About Team Science

We provide assistance to investigators in connecting with collaborators and in developing interdisciplinary research plans, proposals, and programs through the use of team science best practices.

What is Team Science?

Team Science is a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to scientific inquiry where individuals across different disciplines work together in ways that leverage their diverse expertise.
Bennett, Gadlin & Levine-Finley (2010)

What is a team?

A team consists of members with different sets of skills and knowledge who come together to work on a research problem. The size of a team typically ranges from 4 to 12 members, but the specific number depends on contextual factors like the overall goals of the team.
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (2006)

Teams are the most effective mechanism to translate discoveries made in the laboratories into tangible improvements in human health at the clinical level. Diverse research teams enhance and accelerate the success of innovation and discovery by creating new combinations of existing knowledge.
Disis & Slattery (2010)

Why is interdisciplinary important?

The most pressing scientific issues of recent times — such as the obesity epidemic or the rise in chronic diseases — have often been multi-factorial in nature. The traditional single-investigator model has become increasingly unsuitable as the true complexity of these issues have become more apparent, and interdisciplinary methods have become essential to effectively address these problems.
Disis & Slattery (2010)

NC TraCS Team Science — What's in it for you?

TraCS Team Science can facilitate the collaborative process by helping investigators connect with potential collaborators of relevant expertise and interest. Various models of facilitated discussion, used in the context of workshops or other events, can be provided to assist investigators in engaging in interdisciplinary team-based science.

A typical facilitated discussion used to encourage interdisciplinary interactions follows three stages: 1) brainstorming; 2) prioritization; and 3) selection of the best ideas. Other forms of facilitated discussion may be used if needed to achieve outcomes.

Primary Services Include:

  • Identification of potential collaborators for projects
  • Tools to develop and sustain team-based activities, e.g. teaming agreements
  • Research development in the workshop setting
  • Assistance with team development and management
  • Consultation on optimal team structure including importance of team roles
  • Examination of team dynamics and explanation of importance of roles
  • Information on relevant institutional resources
  • Pre-submission ("mock") grant review
  • Team science training

For more information or a consultation, contact, Karen Demby (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Administrative Director.


Disis M, Slattery J. The road we must take: multidisciplinary team science. Sci Trans Med. 2010; 2(22).
L. Michelle Bennett, Howard Gadlin, and Samantha Levine-Finley, Collaboration & Team Science: A Field Guide, National Institutes of Health, 2010.
"Is Your Team Too Big? Too Small? What's the right Number?" Knowledge@Wharton. The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 14 June, 2006, Web.