Throughout modern history, advances in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) have maintained an individual bias, where the contributions of a multiplicity of experts are overshadowed by a desire to name one investigator responsible for innovation. In the recorded history of the arts and humanities, however, there is widespread recognition of the vast array of people involved in the evolution of style and the expression of the human condition.
Cross-Disciplinary Team Research represents an integrated approach to discovery and transformation, connecting individuals and groups from different academic and professional areas to advance fundamental understandings and to solve society’s challenges that those from a single discipline cannot. Cross-Disciplinary Team Research aims to:
- Improve the formation of research ideas
- Allow for the sharing of resources
- Provide opportunities for growth and increased productivity
- Make projects more competitive for external research dollars
Multi-investigative research has been accepted in grant proposals by the NSF for over 50 years, but the surge in interest and investment in cross-disciplinary research programs is relatively recent. In 2006, the NIH Tenure Review Committee revised its guidelines to include appreciation of participation in team-based research initiatives. Other federal funding agencies have reflected similar commitment to Cross-Disciplinary Team Research. In 2010, the NIH published Collaboration & Team Science: A Field Guide to introduce scholars and researchers to effective team practices.
Cross-Disciplinary Team Research, when conducted in an integrative fashion, positively impacts the processes of discovery and transformation – two tenets of successful research.
- Cross-Disciplinary Team Research elicits unprecedented results and innovations that are possible due to the breadth of a diverse array of perspectives accompanied by a depth of specialized knowledge.
- Researchers collaborating in an integrative team can gain access to a wide variety of materials, equipment, facilities, and other resources.
- Projects that incorporate a multitude of researchers, departments, and organizations tend to garner more citations than those of a single investigator, alone.
- Cross-Disciplinary Team Research stimulates critical thinking, innovation and discovery.
- Cross-Disciplinary Team Research can transform a group of individuals into a trusting, diverse, and highly productive team when conducted in an integrative fashion.
- Researchers, especially those newer to their fields, gain valuable experiences from the integrative networks involved in Cross-Disciplinary Team Research.
- The complexities of working with a diverse array of people can lead to more stimulating work environments.
For more information about the benefits of Cross-Disciplinary Team Research: