GMS 6945 – Team Science

2023 Fall semester, Thursdays, 1:55-2:45 pm (UF period 7), room R5-265

Course Director:  Wayne T. McCormack, Ph.D., CG-72K, 294-8334, mccormac at
Schedule subject to change until semester starts

Date Topic Assignment
Aug 24 Intro to the Science of Team Science DISC Assessment (due Aug 29)
Aug 31 Preparing for Team Science – Are You Ready? 1st Draft Vision/Mission Statement (due Sep 12)
Sep 7 The Leadership Challenge & Shared Leadership
Sep 14 Team Leadership – Which Style Works Best When?
Sep 21 Building a Research Team – Who and Why? 2nd Draft Vision/Mission Statement (due Oct 3)
Sep 28 Strategic Team Science (Dr. Strekalova)
Oct 5 Conflict Management
Oct 12 Collaboration Plans & Authorship Agreements Draft Collab Plan (due Oct 25)
Draft Author Agreement (due Nov 7)
Oct 19 Managing & Monitoring Research Teams Draft Team Monitoring Reflection (due Nov 28)
Oct 26 Collaboration Plan Oral Reports
Nov 2 Collaboration Plan Oral Reports
Nov 9 Team Evaluation Draft Evaluation Plan (due Nov 14)
Nov 16 Evaluation Plan Oral Reports Final Written Report (PPT due Dec 6)
Nov 23 No Class – Thanksgiving Holiday Final Written Report (DOC due Dec 12)
Nov 30 Team Monitoring Discussion
Dec 7 Final Team Oral Reports (2 hours)

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.

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


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

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

See October 12 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

If your team is not currently planning a manuscript, consider the first (or next) manuscript your team plans to write.  See October 12 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:

Aug 31     5 points     DISC Assessment, 5 points

Sep 12   10 points      Team Name, Vision/Mission Statement, Description – First Draft

Oct 3   5 points           Team Name, Vision/Mission Statement, Description – Second Draft

Oct 25   10 points       Draft Collaboration Plan (PPT)

Nov 7      10 points     Draft Authorship Agreement (DOC)

Nov 14  5 points          Draft Evaluation Plan

Nov 28  10 points       Draft Team Monitoring Reflection

Dec 6   20 points         Team Science Final Report, Oral Presentation (PPT)

Dec 12  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 (.  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 It is important for students to share their accommodation letter with the course director 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.

Spring 2024

Lectures:  Mon/Wed/Fri, 10:40-11:30 am, R2-265 (Academic Research Building)
Application Sessions:  Tuesdays, 9:35-11:30 am, R2-265


PART ONE – Cells, Receptors, and Innate Immunity
Mon, Jan 8         Course Overview, Immunology History
Wed, Jan 10       Basic Principles of Immunity
Fri, Jan 12           Hematopoiesis and Lymphoid Organs
Mon, Jan 15        No Class – MLK Holiday
Tue, Jan 16         TBL:  Basic Concepts of Immunity
Wed, Jan 17        The Innate Immune System
Fri, Jan 19           TNF & IFN Cytokines
Mon, Jan 22        Complement
Tue, Jan 23          TBL:  Innate Immunity
Wed, Jan 24        Cells of the Innate Immune System
Fri, Jan 26            Pattern Recognition by Innate Immunity
Mon, Jan 29        Natural Killer Cells and Innate Lymphoid Cells
Tue, Jan 30          TBL:  Innate Immunity
Wed, Jan 31         Ig Structure/Function and Ag-Ab Interactions
Fri, Feb 2              Generation of Receptor Diversity
Mon, Feb 5          Introduction to Immunogenetics & MHC
Tue, Feb 6            TBL:  Antibody Diversity
Wed, Feb 7           T Lymphocyte Receptors
Fri, Feb 9             The MHC and its Proteins
Mon, Feb 12        Antigen Processing and Presentation
Tue, Feb 13          TBL:  T Cell Receptors & Ag Presentation
Wed, Feb 14         Evolution of the Immune System
Fri, Feb 16            Review Session All faculty
Tue, Feb 20         Exam 1 available online in Canvas (Honorlock) for 24 hours beginning at 7:00 am

