Anatomy of a Workshop

The Team Science Resource has designed, developed and implemented research theme oriented workshops and other events for the purpose of generating proposal ideas, research project objectives, or research program plans.

Though the events have different research themes, the general flow of activities and curriculum are similar for all of them.

Pre-Workshop Preparation

  • Education of participants — provide any background information needed for them to participate in planned events. If we are going to develop a curriculum, you might want everyone to know the criteria for that development at this institution
  • Ask them to think ahead — they could provide potential research topics or questions
  • Ask them to vote their preferences — if multiple research theme-oriented groups are meeting, then voting helps to balance the groups

At the workshop

Overview of Day's Activities/Objectives

  • General idea of the learning objectives and expected products of the workshop
  • Inspiration and examples of a successful product
  • Where does the outcome fit in the 'scheme of things?' What will it matter scientifically, socially, politically?

Working Groups – Curriculum

  • Brainstorming a list of ideas
  • Prioritization of that list with the selection of the best ideas
  • Move to product: White paper, specific aims, researcher objectives or some other tangible product


  • Working groups reassemble into one body to share results and collect comments and suggestions from the entire group
  • Next steps might be identified

After the workshop

Follow up

  • After a workshop, participants are tracked to see if they need any additional resources or information to further their work and determine if intermediate and long-term objectives are met.