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Importance of Multidisciplinary Team Science

Importance of Multidisciplinary Team Science

As shown in the figure, the team composition of Ensembles is multidisciplinary and includes non-traditional stakeholders that are important to designing solutions to unmet patient medical needs. To achieve true interdependence of all disciplines and stakeholders, it is vital that Ensembles learn and implement the principles of team science.

The science of team science is a broad and diffuse area of study, and is not part of typical academic curriculums. Concepts, such as co-equality of ideas, shared vision, avoiding dominance, and common vocabulary are some of the fundamental principles to carry out productive and enjoyable team research. Each Ensemble team has a different beginning point, but all Ensembles will go through various stages of team formation. The most widely-known theory of team formation was developed by Bruce Tuckman, and focused on five stages of group development. Because solving healthcare problems is ongoing, we typically focus on the stages of (1) Forming, (2) Storming, (3), Norming, and (4) Performing. Tuckman added a fifth stage, “adjourning,” which may be applicable when considering the completion of a single product of an Ensemble.

More information on the study and practice of multidisciplinary team science can be found in the following articles. In addition, CTSI offers an annual Multidisciplinary Team Science Workshop every Spring. Stop back for the announcement of the 20243 Spring offering.

  1. Bennett LM, Gadlin H. Collaboration and team science: from theory to practice. J Investig Med. 2012 Jun;60(5):768-75. doi: 10.2310/JIM.0b013e318250871d. PMID: 22525233; PMCID: PMC3652225. Click to Download
  2. National Research Council. 2015. Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science. Report Brief Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Click to Download
  3. Committee on the Science of Team Science; Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; National Research Council. Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science. Cooke NJ, Hilton ML, editors. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2015 Jul 15. PMID: 26247083. Click to Download
  4. NCI Collaboration and Team Science Field Guide Click to Download

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