12th Annual International Science of Team Science (SciTS) Conference

Science of Team Science and the Human Condition




Welcome Note

Virginia Tech welcomes you to the 12th Annual International Science of Team Science (SciTS) Conference! We are proud to partner with INSciTS as the host of this year’s conference to celebrate team-based science, scholarship, and practice across the globe. We hope to deliver a conference that broadens participation, emphasizes diversity, and advances our understanding of collaborative initiatives that address complex global problems. We are honored to have the opportunity to highlight the remarkable work of scholars through Virginia Tech's Beyond Boundaries and Destination Areas initiatives that develop and support collaborative and cross-disciplinary research and teaching.

The global COVID pandemic has revealed more starkly than ever before that addressing global challenges, responding effectively to disasters, and creating sustainable and resilient systems requires not only collaboration across disciplines, but across societal sectors. Addressing fractured collaborative systems and the failures of governance across jurisdictional lines is critical to our capacity to address problems at the required scale and mitigate inequality within and between societies. The role of integrative and inclusive leadership for collaborative action is ever more evident.

As a field dedicated to enhancing our understanding of collaboration, Science of Team Science has much to contribute to addressing the challenges of collaboration. As a point of convergence between science and practice, SciTS 2021 features six invited panels with a mix of team science academics, leaders and members of cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral teams, social entrepreneurs, local and federal government officials, and institutional leaders and administrators from around the world. These panels highlight the interface of the science of team science with challenges such as:

  • responding to megadisasters (e.g., the COVID pandemic, hurricanes, and fires)
  • advancing civic-minded approaches to technology
  • building and sustaining international research collaborations
  • building policies and practices to promote diverse and inclusive team scholarship, and
  • leading and collaborating across sectors to tackle grand challenges in large growing metropolitan regions, such as equitable economic growth, affordable housing, food scarcity, infrastructure systems, and the impacts of climate change.

The conference overview and agenda provide detailed information about the offerings this year, but we would like to highlight some remarkable features.

First, we offer twenty-two workshops on a range of topics from the basics of team science in "Team Science 101" to collaboration planning, facilitator training and capacity building, serious games to advance cross-disciplinary collaboration, and communication tools and strategies for creative problem solving and collaborative innovation.

Second, we present two special round tables on timely topics in the SciTS field. "Discovering and Representing Deep Integration in Convergence Research" explores the intersections between convergence and cross-disciplinary team science, and "University Initiatives to Promote Transdisciplinary Research" focuses on the strategies, mechanisms, and lessons learned from various university initiatives to promote team science and scholarship.

Third, we offer nine collaborative panels on designing transdisciplinary graduate education programs, teaching students collaborative skills, experiences of multi-team research centers in academic settings, power dynamics in research teams, leading and participating in convergence research, and more.

Fourth, we are pleased to organize two inaugural colloquiums devoted to mentorship and networking for early career scholars and professionals and graduate students in the Science of Team Science field.

Finally, please take the time to peruse the seventy pre-recorded splash talk presentations in a bite-sized format for the latest developments in the SciTS field. Splash talks will be available for viewing for all conference registrants until the end of June.

We are honored to welcome four renowned keynote speakers this year. In the opening keynote on June 7, Dr. Lori Peek will introduce the "just reconnaissance" framework, informed by the science of team science, and describe how it has been applied at the NSF-sponsored CONVERGE facility she leads at the University of Colorado at Boulder, which advances convergence research and training in the hazards and disaster field. On June 9, Dr. Lance Collins will speak about the novel, cross-disciplinary, collaborative, and experiential graduate education program in computer science and computer engineering at Virginia Tech's Innovation Campus. On June 10, Mr. Gopi Gopalakrishnan, President of World Health Partners, will share his insights and experiences on the norms, organizational frameworks, and structures needed for providing health care to marginalized communities by harnessing limited resources. In our closing keynote on June 11, Dr. Sabine Hoffman will share her insights on leading and studying large scale inter- and trans-disciplinary research projects. Her talk will focus on the challenges of integration in diverse teams and the role of integration experts in promoting integrative thinking.

