GMS 6945 – Team Science

2020 Fall semester, Thursdays, 1:55-2:45 pm (UF period 7), via Zoom

Course Director:  Wayne T. McCormack, Ph.D., CG-72K, 294-8334, mccormac at ufl.edu

Course Description:  Addressing today’s complex research and societal problems requires integration of specialized knowledge bases and cross-disciplinary collaboration. This course offers practical guidance about engaging in Team Science to pursue complex research questions, work effectively with team members, and assess team performance in order to produce high impact research outcomes.

Course Format and Outline:  Readings will be posted at the course Canvas site.  In addition to lectures and class discussions about team science principles, strategies, and evidence of effectiveness, students will be expected to identify a current research team of their choice that they are involved in, and practice team science strategies during the semester.  Assignments will include preparation of a written team vision and mission statement, collaboration plan and authorship agreements, oral presentation of your plan, and an oral report about a team debriefing experience.  Students will be expected to attend every class and actively participate in discussions.  Class sessions will combine lecture and small group discussion.  Class will meet once weekly for 50 minute sessions via Zoom, according to the schedule below.

Learning Objectives:   At the end of this course students should be able to:

  • Describe how team science has influenced research
  • Differentiate between multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary research
  • Describe factors to consider when deciding whether join an interdisciplinary research team
  • Discuss factors to consider and steps to take when evaluating others as potential collaborators
  • Develop a research team vision and mission statement
  • Develop a collaboration plan for a new research team
  • Develop an authorship agreement for a research team
  • Demonstrate an understanding of meta-cognitive processes important for team functioning
  • Recognize and resolve conflict that arises during the life cycle of a scientific team
  • Use strategies for team evaluation and self-correction
  • Describe factors that contribute to the success of a scientific team

NOTE: SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE UNTIL THE SEMESTER STARTS

Date Topic Assignment Due
Sep 3 Intro to Team Science DISC Assessment Sep 7
Sep 10 Preparing for Team Science – Are You Ready? 1st Draft Vision/Mission Statement Sep 22
Sep 17 Team Leadership – Which Style Works Best When?
Sep 24 Building a Research Team – Who and Why? 2nd Draft Vision/Mission Statement Oct 6
Oct 1 Strategic Doing
Oct 8 Conflict Management
Oct 15 Collaboration Plans & Authorship Agreements 1st Draft Collab Plan & Author Agreement Oct 28
Oct 22 Managing & Monitoring Research Teams Draft Team Monitoring Reflection Nov 24
Oct 29 Collaboration Plan Oral Reports
Nov 5 Collaboration Plan Oral Reports 2nd Draft Collab Plan & Author Agreement Nov 10
Nov 12 Team Evaluation Draft Evaluation Plan Nov 24
Nov 19 Final Team Oral Reports
Nov 26 No Class – Thanksgiving Holiday
Dec 3 Final Team Oral Reports Final Written Report Dec 15

Grading

The assignments for this course are designed for each student to put into practice the team science principles and best practices being discussed in class.  The team may be a close collaborator or their research lab group.

Team Name, Vision/Mission Statement, Description (first draft ® instructor feedback ® second draft ® peer feedback ® final draft)

The final product will be a concise statement about your overall goal(s), what motivates your team, and what kind of research culture your team will have.  Your final Vision/Mission statement will be incorporated into each of your oral reports and your final written report.

Collaboration Plan (first draft ® instructor and peer feedback ® final draft incorporated into final report)

See October 15 session handout for more detail.

  1. Rationale for Team Approach and Team Configuration
  2. Collaboration Readiness
  3. Technological Readiness
  4. Team Functioning
  5. Communication & Coordination
  6. Leadership, Management, and Administration
  7. Conflict Prevention and Management
  8. Training
  9. Quality Improvement Activities
  10. Budget/Resource Allocation

Authorship Agreement (first draft ® instructor and peer feedback ® final draft incorporated into final report)

If your team is not currently planning a manuscript, consider the first (or next) manuscript your team plans to write.  See October 15 session handout for more detail.

Team Monitoring Activity

A rubric for Team Dimensional Training will be provided, which will be used to guide a team discussion about performance of the team.  The following four dimensions will be discussed:

  • Information Exchange
  • Communication Delivery
  • Supporting Behavior
  • Team Leadership/Followership

The rubric will lead the discussion to seek suggestions for improving performance and ensure that the team agrees on goals, direction and priorities.  The outcome of this activity will not be graded – it is for your benefit as a research team.  However, you will be asked to include a written reflection about the process in your final report.  Please comment on each of the four dimensions of teamwork.  When examples are mentioned in the overall reflection, please mention which dimension they fit with.  Overall reflection about team monitoring should address these questions:

  • Which dimensions were helpful? In what ways?
  • Were any dimensions not helpful? Why did they not seem to be helpful?
  • How open or accepting were team members about participating in this activity?
  • Were there any “A-Ha!” moments? What were they?
  • Do you think this will help your continuing work relationship in your team? Why or why not?  How?

