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National Academies Consensus Study on the Science of Team Science

National Academies
Consensus Study on the Science of Team Science
Project Scope

The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies will conduct a consensus study on the Science of Team Science (SciTS) to recommend opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of collaborative research in science teams, research centers, and institutes.

The science of team science field empirically examines the processes by which large and small scientific teams, research centers, and institutes organize, communicate, and conduct research. It is concerned with understanding and managing circumstances that facilitate or hinder the effectiveness of collaborative research, including translational research.

This includes understanding how teams connect and collaborate to achieve scientific breakthroughs that would not be attainable by either individual or simply additive efforts. The committee will consider factors such as team dynamics, team management, and institutional structures and policies that affect large and small science teams. Among the questions the committee will explore are:
  • How do individual factors (e.g., openness to divergent ideas), influence team dynamics (e.g., cohesion), and how, in turn, do both individual factors and team dynamics influence the effectiveness and productivity of science teams?
  • What factors at the team, center, or institute level (e.g., team size, team membership, geographic dispersion) influence the effectiveness of science teams?
  • How do different management approaches and leadership styles influence the effectiveness of science teams? For example, different approaches to establishing work roles and routines and to the division of labor may influence team effectiveness.
  • How do current tenure and promotion policies acknowledge and provide incentives to academic researchers who engage in team science?
  • What factors influence the productivity and effectiveness of research organizations that conduct and support team and collaborative science, such as research centers and institutes? How do such organizational factors as human resource policies and practices and cyberinfrastructure affect team and collaborative science?
  • What types of organizational structures, policies, practices and resources are needed to promote effective team science, in academic institutions, research centers, industry, and other settings?
Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the project began in October, 2012. The Committee's final report will be issued in late 2014.
Expert Committee Members

Dr. Nancy J. Cooke, Chair, Arizona State University
Dr. Roger Blandford, Department of Physics, Stanford University
Dr. Jonathon Cummings, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Dr. Stephen M. Fiore, Institute for Simulation and Training, University of Central Florida
Dr. Kara Hall, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
Dr. James Jackson, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
Dr. John Leslie King, School of Information, University of Michigan
Dr. Steve W. J. Kozlowski, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University
Dr. Judith S. Reitman Olson, Department of Informatics, University of California, Irvine
Dr. Jeremy A. Sabloff, President, Santa Fe Institute
Dr. Daniel Stokols, School of Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine
Dr. Brian Uzzi, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
Dr. Hannah Valantine, School of Medicine, Stanford University

Public Workshops and Meetings   

July 1 2013 -- Workshop on Science Team Dynamics and Effectiveness
On July 1, 2013, the committee convened a public workshop on factors at the individual and team level that influence the processes and outcomes of team science. 

The free public workshop was held at the Keck Center of the National Academies (500 Fifth St., NW, Washington, DC  20001)
More information about the workshop  

View the public agenda for this workshop.
October 24-24 Workshop on Organizational Factors. 
On October 24-25 2014, the committee convened a free public workshop on organizational and institutional factors that influence the processes and outcomes of team science.  The workshop was held at the National Academy of Sciences Building (2101 Constitution Ave., NW). 

January 11 2013 -- Planning Meeting

A planning meeting to kick off the consensus study was held January 11, 2013.  View the archived webcast of the planning meeting, along with the agenda and other materials distributed to attendees. 

April 15-16 2013 -- First Expert Committee Meeting in Irvine, California 

On April 15 2013, the committee held open sessions in the early afternoon.  Guests included Susan Winter, NSF Office of Cyberinfrastructure, and Gregory Feist, San Jose State University.  View the public agenda for this event

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