Choose Your Own Adventure Session: Research in Practice

Tuesday, August 2, 2022
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM ET

Pandemics Spur Novel Combinations of Pre-existing Knowledge: Evidence from COVID-19 Pandemic

Meijun Liu

Abstract: Scientific novelty drives the efforts to generate new solutions during the pandemic. Team freshness and international collaboration are two crucial ways to expand teams' search activities for a broader scope of resources required to address the global public health crisis, which might facilitate the generation of novel ideas. Our analysis of 98,981 coronavirus papers suggests that scientific novelty measured by the BioBERT model that is pretrained on 29 million PubMed articles, and team freshness increased after the outbreak of COVID-19, and international collaboration suddenly declined. During COVID-19, papers produced by teams that entailed more team freshness were found to be more novel and international collaboration did not dampen novelty as it had done in the pre-pandemic periods. The findings suggest the necessity of reaching out for distant resources and the importance of constructing a collaborative scientific community during a pandemic.

Organizing Inter- and Transdisciplinary Research in Practice. The Case of the Meta-Organization French LTSER platforms

Kristina Likhacheva

Abstract: The following talk is aiming to present an article dedicated to the reorganization of research communities in a context characterised by a tension between rising calls for inter- and transdisciplinary research (ITDR) and the persistent structuring, functioning and evaluation of scientific research on a mainly disciplinary basis. Drawing on in-depth interviews with their leaders, an analysis of their applications for creation or renewal, and bibliometric data, it focuses on the case of the French LTSER platforms, the "Zones Ateliers" (ZAs), which aim to promote ITDR on social-ecological systems (Lévêque et al., 2001; Lagadeuc and Chenorkian, 2009; Bretagnolle et al. 2019). It shows that ZAs are not only quasi boundary organizations, as often emphasized, but also research-based meta-organizations (Ahrne and Brunsson, 2008), which is ignored but has important implications for their functioning and dynamics. In particular, being meta-organizations strongly influences issues of membership and leadership, concerning both human and social scientists and societal actors. It also shows that levels of interdisciplinarity between natural scientists and human and social scientists, as well as transdisciplinarity, have recently increased but remain relatively low. While the relationship between the organization of research and the content of research needs further clarification, making explicit the type of organizations to which ZAs belong helps understand the limits of the organizational arrangements they can experiment with.

How to Collaborate in a Crisis: Lessons from the Development of the Scottish COVID-19 Wastewater Testing Programme

Isabel Fletcher

Abstract: In Scotland in March 2020, there were no protocols for testing for COVID-19, and lockdown restrictions had just been announced. Despite these challenging conditions, innovative rapid research from the Roslin Institute (the institute behind "Dolly the Sheep") and the piloting of a new sampling system by Scottish Water and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency established a nationwide surveillance programme testing wastewater for COVID-19 within six months.  As part of a learning review conducted on behalf of the Scottish Government, we interviewed more than 40 key participants to understand the collaborations that took place between researchers, government and the water industry during this period and beyond. These data provide a unique case study of how to build rapid research collaborations in response to crisis or emergency situations.The literatures on team science and transdisciplinary research (TDR) tell us that success in team-based research is widely understood to depend on: good coordination and communication, building trust and dealing with team conflict, having shared goals, and the availability of resources. TDR is also characterised by its time- and resource-intensiveness and reliance on trust-based relationships. Yet, both literatures are relatively silent on the issue of how best to convene newly emergent collaborations in response to a crisis situation which may need to rely on available resources and ad-hoc approaches.  Our  conceptual framework therefore draws on emerging interest in "rapid approaches to research" in healthcare and the concept of "swift trust", developed in the context of emergency humanitarian responses.Our results demonstrate the key role played by brokerage organisations in bringing together potential collaborators and the importance of public funding to ensure "collaboration readiness". We also show how, in crisis, individuals rely on their existing networks to locate potential collaborators and that regular communication between research partners is paramount when dealing with new collaborations and urgent deadlines. Co-ordination of activities between different sets of stakeholders is crucial to ensure that research results can be translated into routine programmes of activity, and to ensure that institutional memories of effective responses are retained for use in future crises. This research contributes new knowledge about rapid research responses to existing scholarship in SciTS and TDR by using well-established approaches from both fields to enable us to think more broadly about developing collaborations in crisis situations.

Managing Hybrid Federal Teams: Building Trust, Engagement and Purpose

Myra Travin

Abstract: LX Design or Learner Experience Design for a hybrid environments is a topic of increasing interest to many kinds of people -- Those who are responsible for interpreting user experiences within learning environments, those who are tasked with developing learning environments themselves and even those who are realizing that all environments are now in some form, hybrid ones when you get right down to it. In our post-COVID 19 world, all forms of learning have some hybrid considerations, both in technology and people strategyEveryone has to learn to use a tool before they use it, even if that experience only takes seconds. We have just been pretending that people don't go through that experience...but they do. It's an inconvenient truth about users: they approach every experience from a learning perspective first, because all experiences are different. In hybrid learning, we expect people to be capable without realizing everything that is involved in creating a seamless experience for both online and in-person participantsWe will start with a brief historical review of the topic and why design and development have become one and the same. In my session, I will delineate what we know about hybrid LX, current approaches and models, and describe how it has come to pass that instructional design has inched ever closer to the skills sets that interaction designers possess. It is critical that instructional designers develop the skill sets to stay relevant or if they will find if they will simply be replaced by people who understand the technology and can develop tools to meet deadlines. We will introduce participants to a new characterization of learning design called "Hybrid LX Design" and demonstrate why its principles are more in line with environments where open inquiry and choice replace the goals for standard online learning which seek rapid adoption and environmental narrowing of choice. In this session, learners will: Gain and understanding of how the fields of user experience design and hybrid instructional design have aligned,Demonstrate an understanding of the specifics of the learning and technology design process model,Define the strategy of empathetic design and how data collection is essential to understanding outcomes,Summarize the elements of learner personalization, and how it differs from aggregated learning design,Outline the drawbacks of the ADDIE, SAM and Design Thinking Models and why they need to be seen in the context of development cycles,Enumerate the skills they will need to develop to become viable in today's hybrid learning and development marketplace.

