Research Collaboration and Team Science: A State-of-the-Art Review and Agenda

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Esmail et al. To address these limitations, Burke et al. Participatory team science offers this opportunity. Participatory team science blends two growing developments in the practice of science, interdisciplinary team science with participatory research approaches. To varying degrees, each adopts heterarchy as an organizing framework and seeks to build integrative capacity within the research partnership to promote knowledge integration and the co-production of knowledge.

How best to assemble, manage, and sustain an interdisciplinary science team is just now becoming understood through studies in the science of team science SciTS , an emerging area of research that examines the processes, outcomes, and impacts of team science Falk-Krzesinski et al. Thus far, however, few SciTS studies have focused on public engagement on science teams, or on the added benefit and cost to knowledge integration of doing so Tebes, In part, this is because CTSAs operate within settings that prioritize Mode 1 science, which can devalue actual community participation Freeman et al.

Kost et al. In the following paragraphs, we offer examples of public engagement in participatory team science for each phase identified by Hall et al. These phases overlap with other taxonomies of public engagement, such as the Concannon et al. For each phase, we provide published examples of engagement consistent with participatory team science, although most were not originally conceptualized as exemplars of this approach. In the development phase Hall et al. This might entail: a deciding which stakeholders will participate on the team; b developing a shared understanding of the problem; 3 identifying the mission and goals of the team; and 4 building trust, psychological safety, and team identity.

Examples of stakeholder activities might include: engaging residents of public housing in problem identification for a smoking cessation intervention Andrews et al. In the conceptualization phase Hall et al. In addition, the team develops a research design that accommodates the various interdisciplinary components of the research while considering stakeholder concerns.

For some teams, an overall design may already have been developed for funding purposes, but significant details remain that may be specified collaboratively by the team. During this phase, the team establishes communication structures and practices, creates a shared language for interaction, and identifies roles and responsibilities within the team. In the implementation phase, the team carries out the research based on their roles and responsibilities. Since the research process is dynamic, member tasks, roles, and responsibilities require regular adjustment as implementation proceeds, and conflict management is required.

In the translation phase, the team seeks to translate findings to individuals and settings for real-world impact. Again, the team adapts to a dynamic research environment to adjust roles and responsibilities, and identify opportunities for translation and dissemination. Examples of activities during this phase might include: sponsoring a conference to build translational capacity for collaborating researchers and community members by sharing experiences from a community randomized trial Khodyakov et al. They also show that teams can benefit from public engagement even when this occurs only during specific phases, which differs from CBPR.

In our view, public engagement during all phases of team science is unrealistic, cost prohibitive, and unsustainable, given barriers to interdisciplinary team science and public engagement. As teams begin to engage public stakeholders, SciTS researchers can systematically study the benefits and costs of doing so, and how different types of engagement effect integrative capacity and knowledge integration. Next and in Figure 1 we provide a hypothetical example of how participatory team science might work. Our team seeks to address a complex problem: the combined impact of adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, and neighborhood disadvantage on the health and well-being of children and families.

ACEs are various childhood adversities e. Neighborhood disadvantage e. Examining the impact of these adversities may lead to interventions and policies that mitigate or prevent their effects and promote health and well-being. In our example, investigators from four disciplines — psychology, sociology, neuroscience, and economics — decide to address this issue from an interdisciplinary perspective. The psychologist is interested in understanding developmental processes and impacts within the school and family.

The sociologist seeks to examine the interplay of neighborhood processes associated with neighborhood disadvantage on health and well-being. The neuroscientist wants to learn more about how relative exposure to these adversities alters specific reward mechanisms in the brain. The economist is interested in identifying causal social mechanisms for child and family outcomes using instrumental variables analysis with neighborhood census and geocoded crime data.

As shown, our hypothetical team will also eventually include a coalition representative, a parent representative, a policymaker, a health care provider, and an urban planner. It is important to note that stakeholders may not occupy key roles during each phase, and may join the team for the duration of the research or during specific phases, depending on the nature of the collaboration. Figure 1 depicts the progression of this participatory science team through the four phases described earlier Hall et al.

