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National Cancer Institute

Professional Development for Team Science: Training for Effective Teaming

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Suter M, Fisher E. Professional Development for Team Science: Training for Effective Teaming. Oral presentation at 2017 SciTS Conference. Clearwater Beach, FL. Jun 14, 2017. Approaches to Foster New Innovation Collaborations. Online at:

The goal of this work was to create an integrated professional development program designed to assist the formation and effectiveness of interdisciplinary research teams. Through the “Catalyst for Innovative Partnerships program” (CIP) sponsored by the Vice President for Research, new interdisciplinary research teams were formed and provided with significant funding for a two-year period. During the first year, teams were offered a range of professional development activities that were accessed by some, but not all of the teams. After the first year, a new program was launched to create teams primed to apply for the second CIP cohort, the PreCIP program. PreCIP provided a variety of workshops on team building, communication skills; mission, value proposition, and brand definition; validation of the research objectives through communication with stakeholders; and engagement with industry and philanthropic partners and sponsors. We found several key elements associated with successful professional development for emerging teams. These include: aligning workshops to the unique challenges of academic research; promoting intra-team learning through the sharing of challenges, ideas, and feedback; and providing teams the opportunity to apply and practice the skills within their team in the workshop setting. We found that those teams that participated in the professional development workshops formed closer social networks and were more successful according to their respective programmatic metrics. Success for CIP teams is defined by securing significant extramural funds for collaborative research, new collaborative publications and presentations, and continued collaboration beyond the CIP funding period. Success for PreCIP teams is defined by completion of professional development workshops, submission of a proposal to the CIP and selection for funding, and similar metrics to those used to evaluate CIP teams. These findings contribute to the SciTS field by demonstrating how intentional professional development activities designed for interdisciplinary teams can potentially accelerate productive collaboration.



Type of Publication:

Oral presentation


scits 2017 conference, presentation, professional development, training

Addresses these goal(s):

  • Provide training for team science to team members or students

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Resource created by Jane Hwang on 10/5/2017 3:15:39 PM.

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