Final Report (oral presentation and written report)

Part 1 – may be written collaboratively with team members.  The intended audience for this is your team members, whether current or new.  The goal of this portion is for you to have a real working document that can support your project.  Any or all sections previously turned in may be revised further based on what else you may have learned later in the course and/or feedback you receive.

  • Team Name
  • Team Vision & Mission Statement
  • Team Description (may be partially anonymous) Briefly describe any changes to team membership since the beginning of the semester
  • Collaboration Plan
  • Authorship Agreement
  • Evaluation Plan – What to Measure (3-5 things, g., productivity, competencies) and How you will measure

Part 2 – this must be an individual effort.

  • Reflection about Team Monitoring – please see above for more information
  • Please briefly describe at least 3 important things you are committed to implementing or continuing with your team moving forward over the next one year.

Assignments and Point Values:

Sep 7     5 points            DISC Assessment, 5 points

Sep 22   5 points            Team Name, Vision/Mission Statement, Description – First Draft

Oct 6     10 points          Team Name, Vision/Mission Statement, Description – Second Draft

Oct 28   10 points          Collaboration Plan (PPT) and Authorship Agreement (DOC), First Draft

Nov 10  10 points          Collaboration Plan (PPT) and Authorship Agreement (DOC), Second Draft

Nov 24  5 points           Team Monitoring Reflection, Draft

Nov 24  10 points         Evaluation Plan, Draft

2 dates 20 points         Team Science Final Report, Oral Presentation

Dec 15  25 points        Team Science Final Written Report (DOC)

Grading Rubric:

A   90-100                  B   80-82                            C   70-72                            D   60-62

A-  87-89                    B-  77-79                           C-  67-69                           F   <60

B+ 83-86                    C+ 73-76                           D+ 63-66

Attendance:  Attendance and participation are expected for all scheduled sessions.  Absences for illness, family emergencies, etc. will be excused per university policy (.  https://catalog.ufl.edu/UGRD/academic-regulations/attendance-policies/).  Depending on the session missed, makeup assignments may be made.  Planned absences, such as for a conference or extramural training, may be excused, but you must notify the course director in advance.  Depending on the session(s) missed, you may be asked to complete a makeup assignment or assessment either before or after your trip.

Accommodations for students with disabilities:  Students with disabilities who experience learning barriers and would like to request academic accommodations should connect with the disability Resource Center by visiting

https://disability.ufl.edu/students/get-started/. It is important for students to share their accommodation letter with their instructor and discuss their access needs, as early as possible in the semester.

Required and recommended textbooks:  Lecture materials and reading assignments (both required and optional) will be provided in PDF format in Canvas.  There is no required textbook.  Required readings include:

Bennett LM, Gadlin H, Marchand C.  Collaboration & Team Science Field Guide.  NIH Publication No. 18-7660, 2018.

Hall KL, Crowston K, Vogel AL.  How to Write a Collaboration Plan.  Science of Science Toolkit.

Information on current UF grading policies:  Grades will be assigned in a manner consistent with UF policy.  https://catalog.ufl.edu/ugrad/current/regulations/info/grades.aspx

Evaluation process:  Students are expected to provide professional and respectful feedback on the quality of instruction in this course by completing course evaluations online via GatorEvals.  Guidance on how to give feedback in a professional and respectful manner is available at https://gatorevals.aa.ufl.edu/students/.  Students will be notified when the evaluation period opens, and can complete evaluations through the email they receive from GatorEvals, in their Canvas course menu under GatorEvals, or via https://ufl.bluera.com/ufl/.  Summaries of course evaluation results are available to students at https://gatorevals.aa.ufl.edu/public-results/.

Academic Honesty:  UF students are bound by The Honor Pledge which states, “We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honor and integrity by abiding by the Honor Code. On all work submitted for credit by students at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: “On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment.” The Honor Code (https://sccr.dso.ufl.edu/process/student-conduct-code/) specifies a number of behaviors that are in violation of this code and the possible sanctions. Furthermore, you are obligated to report any condition that facilitates academic misconduct to appropriate personnel. If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with the instructor.

Health & Wellness: 

U Matter, We Care:  If you or someone you know is in distress, please contact umatter@ufl.edu, 352-392-1575, or visit https://umatter.ufl.edu/ to refer or report a concern and a team member will reach out to the student in distress.

Counseling and Wellness Center:  Visit https://counseling.ufl.edu/ or call 352-392-1575 for information on crisis services as well as non-crisis services.

Student Health Care Center:  Call 352-392-1161 for 24/7 information to help you find the care you need, or visit https://shcc.ufl.edu/.

University Police Department:  Visit https://police.ufl.edu/ or call 352-392-1111 (or 9-1-1 for emergencies).

UF Health Shands Emergency Room / Trauma Center:  For immediate medical care call 352-733-0111 or go to the emergency room at 1515 SW Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32608; https://ufhealth.org/emergency-room-trauma-center.