PART TWO – Humoral and Cell-Mediated Immunity
Mon, Feb 19        B Cell Receptors, Signaling, & Activation
Tue, Feb 20         No class (Exam 1)
Wed, Feb 21        B Lymphocyte Development
Fri, Feb 23           B Lymphocyte Responses
Mon, Feb 26       Somatic Diversification of Ab Responses
Tue, Feb 27         TBL:  Humoral Immunity
Wed, Feb 28       Dendritic Cells
Fri, Mar 1             T Lymphocyte Development
Mon, Mar 4       T Cell Signaling Mechanisms
Tue, Mar 5          TBL:  T Cell Development
Wed, Mar 6        T Helper Cells and Their Roles
Fri, Mar 8           CD8 T Cell Responses
Mon, Mar 18     Other T Cell Populations
Tue, Mar 19       TBL:  T Cell-Mediated Immunity
Wed, Mar 20     Immune Tolerance & Reg/Suppressor T Cells
Fri, Mar 22         Immunological Memory
Mon, Mar 25     Integration of Innate & Adaptive Immunity
Tue, Mar 26      TBL:  Memory & Integration of Innate & Adaptive Immunity
Thu, Mar 28     Exam 2 available online in Canvas (Honorlock) for 24 hours beginning at 7:00 am

PART THREE – Immune Responses in Health & Disease
Wed, Mar 27      Mucosal Immunity 1
Fri, Mar 29         Mucosal Immunity 2
Mon, Apr 1         Evasion & Subversion of Immune Defenses
Tue, Apr 2           TBL:  Mucosal Immunity
Wed, Apr 3         Immunology of HIV Infection
Fri, Apr 5             Inborn Errors of Immunity
Mon, Apr 8         Allergy & Allergic Diseases
Tue, Apr 9           TBL:  Failures of Host Defense
Wed, Apr 10       Autoimmunity 1
Fri, Apr 12           Autoimmunity 2
Mon, Apr 15       Autoimmunity 3
Tue, Apr 16         TBL:  Autoimmunity
Wed, Apr 17        Cancer Immunology
Fri, Apr 19           Transplantation Immunology
Mon, Apr 22        Vaccines
Tue, Apr 23         Manipulation of Immune Responses (9:35 lecture)
Tue, Apr 23         Treatment of Unwanted Immune Responses (10:40 lecture)
Wed, Apr 24        Review Session
Mon, Apr 29        Exam 3 available online in Canvas (Honorlock) for 24 hours beginning at 7:00 am

Catalog Description

Fundamental principles of basic and experimental immunology, from first engagement of innate immunity to the generation of the adaptive immune response and its clinical consequences. (4 credits)

Course Overview

This course focuses on fundamental principles of basic and experimental immunology, from first engagement of innate immunity to the generation of the adaptive immune response and its clinical consequences. It is required as a core course for PhD students in the Immunology & Microbiology concentration of the biomedical sciences PhD program. This course is open to other UF graduate students with consent of the course director. Weekly small group sessions (Tuesdays) will provide students with experience in problem-solving, application of immunology principles in an experimental context, and integration of immunology & microbiology, via team-based learning and/or paper discussions.

Course Objectives

Successful will be expected to accomplish the following learning objectives.

1. Attain a working knowledge of current immunological principles related to:
a. cell surface molecules and receptors on cells of the immune system;
b. how immune cells develop and acquire the ability to recognize antigens;
c. how immune cells interact in order to defend the body against microbes, including both innate and adaptive immunity;
d. how immune cells malfunction in autoimmunity and immunodeficiency; and
e. how the immune system may be manipulated to improve health.

2. Be able to read and discuss research papers from the current research literature in order to become familiar with experimental protocols, and develop skills in interpreting immunological data, critique of experimental designs, and formulation of new hypotheses.

