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National Cancer Institute

Strategies for facilitating and supporting cross-disciplinary team science on cancer: Lessons from the National Cancer Institute's TREC initiative.

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Vogel A, Stipelman, B., Feng, A., Stokols, D., Hall, K.L, Nebeling, L.. Strategies for facilitating and supporting cross-disciplinary team science on cancer: Lessons from the National Cancer Institute's TREC initiative.. Oral presentation at 2011 American Public Health Association Conference.. Washington DC, Washington DC. 2011.

Research on the links between health behaviors and cancer may benefit significantly from cross-disciplinary team science approaches that integrate concepts and methods from diverse fields. Enabling these approaches is expected to accelerate scientific innovation and the translation of research to practice and policy. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has funded multiple large cross-disciplinary team science initiatives over the past decade, and has undertaken substantial efforts to identify factors that influence the effective practice and outcomes of cross-disciplinary team science. In this talk, we present findings from a qualitative study of lessons learned by NCI staff and NCI-funded investigators on this topic. We interviewed 40 program staff and investigators involved in NCI's Transdisciplinary Research in Energetics and Cancer I (TREC I) initiative. TREC I (2005 -2010) supported four research centers and a coordination center to foster the integration of biological, behavioral, and social science research to address the relationships among diet, physical activity, energy balance, obesity and cancer. Interviews were recorded and transcribed, and analyzed for key themes with support from research software. We share strategies for success used in TREC I to facilitate and support cross-disciplinary team science, including: approaches for forging and maintaining cross-disciplinary teams; strategies for overcoming language barriers among disciplines; tools to foster cross-institutional collaboration; and ways to use institutional and grant funding to support novel research directions. These findings contribute to the growing body of knowledge on best practices for cross-disciplinary team science. They may be translatable to other institutional settings, funders, and research objectives.



Type of Publication:

Oral presentation


TREC, team science, transdisciplinary

Addresses these goal(s):

  • Establish or maintain effective team science endeavors
  • Enhance team performance, interactions, and attitudes
  • Provide training for team science to team members or students
  • Conduct research on/evaluate team science

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Resource created by Brooke Stipelman on 9/20/2012 9:50:24 AM.

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