In these discussions, investigators begin to define the problem to be studied, construct a shared mental model to address it, and identify public stakeholders to inform the research. The newly-assembled interdisciplinary team then invites two community representatives -- one from a neighborhood coalition experienced in mobilizing residents and another from an active parent group in a public elementary school — to provide local, culturally-situated, and contextualized knowledge to inform the research. This expanded team then further refines the problem definition and contextualizes the mental model.

Next, in the conceptualization phase, the team decides on the specific research questions to examine and the methods to employ. In the implementation phase, members identify specific sites for data collection, including local childcare settings, schools, after school programs, and health clinics. To assist with clinic implementation, the team invites a health care provider with ties to the local clinic network.

In addition, the parent and coalition representatives and their respective networks become more active in framing messages to help recruit parents and community members. In the final translation phase, the team invites an urban planner with expertise in neighborhood redevelopment to join the team. The planner joins other team members to study results and disseminate them to public, professional, policy, and academic audiences. Figure 1 also shows that as the team progresses through these four phases, interactions among members are part of a recursive process that affects team integrative capacity.

Building that capacity requires managing social interactions within the team to foster trust, psychological safety, and other qualities essential to task completion during each phase. Successful management of those interactions results in emotional, cognitive, and motivational states in the team that promote knowledge integration Salas et al. Although it may be challenging to manage interactions between investigators and public stakeholders on a science team, evidence from participatory research shows that it can be done effectively to generate new knowledge Israel et al.

What may be unique about participatory team science, however, is that social interactions are now managed within an interdisciplinary team of investigators who each operate interdependently to lead parts of the research, as is typical in a heterarchy. However, the strategies described earlier for establishing effective team science collaborations Bennett et al. We described how participatory team science might work, first by drawing on the participatory research literature and then by describing a hypothetical example.

Our intent was to show that combining interdisciplinary team science and participatory research is possible. However, doing so is not without challenges, which we discuss next. One challenge to participatory team science is that many policies and practices in universities and AMCs work against interdisciplinarity as well as team science Klein ; Leahey, ; NRC, Examples include: aligning administrative and reward structures by department, and retaining promotion and tenure policies that do not support interdisciplinary or team-based research, whether in a science team or in CTSIs Klein ; Marrero et al.

Gradually, however, changes are happening to address these challenges, in part due to enhanced incentives for team science Collins et al. The creation of interdisciplinary research centers in academic settings has begun to shift the balance of power away from academic departments to create dynamic opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration NRC, Reductions in U.

Targeted support for team science through federal institutes and centers Collins et al. Although there is currently no funding for participatory team science, several potential sources of research support may be leveraged to provide funding e. Another challenge is that currently there are no generally accepted norms for providing compensation to public stakeholders engaged in research as consultants, community or content experts, or advisors Black et al.

This creates an equity issue when some members of the team are paid and others are not.


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Black et al. Another challenge for participatory team science is determining its relevance to basic science. Most participatory research focuses on clinical, implementation, or translational research objectives, rather than on basic science. We have limited information on how best to engage the public on basic science, especially when an issue may be far removed from their expertise or experience. However, reports of engaging the public in basic science are increasing. DelNero and McGregor describe a program to promote dialogue between basic science cancer researchers like themselves and individuals living with cancer, and discuss how the program transformed their research.

Several reports from the U. And a recent report on gene-drive modified organisms by U. S scientists calls for robust public engagement to aid in decision making and risk assessment NASEM, The National Research Council has called on universities to accelerate the development of training in team science for researchers and practitioners NRC, Although evidence of program effectiveness is lacking, reports from a few training programs in AMCs, CTSIs, and research centers show promise Concannon et al. Training in participatory approaches is not as well established in psychology, although it is a core competency in community psychology and widespread in public health.

A need also exists to develop education and training programs for the public, and a few such programs are now available Parkes et al. Finally, in addition to The Field Guide Bennett et al. More than 40 years ago in the pages of the American Psychologist , Walsh, Smith, and London , p. As interdisciplinary scholarship has grown in psychology and other fields Henriksen, , the emerging field of interdisciplinary team science provides psychologists with new opportunities for collaboration as researchers, practitioners, evaluators, and consultants.

