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Explore the most recent news about AIBS's initiatives, programs, resources, and events.

Bullet events, workshops · Mar 01, 2022

Enabling Interdisciplinary and Team Science

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.”

Team science is increasingly common in 21st century biological, life, and environmental sciences, to develop convergent solutions to complex problems. 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.

There is a real and present need to better prepare scientists for success in this new collaborative environment.

The American Institute of Biological Sciences has responded to this call with a program for scientists, educators, and individuals who work with or participate in scientific teams. This intensive, two-day, interactive, professional development course was developed 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.

Recent participants 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.”
  • “I loved this workshop and felt like I was always learning something, even when some of the material was already familiar to me.”
  • “I thought it went particularly well for a distance education workshop. The technology and group participation was excellent and I still got a lot out of it even though we weren’t all in the same room!”
  • “The session on effective meetings was probably the most useful for me, which I wasn’t expecting. I attend a lot of meetings that are poorly structured and frustrating. Now I feel empowered to share these tricks and structures to make our meetings more efficient and democratic.”

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 postdocs 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
  • Improve team communication and trust
  • Resolve individual and team conflicts
  • 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

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.

Participants receive

  • Certificate of completion
  • Ongoing free access to a course folder packed with resources like course presentation slides, exercises to use with teams, templates, articles, and links to surveys and assessments, videos, websites, and other information.


Coming Soon


The registration fee covers instruction, materials and resources.

  • $495: Full registration for individuals who are not nominated by an AIBS Member Society/Organization. A non-refundable $100 deposit is due at the time of registration.

  • $440: Discounted registration for individuals nominated by AIBS Member Societies and Organizations. A non-refundable $100 deposit is due at the time of registration.

  • Group discount: Organizations that register four (4) or more participants are eligible to save $30 per participant. Please contact us for more information.

IMPORTANT: A $100 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration. Individuals will be billed for the balance prior to the workshop.

We’ll come to you!

AIBS can bring the course to your university, department, lab, or research team. We can also customize the course based on your needs. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we now offer an online version of the workshop. Please contact us for more information.

We’ll Notify You About the Next Date

The program is periodically offered in Washington, DC and online. To receive updates on this program, please complete the below form.