Cross-disciplinary collaboration is essential in much contemporary research but often involves project management and teamwork challenges that can diminish the chances of scientific success.  Upfront attention to the details of working together as a team can help prevent or mitigate commonly encountered problems, laying the groundwork for optimal progress on a project’s scientific goals.

The Collaboration Planning workshop offered by Tufts CTSI’s Research Collaboration Team is designed to help teams systematically work through a core set of issues recognized in the literature on scientific collaboration as the most potentially problematic for collaborative projects.

What is Collaboration Planning?

Collaboration Planning is a structured activity that was developed to help teams assess and proactively address factors known to influence the success of multidisciplinary research. The approach is based on a framework originally developed by a federal working group on Team Science* and later adapted for the CTSA community.

The activity consists of a 90-minute group session in which participants are guided by trained facilitators through a set of exercises covering:

  • Team Vision
  • People, Roles, & Responsibilities
  • Team Outputs
  • Team Culture
  • Team Processes & Team Functioning
  • Project Management & Infrastructure
  • Implementation & Maintenance of the Collaboration Plan

* K. L. Hall et al. (eds.), Strategies for Team Science Success, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-20992-6_45

How can Collaboration Planning help?

The process and resulting project-specific collaboration plan can help:

  • Research projects launch with strong team processes already in place, supporting improved scientific outcomes;
  • Build team leadership and collaboration skills for participating early-stage investigators and research staff;
  • Develop grant application components such as project management and multi-PI leadership plans; and
  • Prepare teams to address collaboration-specific review criteria in their future proposals.

Eligibility and costs

Teams at any Tufts CTSI partner and collaborator institutions with a biomedical or health-related research project can request a Collaboration Planning workshop. The activity will be most useful for newly formed teams as well as existing teams launching a new project or pursuing a new research direction.

Tufts CTSI is providing these workshops without cost, as part of a national CTSA study.

To learn more or request a workshop

Teams interested in discussing how a Collaboration Planning workshop might enhance their efforts should contact a member of the Research Collaboration Team at Tufts.CTSI.CommunityCollaboration@tuftsmedicine.org.