Creating innovative and impactful team science workshops

The major challenge that cross-disciplinary teams face is their lack of skills and experience in creating and growing highly functional teams. This is especially problematic when they have limited time and resources to develop the collaboration skills needed to produce funding proposals, research, and policy. At our local CTSA hub, we have developed a comprehensive team science model that includes multi-level training, team consultations, rewards for successful collaboration, mechanisms to overcome institutional barriers to collaboration, and a shift in the institutional research culture that currently accepts dysfunctional and sub-optimal teams as the norm. The cornerstone of this model is the training program, which includes workshops, a graduate-level course in Team Science and Collaboration, and on-demand events (presentations, grand rounds, and community events). In this workshop, we will introduce participants to developing and executing high-quality team science workshops.

Participants will gain knowledge of some fundamentals of team science, but the emphasis will be on the teaching methods that we use to teach these fundamentals. We will demonstrate and discuss the principles we employ in our team science training:

  • Developing and integrating pre-work
  • Promoting participant self-reflection
  • Balancing didactic and hands-on workshop components
  • Personalizing learning objectives to participants through experiential learning
  • Recognizing elements of adult learning theory (andragogy)

We will present applied activities that participants can use in their team science training programs. The focus will be on introducing innovative, adaptable tools that allow participants to experience the challenges of working on a cross-disciplinary team. A final debrief will help participants connect workshop content to future training applications at their home institutions. Participants will work through the steps described above in a very interactive environment where they will understand how to integrate principles of adult learning while focusing on specific expected outcomes for their learners. Participants will also get a feel for co-creation with a team and experience using tools, techniques, and strategies when developing their own workshop.

Our learning objectives include: (1) Describe the fundamentals of adult learning when teaching team science and the science of teams, (2) utilize activities and tools to design workshops that teach participants how to improve team communication and function, and (3) describe and apply principles for training cross-disciplinary teams. The purpose of this workshop is to train others how to develop and implement impactful team science workshops at their home institutions, and our target audience includes those responsible for carrying out team science training.

Presenters

Jacqueline M. Knapke, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Cincinnati (UC). She also serves as the Associate Director of the Center for Continuous Professional Development and works with two core programs at the Cincinnati Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training: the Center for Improvement Science and Translational Workforce Development. She has a Ph.D. in Higher Education Policy and Reform and brings expertise in team science, mixed methods, and educational program development and evaluation. She has managed the Team Science work group at UC for almost five years, contributing to over 20 workshops in that time as well as several presentations, team consultations, and a graduate course on Collaboration and Team Science.

Laura Hildreth has a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts and a Master of Science in Human Nutrition. She is the Program Director of the Center for Improvement Science (CIS), a core within the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) at the University of Cincinnati (UC). A key mission of the CIS is to provide innovative team science education to a diverse spectrum of key stakeholders and to improve collaboration networks across UC, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), and the Cincinnati community. She has been a member of the CIS team science workgroup for over one year and brings important skills and training in project management to our workgroup. In addition, Laura is integral to promoting transdisciplinary research collaboration through the CIS and brings a wealth of experience in this area.

Angela Mendell has a Bachelor of Science in Biology, a Master of Science in Executive Leadership and Organizational Change and is a Certified Clinical Research Professional through the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA). She is a Program Manager in the Center for Improvement Science (CIS), a core within the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) at the University of Cincinnati (UC). A key mission of the CIS is to provide innovative team science education to a diverse spectrum of key stakeholders and to improve collaboration networks across UC, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC), and the Cincinnati community. She is a member of the CIS team science workgroup and brings a range of research experience to the team.  She has 7 years of experience managing clinical research studies from small investigator-initiated studies to multisite clinical trials and has also worked in basic science research. Angela's MS degree helps her to bring a business perspective for working in teams, leading teams, and implementing and sustaining change in an organization to the CIS.   

John Kues Ph.D., is the Associate Dean for Continuous Professional Development and Professor Emeritus at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He is also the Director of the Center for Improvement Science, which is responsible for all team science training in the Center for Clinical & Translational Science & Training. He earned his Ph.D. in Social Psychology and has a Master's degree in Sociology.  He developed and teaches a graduate course in Team Science and Collaboration and has co-developed more than twenty team-science-related workshops over the past five years.  He has made several presentations on team science at national meetings, including INSciTS.