December 8, 2016

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The PDS Narrative
a newsletter from
Proposal Development Services
Office of the Vice Provost for Research

In this issue of the PDS Narrative, we discuss resources available to respond to the benefits and challenges of collaborative research.

Resources for Collaboration
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.

Finding Collaborators
Through Pivot™, IU faculty have access to over 100,000 scholar profiles and intuitive tools for discovering collaborators for funding and research. Under the Profiles link on the Pivot main page, use keywords in the advanced search to identify collaborators. All information contained within a profile, including information on web pages or CV documents linked to that profile, is fully searchable. Follow instructions in the left-hand margin to claim and maintain your own Pivot Profile.

The Academic Analytics tool can search for potential inter- and intra-institutional research collaborators by name, keywords, institution name, discipline and more. Queries in Academic Analytics are run at IU Bloomington by the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and may be requested by contacting

Additional resources for locating collaborators are available online: The NIH Matchmaker enables investigators to submit abstracts or other scientific text to search a repository of NIH-funded research projects by topic, institution, and project leader. Elsevier's SCOPUS® database of peer-reviewed literature features an author search by name, affiliation or keywords. 

Proposal Development Services offers grantsmanship and proposal management support to IU Bloomington faculty applying for external research funding. Learn more about our services on the OVPR website, or request to work with a PDS specialist at