaboration, with extensive hands-on learning as part of a scientific team, with scientific case studies and examples.
Who should attend?
- Research program/lab directors
- Scientists and faculty engaged in collaborative projects
- Researchers and faculty working at the interface of different fields or scientific approaches
- Graduate students and post-docs looking to augment research planning and communication skills
- Groups interested in planning successful research proposals and interdisciplinary research teams
- Academic, government, and industry scientists
This course is designed for anyone involved in collaborative scientific endeavors. Team leaders will find the course especially helpful. Because participants will work on "real-world" team science concerns, we encourage multiple members of a team to attend together.
We can also customize the course and bring it to your university, department, lab, or research team. This course provides the right foundation from which your team can successfully accomplish your goals.
Participants will develop and hone the skills needed to:
- Explain interdisciplinary team science and characteristics of effective scientific teams
- Describe how teams work
- Recognize competencies and characteristics of effective team leadership
- Create effective teams and team culture
- Develop a shared vision, mission, plan, and key performance indicators for a scientific team
- Identify and assess the right mix of competencies and people needed for a scientific team
- Use team tools and processes such as quality improvement cycle and knowledge mapping
- Improve team communication and trust through
A course outline is available online.
About the Instructor
Kathy Joyce has worked to develop teams for more than twenty-five years. For the past twenty years, she has consulted with teams in the public, private, non-profit, and university sectors, focusing largely on science, health, and biomedicine. Early in her career, she directed training for teamwork and leadership development for a pilot project involving 1,600 personnel for the U.S. Government Accountability Office. She was trained in team leadership and facilitation by Florida Power & Light, the first U.S. company to win the prestigious Deming Prize, a global quality award.
Certificate of completion
- Resource packet that includes materials for future reference and use
The program will next be offered in 2018. To receive updates on this program, please complete the below form.