Over the past two decades interest and investments in large-scale, multidisciplinary team projects have grown dramatically. This is evident by the steep growth in the number of cross-disciplinary publications, journals, RFPs released by public agencies and private foundations, and research collaborations.
When communication is open and effective, team members feel important and confident that their opinions count. An efficient communication approach brings together people from different backgrounds with varying ideologies. This creates understanding among teammates for the greater good. The diversity is easily converted into an advantage based on mutual understanding that facilitates progress. Eventually, the entire team is able to benefit from synergy.
The twin goals of UB's Team Science Core are, first, to help assemble multidisciplinary clinical research teams with the right kind of chemistry for success and, second, to quantify, measure and better understand the principles of effective teamwork that make the first goal possible.
Eduardo Salas, PhD
Department of Psychological Sciences
The CTSI's Team Science Core defines teamwork to be the set of behaviors executed by two or more individuals as a function of coordinating requirements imposed by independent tasks in achieving common goals (such as a grant submission, a manuscript, grant review committee, or implementation of a new clinical device). Therefore, team coordination is the essence of teamwork: it is the process, the moment-to-moment behaviors, by which independent team members achieve important goals and share valuable resources (i.e., ideas, cell culture, patient access, or time).
The relative importance of each dimension depends on particular values, activities or tasks of the teams (e.g., basic research, education, community outreach, or implementation).
Team Science Core reach and activities are woven throughout all of the UB CTSI cores, especially:
These partnerships foster an environment that promotes and accelerates scientific innovation by creating productive transdisciplinary alliances, equipping investigators at all levels of training with skills and resources to effectively communicate with partners within and outside of their own area of expertise (including academic, industry and community partners).
Team Leadership and Culture
Team-based Learning and Skills
Team Outcomes Assessment
UB's CTSI has initiated a wide range of pioneering initiatives, programs and interventions that reach across the entire Buffalo Translational Consortium and national CTSA consortium.
Update of current promotion guidelines for medical school faculty
Emphasis on team science competencies in medical school curriculum
Translational Teamwork Workshop Series for 2017-2019
Innovation Lab Buffalo, Sponsored by UB CTSI supplement award
Expansion of multidisciplinary research training/faculty dev programs
Supporting new multidisciplinary teams
These days, teamwork is widely recognized as the essential component of innovation, efficiency and high quality. In public health and biomedical research, partners include:
Presented in partnership with the CTSI's Workforce Development Core, the Translational Teamwork Workshop Series provides participants with basic knowledge of teamwork principles applicable in any and all of these contexts.