In this paper, we have argued that the current landscape of how science is understood and practiced is changing, moving not only toward interdisciplinary team science but also to participatory approaches that engage the public. However, science teams generally do not engage public stakeholders, and as a result, local, culturally-situated, and contextualized knowledge about a problem may not be incorporated into their work.

We are not proposing that all science teams always engage the public, but ask simply that the potential benefits of public engagement be considered when assembling a team, that is, to change the default for how teams are assembled and problems examined in an interdisciplinary context. We can no longer mostly ignore the public as key partners in this effort, and psychologists can lead the way through participatory team science. The authors are also grateful for comments from three anonymous reviewers and the editors.

This policy shift sought to ensure that each investigator receives credit for the research while also being held equally accountable. The Co-PI structure is heterarchical, but as noted later, university administrative practices and policies can undermine it. Nghi D. Thai, Central Connecticut State University. Europe PMC requires Javascript to function effectively.

Recent Activity. We argue that contemporary changes in how science is understood and practiced offer an opportunity to reconsider engaging the public as active participants on teams and coin the term participatory team science to describe public engagement in team science.

We discuss how public engagement can enhance knowledge within the team to address complex problems and suggest a different organizing framework for team science that aligns better with how teams operate and with participatory approaches to research. This may be because the snippet appears in a figure legend, contains special characters or spans different sections of the article. Am Psychol. Author manuscript; available in PMC May 1.

PMID: Jacob Kraemer Tebes and Nghi D. New Haven, CT ; ude. Copyright notice. The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Am Psychol. Abstract Interdisciplinary team science involves research collaboration among investigators from different disciplines who work interdependently to share leadership and responsibility.

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Background Types of Disciplinary Research Collaboration Rosenfield was the first to define the distinctions among disciplinary research collaborations. Structures and Phases of Interdisciplinary Team Science In their monograph Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science NRC, , the National Research Council identifies two primary structures for organizing team science: the science team and larger groups of teams.

Contemporary Changes in How Science is Understood and Practiced A Conceptual Framework for Interdisciplinary Team Science As interdisciplinary team science has grown, it has mostly operated within a traditional normative, scientific framework Tebes et al. Mode 1 and Mode 2 Science The use of heterarchical structures to produce scientific knowledge reflects a transformation in science that is currently underway Tebes et al. Public Engagement in Science The growth of Mode 2 science has occurred as calls for public engagement in science have increased Boaz et al.

Taxonomies of Public Engagement Public engagement in science involves research done with rather than to or for individuals who are participants rather than subjects Bromley et al. Participatory Team Science Participatory team science blends two growing developments in the practice of science, interdisciplinary team science with participatory research approaches. Opportunities for Public Engagement in Participatory Team Science In the following paragraphs, we offer examples of public engagement in participatory team science for each phase identified by Hall et al.

An Integrated Example of Participatory Team Science Next and in Figure 1 we provide a hypothetical example of how participatory team science might work. Open in a separate window. Figure 1. Challenges to Participatory Team Science We described how participatory team science might work, first by drawing on the participatory research literature and then by describing a hypothetical example.

Footnotes 1 In health-related research, public stakeholders may also include: patients, clients, and consumers; family members; service providers and clinicians; purchasers i. References Arnstein SR. A ladder of citizen participation. J Amer Institute Planners. American Journal of Community Psychology. Engaging stakeholders to inform clinical practice guidelines that address multiple chronic conditions. Journal of General Internal Medicine.


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Beyond incentives for involvement to compensation for consultants: increasing equity in CBPR approaches. Progress in Community Health Partnerships. Rethinking the relationship between science and society. Health Expectations. Next steps for citizen science. Research collaboration and team science: A state-of-the-art review and agenda. New York: Springer; Scientific and technical human capital: An alternative model for research evaluation. Internat J of Tech Management. Mapping the impact of patient and public involvement on health and social care research: a systematic review.

