Choose Your Own Adventure Session: Team Science Solutions in a Virtual and Real World Setting

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

Team Science Solutions for Collaborative Arctic Research Challenges

Brit Myers

Abstract: The Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) is a non-profit consortium of individual and institutional members. Since 1988, ARCUS has served to connect interdisciplinary Arctic researchers, educators, Indigenous knowledge holders, local residents, and other stakeholders to catalyze knowledge exchange and establish meaningful Arctic research community connections. Through annual meetings and other engagement events, members of the ARCUS consortium come together to identify and address community challenges and to explore new research collaboration opportunities.  In these forums, ARCUS community members have regularly articulated the many different types of challenges they face when undertaking interdisciplinary, co-produced, and convergence research projects. To help overcome these challenges, ARCUS convened an Interdisciplinary Research Committee in 2021 to discuss the collaboration support needs of the Arctic research community and to propose a set of actions that could be undertaken to help increase relevant team science skills, knowledge, and experience within the Arctic research context.  This presentation will report on the findings of the committee, explore the ongoing importance of the Science of Team Science in identifying and implementing solutions, and discuss potential avenues for further augmenting the exchange of SciTS concepts, models, and best practices within Arctic research.

SDG Research Collabs: Are We There Yet?

Jane Payumo

Abstract: Collaborations and partnerships will be key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This lightning talk will showcase the results of a study focused on collaborations and partnerships in SDG-related research. It will also showcase the study's approach to mapping research collaborations and partnerships beyond the traditional definition of multiple, one-time co-authorship. This lightning talk will present some of the knowledge gaps in SDG-related collaborations and identify their characteristics and important features. Lastly, this lightning talk will offer some implications for improving our understanding of the state of collaboration and measures for mapping stable, long-term partnerships.

Interdisciplinarityness Within and Across the Institution: An Exploratory Case Study at a High-Research University

Clint Patterson

Abstract: Recent reports indicate interdisciplinary collaborations and perspectives are essential to address increasingly complex global and societal problems. Exactly how institutions promote an academic culture authentically rooted to develop discipline integrations is intricate and warrants thoughtful consideration. We posit a fresh term, interdisciplinarityness, which is intended to be inclusive yet flexible of interdisciplinary teaching, learning, mentoring, research, and curriculum. There is no one-size-fits-all  approach, and, similarly, interdisciplinarity spans a variety of diverse academic contexts.This exploratory case study research was conducted at one R1 university located in the United States with the research question: what are the current interdisciplinary culture, environment, and needs of the institution? Employing convenient and snowball sampling, researchers interviewed twelve interdisciplinary stakeholders (n=8 faculty; n=4 administrators) to discuss their interdisciplinarityness experiences. An exploratory and qualitative research design was implemented to determine participant perceptions of their interdisciplinary context, environment, and current engagement. The study analyzed transcripts for emergent themes from a five-question, semi-structured interview. These questions were intended to gauge the difficulties and successes associated with interdisciplinary efforts at the university.Qualitative analyses revealed five themes. First, collaboration experiences vary and are influenced by the context. Multiple individuals described the intricacies of "different training and culture" within and across the institution. The second finding is interdisciplinarityness is needed and complex. While a majority of participants value convergent research, many acknowledged it "may take longer for success to show" and be a "hard thing to actually purposely work together". Thirdly, team formation should not be overlooked, as faculty and administrators observed "faculty not realizing how much time is devoted to formation of the team", causing collaborators to "not catch a vision to save their lives." Institutional bureaucracy as an implementation barrier, or finding four, was described as "a lack of standardized process, ontology, methods, practices, and principles." One faculty stated "that through the barriers of hierarchy‚ interdisciplinarityness is hard." The final finding is no one program or department 'owns' interdisciplinarityness at the institution, as "90% of campus or people" have the intention of wanting to work together on interdisciplinary projects."This research expands the INSciTS discussion and commitment to discipline integration by 1) offering a replicable study design for boundary spanning scholars to explore their institution, 2) providing early evidence for interdisciplinarityness, and 3) describing interview findings through emergent themes that impact how institutions promote discipline integration.

