|Because so many large-scale problems can be most effectively addressed by multidisciplinary teams of researchers, a great number of private foundations and public agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health offer funding programs designed specifically to support multidisciplinary collaborations. Here at IU, the Grand Challenges initiative and the Emerging Areas of Research Funding Programare examples of grants where collaboration is key.
To be competitive for these opportunities, investigators must work in partnership across disciplines, across institutions, across the globe. Working collaboratively brings complex challenges that range from building a team, to managing communications and project details, confirming a shared vision, sharing recognition and credit, handling conflict, and fostering trust among team members.
The Office of the Vice Provost for Research maintains a curated list of collaboration tools available to support collaborative research teams at IU, and assistance with IU collaboration technologies is available through several channels. Both the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health also host several valuable resources for collaborators. The Team Science Toolkit from the National Cancer Institute and its award-winning publication, Collaboration & Team Science: A Field Guide, are excellent resources for groups starting out, including tools for drafting a collaboration agreement, tips for selecting team members and strengthening team dynamics, and more.