Interdisciplinary research has consistently lower funding success. From Subject to Participant: Ethics and the evolving role of community in health research. Amer J Public Health. Clinical Trans Science. Connected: The surprising power of our networks and how they shape our lives. Cilliers P. Understanding complex systems. Handbook of Systems and Complexity in Health. A new taxonomy for stakeholder engagement in patient-centered outcomes research. A systematic review of stakeholder engagement in comparative effectiveness and patient-centered outcomes research.

J of General Internal Medicine. Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color. Stanford Law Review.

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Fostering implementation of health services research findings into practice: A consolidated framework for advancing implementation science. Implementation Sci. From patients to partners. Patient and public involvement in basic science research—are we doing enough? BMJ Opinion. Is it possible to give scientific solutions to Grand Challenges? On the idea of grand challenges for life science research.

Evaluating patient and stakeholder engagement in research: moving from theory to practice. J Comparative Effectiveness Res. Advancing the science of team science. Clinical and Translational Science. New York: Apex Press; Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; Conflict, trust, and cohesion: Examining affective and attitudinal factors in science teams. Survey design from the ground up: Collaboratively creating the Toronto Teen Survey. Health Promotion Practice. Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Seabury Press; The New Production of Knowledge. London: Sage; Giere RN.

Scientific perspectivism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; Childhood adversity and adult chronic disease: An update from ten states and the District of Columbia. American J of Preventive Medicine. On becoming multicultural in a monocultural research world: A conceptual approach to studying ethnocultural diversity. American Psychologist. A four-phase model of transdisciplinary team-based research: Goals, team processes, and strategies. Translational Behavioral Medicine. C: Health Canada.

Henriksen D. The rise in co-authorship in the social sciences — Scientometrics. Co-producing public involvement training with members of the public and research organisations in the East Midlands. Research Involvement and Engagement. Washington, DC: National Academies; Briefing notes for researchers: Involving the public in NHS, public health and social care research. Irwin A. Citizen Science. London: Routledge; Review of community-based research. In terms of scientific resources, the first factor that supports publishing interdisciplinary research is previous research collaboration.

Preferably, the conceptual background of the underlying research has methodological interfaces that allow for an effective integration of research findings from different scientific disciplines. With respect to human resources, the coordinator represents the focal point for successfully publishing interdisciplinary research factor 3.

Ideally, a research coordinator is familiar with ongoing disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, and can actively support the writing process. Within each project, there should be time and funding specifically reserved for the review process to improve and possibly refocus the initial manuscripts factor 4. The availability of experienced senior scientists and professors factor 5 with a strong disciplinary background forms another essential part of an ideal-typical process for publishing interdisciplinary research. In terms of integrative resources, it is key to jointly deliberate and decide on the adequate form s of integration and to develop a joint vision of the integrated output factor 6.

This vision in turn forms an essential starting point for the process of publishing interdisciplinary research. Another crucial task is to coordinate the results from different disciplines that have to be integrated over time factor 7. In terms of feedback resources, projects should allocate time and resources to review the parts of the papers written by coauthors factor 8. Furthermore, a subject editor with a broad overview of the project, the involved disciplines, and the interdisciplinary merits factor 9 needs to find excellent reviewers with strong disciplinary expertise who are open-minded regarding interdisciplinary efforts factor To successfully implement such an ideal-typical publication process, long-term planning is needed.

This is so because some of the factors hindering or supporting interdisciplinary publishing are defined already at the stage of writing the research proposal, rather than when writing the papers based on the research results. Thus, planning a joint synthesis in a Special Feature may be a stimulating incentive for different research groups and disciplines to take part in an interdisciplinary process right from the start. We freely admit that the success factors for interdisciplinary publishing that we propose here for the ideal-typical story wall are based on an exploratory analysis of one single case, i.

Thus, a comparative study of different interdisciplinary publishing processes would allow for valuing and generalizing the individual factors by relating them to structural characteristics of different interdisciplinary research projects. However, with the caveat that the factors may have a different relevance in a different project context, we strongly suggest that they should at least be inspiring and useful for planning and undertaking interdisciplinary publishing processes in a more sophisticated way.

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