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National Cancer Institute

Applying Lessons from Intentional Living Communities to Team Science

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Wilstermann A, Baker R. Applying Lessons from Intentional Living Communities to Team Science. Oral presentation at 2017 SciTS Conference. Clearwater Beach, FL. Jun 14, 2017. Team Formation And Cohesion. Online at:

Many potential benefits of team science have been identified, including enhanced capacity to achieve goals, increased productivity and reach, and improved outcomes for individual team members. However, several factors that hinder attainment of these benefits, such as high task interdependence and goal misalignment, have also been identified. The success of a team science initiative is therefore, in part, dependent upon implementing strategies that mitigate these factors. Philosophers of science suggest that a researcher’s approach to doing science is informed by the context in which they conduct science. As faculty engaged in research at a faith-based undergraduate institution, we wondered what the culture, values, and practices of our tradition could add to our approach to team science. Through visits and discussions with faith-based intentional living communities across the United States and the United Kingdom, we discovered that team science and community living share many of the same disruptive factors. We also identified principles and practices that reduce the effects of these factors in intentional living communities and may serve to enhance the long-term success and thriving of collaborative research projects. Specific principles include shared vision and mission, recognition of unique talents, and commitment to community. Specific practices include cooperative learning, growthcentered and scaffolded mentoring, and celebration of events and achievements. The lessons and insights gained from intentional living communities are shaping the way that we structure, implement, and design assessment strategies for a new team-based research initiative at our institution.



Type of Publication:

Oral presentation


scits 2017 conference, presentation, lessons, team science

Addresses these goal(s):

  • Enhance team performance, interactions, and attitudes
  • Conduct research on/evaluate team science

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Resource created by Jane Hwang on 10/5/2017 3:55:52 PM.

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