3. Interpret immunological data.

4. Design immunological experiments to test a given hypothesis.

Course Material

Handouts, PowerPoint presentations, and other course material will be posted at an Canvas web site (login with Gatorlink ID and password).  All registered students will automatically be enrolled at the site during the first week of classes.

The following textbook is REQUIRED for Spring 2023:

NEW “Janeway’s Immunobiology” 10th Edition, by Kenneth Murphy, Casey Weaver, and Leslie Berg, 2022, W.W. Norton

Book cover


Preparation for Team-Based Learning (TBL) Sessions

Teams will be set up at the beginning of the semester, and will work together throughout the semester.  Your assignment before each TBL session is to review the assigned reading, lecture presentation, and your notes relevant to the topic of that session.

Session schedule:
9:35 am – Individual Readiness Assurance Test
9:50 am – Team Readiness Assurance Test
10:05 am – Team Application Exercise – Team discussion of case studies and questions, followed by class discussion
11:30 am – Adjourn
Readiness Assurance Tests will consist of up to 10 multiple-choice questions (closed book) based on the material you have studied for that session.  Individual Readiness Assurance Tests will be completed individually, and answers will be collected using an answer sheet that is provided.  Team Readiness Assurance Tests (closed book) will consist of the same questions as the Individual Readiness Assurance Test, and team answers will be recorded on scratch-off cards that will be provided.  It is important to arrive on time!  You will not be given extra time for the individual test if you are late.


The final course grade will be based on an average of three exams (75%) and your average scores on the TBL readiness assurance test (25%).  Final  grade cut-offs will be based on the final class score distribution. They will be set no higher than the following, and may be adjusted lower depending on the final score distribution.  Final % score A 90%-100%; A- 85%-89%; B+ 80%-84%; B 75%-79%; B- 70%-74%; C+ 65%-69%; C 60%-64%; C- 55%-59%.  Letter grades will affect student grade point averages according to UF grading policies. 

Academic Honesty

Students are expected to act in accordance with the University of Florida policy on academic integrity (see Student Conduct Code, the Graduate Student Handbook or these web sites for more details:

Cheating, lying, misrepresentation, or plagiarism in any form is unacceptable and inexcusable behavior, and will result in a score of zero for the assignment and reporting to the UF Dean of Students Office.  We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

Class Attendance

Students are expected to read all assignments prior to class, and to be prepared to attend and participate in all sessions. Personal issues with respect to class attendance or participation will be handled on an individual basis.

Exam or Other Work Make-up

Make-up assignments will be provided for excused absences from paper discussions and team-based learning sessions, and must be completed by mutually agreed upon dates. Alternate dates will be arranged for exams with excused absences or extenuating circumstances (e.g., child care issues in the evening).

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 It is important for students to share their accommodation letter with the course director and discuss their access needs, as early as possible in the semester.

Counseling and Student Health

Students may occasionally have personal issues that arise in the course of pursuing higher education or that may interfere with their academic performance. If you find yourself facing problems affecting your coursework, you are encouraged to talk with an instructor and to seek confidential assistance at the UF Counseling & Wellness Center, 352-392-1575. Visit their web site for more information: (, see also link therein for Emergency Assistance). Crisis intervention is always available 24/7 from the Alachua County Crisis Center at (352) 264-6789. Do not wait until you reach a crisis to come in and talk with us. We have helped many students through stressful situations impacting their academic performance. You are not alone, so do not be afraid to ask for assistance.

Course Evaluation:  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 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 Summaries of course evaluation results are available to students at

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 ( 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, 352-392-1575, or visit to refer or report a concern and a team member will reach out to the student in distress.

Counseling and Wellness Center:  Visit 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

University Police Department:  Visit or call 352-392-1111 (or 911 for emergencies).

UF Health Shands Emergency Room / Trauma Center:  For immediate medical care call 911 or 352-733-0111 or go to the emergency room at 1515 SW Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32608;