Using the Arts to Flip Understanding: A Workshop for New Perspective

Veronica Stanich

Abstract: Many workshops and interventions proliferating across Team Science, and higher education in general, rely directly or indirectly on practices and approaches associated with design thinking. A range of institutions have demonstrated the efficacy of such design thinking-inspired activities for research teams, especially in STEMM disciplines, and we wonder: What do the practices and approaches of the arts (different from design) have to offer researchers in non-arts fields?One answer is new perspective; engaging with other disciplines helps us see and understand even familiar content differently. We hypothesized that the arts could afford new perspective to STEMM researchers who don't usually engage arts practices, jump-starting their thinking and even helping them with a "stuck place"‚ conundrum that bogs down their work. Finding little research to support that hypothesis, we designed a workshop experience to explore its possibilities.The workshop asks its participants to take on the artist's practice of making, creating micro works of art in movement, literary, and visual forms that use a stuck place in their current work or research as thematic material. Participants toggle between an open-ended, exploratory approach and a more critical one, analyzing and interpreting the micro-artworks they make.We have given the workshop four times, both online and in-person, surveying participants every time. Demonstrated in both ranked and open-ended questions, almost all participants think about familiar things in unfamiliar ways, make something that's useful to their thinking, and advance their thinking on an issue; indeed, the process seems to help many come "unstuck." Integrating artists into STEMM teams is one way the arts can enhance STEMM research; early results from our workshop indicate that another may be the use of arts practices by STEMM researchers themselves.

Institutionalizing Interdisciplinarity and Transdisciplinarity: Lessons for Team Science from Collaborations across Cultures and Communities

Bianca Vienni Baptista

Abstract: Increased interest in interdisciplinarity (ID) and transdisciplinarity (TD) has heightened calls for institutionalizing structures and strategies that cross boundaries of expertise both within and beyond the academy. This Lightning Talk draws lessons for team science from a new book featuring fifteen original case studies, by exploring how ID and TD have been institutionalized with emphasis on insights for research collaboration. The rhetoric of transformation in the case studies and in pertinent literature beckons profound change in research and education. However, barriers and disincentives familiar to team-science scholars persist. The case studies identified forms of and insights about collaborative research from five continents of Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. A multitude of strategies and models of change emerged along four dimensions: personal and professional, academic/epistemological, institutional, and socio-political. We also considered five subthemes present in the cases: spanning historical and geographical contexts, temporal and spatial organization of research and teaching, degrees of change from modifications to transformations, theories or philosophies of institutional change, and factors helping or hindering institutionalizing processes and dynamics. Drawing from the cases, we provide a heuristic framework for tackling continuing and future challenges posed by different relations at the intersections of cultures, institutions, and communities in institutionalizing inter- and trans-disciplinarity. Our Lightning Talk will begin by stating the scope of the case studies, the four dimensions, and the five subthemes. We will then describe strategies, methods, and institutional forms of inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches to research collaboration in the cases. The primary themes for team science in general and this conference, in particular, are institutional policies, best practices for collaboration, and inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches to real-world problem solving.

Inclusion Nudges in Team Science

Yulia Levites Strekalova

Abstract: This presentation will provide a conceptual and practical overview of the inclusion nudges in team science. Numerous reports on the career development and progress in biomedical science quote lack of connection and integration as one of the reasons for the low representation racial and ethnic minorities among tenure-track and research faculty. We propose that intentional inclusion is an effective communication and program planning strategy applicable in this context. In this talk we will provide an overview and examples of the application of the inclusive wording, talk time tracking, and anonymous resources tools that can be used by the teams to create nudges and structures for the promotion of diversity and inclusion among interdisciplinary research teams.

Further Divided Gender Gaps in Research Productivity and Collaboration during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Meijun Liu

Abstract: Based on publication data on coronavirus-related fields, this study applies a difference in differences approach to explore the evolution of gender inequalities before and during the COVID-19 pandemic by comparing the differences in the numbers and shares of authorships, leadership in publications, gender composition of collaboration, and scientific impacts. We find that, during the pandemic: (1) females' leadership in publications as the major contributor was negatively affected; (2) although both females and males published more papers relative to the pre-pandemic period, the gender gaps in the share of authorships have been strengthened due to the larger increase in males' authorships; (3) publications by mixed-gender collaboration declined; (4) papers by teams in which females play a key role were less cited, and this citation disadvantage was exacerbated during the pandemic; and (5) gender inequalities regarding authorships and collaboration were strengthened in the initial stage of COVID-19, widened with the increasing severity of COVID-19, and returned to the pre-pandemic level in September 2020. This study shows that females' lower participation in teams as major contributors and less collaboration with their male colleagues also reflect their underrepresentation in science in the pandemic period. This investigation significantly deepens our understanding of how the pandemic influenced academia, based on which science policies and gender policy changes are proposed to mitigate the gender gaps.