Translational Clinical Scientists Key to Innovative Research

Jan Egan

Abstract: Translational medicine is a bridge between laboratory science and clinical practice; it is the process of transforming a research discovery and applying it to clinical care leading to new and personalized treatments for best patient care outcomes. However, taking an idea to clinical application is complex, requiring many steps involving multidisciplinary teams. Many investigators, even those with experience, try to navigate the research process with insufficient understanding of the process, necessary resources, or effective strategies to succeed. Several institutions have investigated what hinders physician participation in research. The greatest hindrance to participate was not lack of interest in research, but rather challenges encountered when trying to engage in research. These challenges included systems and operational infrastructure as well as personnel and time constraints.To assess investigator knowledge and ability to navigate the research process at Mayo Clinic, we conducted interviews and online surveys which identified challenges ranging from lack of expertise in rapidly changing fields, to knowledge of resources, ability to locate resources and consistent frustration with navigating the research process. To address this gap, a pilot was conducted granting investigators access to a Translational Clinical Scientist (TCS) who helped project teams overcome barriers by providing scientific guidance, assistance with process navigation and resource utilization. TCS serving as integration experts to guide teams through the development of a testable hypothesis and study aims utilizing a scientifically sound approach, followed by engagement with needed institutional resources were key to success for projects in danger of failing. When surveyed, all investigators who received TCS support reported their research would benefit from a TCS for research process navigation. Also, they reported higher confidence in their knowledge of resources (54 vs 27%), ability to locate resources (85 vs 27%) and ability to collaborate with others who have a needed expertise (62 vs 27%) than investigators without support. From these findings, the Omics Concierge Service was launched and in 2021 supported 44 investigators across Mayo Clinic. There is an unmet demand for scientific support to enable advancement of an idea to project implementation and clinical application. TCS engage with clinical and scientific investigators to guide them through the translational science process by serving as integration experts to overcome barriers. This includes scientific guidance for project design to leverage the expertise needed for success. Supported investigators were empowered to pursue practice transforming research by accelerating the development of innovative ideas through collaborative research. All sectors of the institution benefit when investigators engage with TCS to facilitate successful, innovative team science that transforms clinical care.

From Evidence-Based Scientific Recommendations to Actual Implementations: The Usefulness of Existing Institutional Structures

Michèle Marti

Abstract: In the wake of the flooding events in Switzerland in 2005 that caused severe damages, the Swiss Federal Council adopted the project "Optimization of Warnings and Alerting", aiming at improving natural hazard warnings and alerts in order to better inform and warn authorities and the public. To achieve the necessary collaboration, the Swiss federal institutes responsible for natural hazards joined forces in 2008 to form the Steering Committee Intervention in Natural Hazards (LAINAT). This committee encompasses four federal offices and two federal research institutes. LAINAT is operational since 2009 and strengthens institutional processes to clarify political, strategic and technical aspects in a sustainable manner. It also enables coordination to more effectively develop joint forecasting and warning activities [1]. In our conference contribution, we will present how these institutional structures allow the successful translation of research findings into evidence-based scientific recommendations and, consequently, actual implementations. The basis of this success story is a close collaboration within LAINAT and its working groups. At the SED, the communication team conducted in the framework of a PhD thesis and a master thesis four transdisciplinary studies [2], whereby prototypes of multi-hazard warnings were co-developed with scientists from different disciplines and tested with the public [3,4,5]. The studies were motivated by previous research and practical observations pointing to the fact that users have difficulties interpreting information shared in a multi-hazard context. Our studies allowed to derive evidence-based recommendations on how to compile understandable, accessible, user-oriented and actionable multi-hazard warnings. These recommendations were then translated into implementable actions and fed into LAINAT-internal institutional consultation processes. To name an example, one recommended action is to better communicate the impact of the events by making the description of the hazard levels more process-oriented. Each federal institute then evaluated whether the suggested actions are reasonable and doable with respect to the hazards and their existing applications, eventually leading to an acceptance or rejection. At this point of time, some actions were accepted by all institutes and some have to go into a further evaluation phase, which will again be collaboratively executed. To conclude, the success of the collaboration and, consequently, the effective transfer from scientific results to practical and implementable measures was given by already existing networks and collaboration structures (e.g., working groups). These structures facilitate the co-creation of knowledge between scientists and practitioners at the institutes as well as the stakeholders of society. Thereby, the spaces for collaboration do not have to be active all the time, but should allow to suggest, debate, and implement actions when required.