Collaborative inter- and transdisciplinary research don’t just happen by chance: it takes extra effort to build a successful team and establish effective working relationships when the group consists of individuals coming from different backgrounds, working cultures and knowledge traditions.

Resources
Build relationships across different sectors
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In this blog, Max Kemman reminds us that “knowledge asymmetry” exists across different sectors and disciplines.

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Many tools and resources exist to help build relationships across different sectors.  The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) Collaboration Kit is a “workshop in a box” that provides resources for practitioners engaged in or leading interdisciplinary collaborations, including teaching, research and community engagement initiatives.

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The CoNavigator tool, developed by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, takes this a step further by providing a hands-on tool for interdisciplinary collaboration to helps teams navigate through complex themes and problems, and improve interdisciplinary collaboration and understanding.

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The Action Catalogue is an online decision support tool that is intended to help researchers, policy-makers and others wanting to conduct inclusive research find the method best suited for their specific project needs.

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Early career participants from across Europe used their combined knowledge to create a best practice guide for international research collaborations during a LERU Doctoral Summer School.

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Located within the context of “team science” (see also Understand ID/TD) Bennett et al.’s Collaboration and Team Science Field Guide provides many lessons of wider relevance to anyone attempting to work collaboratively.

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Another useful resource is this article on using virtual events to facilitate community building.

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The Community Tool Box is a free, online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change. It offers thousands of pages of tips and tools for taking action in communities.

 

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Wageningen University has produced this collection of more than 60 tools and methods that are particularly suited for working in multi-stakeholder partnerships.

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This short article on How to Avoid Collaboration Fatigue reminds us that stakeholders may have many other demands upon their time

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Under the heading of early stakeholder involvement in projects, this blogpost addresses the challenging topics of stakeholder inertia and lack of interest:

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SHAPE-ID partner Christian Pohl has also produced his Top Ten Tips for working in multi-stakeholder collaborations.

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And we have produced a series of questions for  those considering taking part in collaborative research.

Collaborate across disciplines
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Forced or “artificial” collaborations rarely thrive.

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This blog describes how the Toolbox Dialogue method provides a structured way for collaborators to articulate, share and discuss their research perspectives with one another, starting with core beliefs and values

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Learn from others’ mistakes: use this “play” devised by Dr Laura Meagher as a self-reflection or discussion tool to avoid some of the common pitfalls.

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Better yet, take steps to avoid future conflict by drafting a collaborators’ “pre-nup”.  You may find that some aspects are not required in your field but perhaps the NIH Collaborators’ Pre-nup will prompt further thinking about how you and your collaborators can establish an effective working relationship.

Build research teams
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This briefing note on building and managing interdisciplinary research teams covers topics such as selecting collaborators and identifying team members and distributing team responsibilities.

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This briefing note on troubleshooting some common interdisciplinary research management challenges addresses issues around negotiating interdisciplinary collaborations including some of the qualities to look for in inter- and transdisciplinary collaborators.

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Useful characteristics to look for in an interdisciplinary researcher are summarised in Key Advice 3.1 in Chapter 3 of this open access book, Interdisciplinary Research Journeys.

In this short film (run time 17 min), Mark Reed reflects on his own experiences of working in an interdisciplinary team.

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The Team Scholarship Resources produced by University of California, Irvine curates a number of links for those adopting a team based approach and introduces the term “convergence” as a way of solving complex problems focusing on societal needs.

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SHAPE-ID has produced a short list of questions for individuals and groups thinking about engaging in collaborative research.