We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of so many people who have made this conference possible. We thank Virginia Tech’s Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke and the Army Research Office for their generous sponsorship of this conference. We thank Chitvan Trivedi for his phenomenal work in designing the online conference platform and taking care of all the minutiae needed to implement an online conference. Kudos to Briana Blanchard and the CPE team for their fantastic work in managing conference communications and logistics! A special thank you to all the members of our conference programming team and steering committee for their many contributions to the planning of the conference. Thanks very much to our SciTS 2021 Abstract Reviewers. We thank all our contributors -- splash talk and workshop presenters and panelists --- for their contributions to SciTS 2021. To our SciTS 2021 keynote speakers and invited panelists --- we are inspired by your contributions to society. Thank you for being a part of SciTS 2021. We are incredibly honored.

We hope that this year’s conference provides everyone the opportunity to collaboratively rethink how science of team science research and practice may serve as a foundation for positive change and justice. Thank you for your participation. We are delighted that you can join us!


Shalini Misra (with Anne Khademian and Karen Roberto)

SciTS 2021 Conference Co-Chairs


Conference Overview:

This year’s conference will be composed of two components, live sessions and pre-recorded splash talks.


Live Sessions:

Each day, there will be live sessions which include Keynotes, Invited Panels, Round Tables, Collaborative Panels, SIG Panels, and Workshops, as per the schedule here. Details of these live sessions can be found on the specific day when they are scheduled. Links to join each live session will be posted on the online conference platform and only be available to registered conference attendees. Links will NOT be provided via email. Please do NOT share the links with anyone outside of the conference. We recommend testing your access to the links on the Friday before the conference start date (June 4, 2021).

Pre-registration is required for the workshops as spaces are limited. Conference attendees can use this form. Registration for the workshops closes on June 2. Before joining each workshop session, there will be a Zoom waiting room. Attendees who have pre-registered will be given priority. You will receive an email listing the workshops you selected on June 3, 2021.


Pre-recorded Splash Talks: 

Individual pre-recorded Splash Talks, which are tagged by topic, are available here. Once you log in to the conference platform (accessible only to conference registrants), you can choose the topic of interest from the drop-down menu and the list of splash talks will appear. You can connect with the presenters via their listed email addresses and via the Splash Talk feed on SciTS 2021 Slack. Please don’t forget to vote for your favorite splash talks by June 11, 2021. Links to vote are provided on the Splash Talks page. The SciTS 2021 Planning Team will announce the top three “Best Splash Talk Winners” soon after the conference based on your votes and reviewers’ ratings of the splash talk abstracts.


Accessing the Online Conference Platform:

Conference registrants can access the zoom links for the live sessions and the splash talks by going to inscits.org and logging in by clicking the Member Login button on the top right hand side using your INSciTS credentials. Once you are logged in, you will have access to all the conference-related material by clicking on the 2021 SciTS Conference button as shown below. The detailed agenda pages (Agenda Day 1 through Agenda Day 5) will include the zoom links for all the live sessions. Zoom links for all sessions will be posted on June 4, 2021, three days prior to the first day of the conference.

Similarly, once logged in conference registrants can access the pre-recorded splash talks from the drop down menu as shown below.


Please note: If someone else has registered on your behalf, and you do not have a profile on INSciTS, you can still access the material by using your email id as the username and resetting the password. The reset password link will be sent to the email address you provided for the conference. 

We recommend testing your access to the conference platform latest by Friday, June 4, 2021. If you still have problems, get in touch with us at [email protected].


Informal Social Hour:

Opportunities to meet and connect with fellow SciTS 2021 participants are available via the Informal Social Hour feature. Suggested times are outlined on the conference schedule, but you can schedule a meeting whenever you like. Connect one-on-one or with a small group of people, just like you would at an in-person conference. Visit the sign-up sheet here to begin planning your meeting. Please note: we are only providing the online space to organize your informal social hour. It is up to you to share and promote your meeting. If you’d like to make your Informal Social Hour known, there will also be a feed devoted to announcing these within our SciTS 2021 Slack.


Thank you and if you have any questions, feel free to email [email protected]


Detailed Conference Agenda (PDF)


If you still have questions, please refer to our FAQ page here


INSciTS Membership Benefits and Special Interest Groups