The Team Science focus this year has been on early career researchers (ECRs). A Committee was established following the successful Away Day in May 2017, and this cross-institutional team has driven forward a number of key initiatives that have positively impacted on the ECR community. In November, we funded a communications workshop which provided interactive training on how to disseminate research findings to a wider audience. This was coordinated by Media Woman, a team of expert media trainers who offer insight into how to confidently and skilfully share knowledge and experience. Support has also been provided to establish a cross-institutional seminar speaker programme. To date, this seminar series has given thirteen PhD students and post-docs (64% female representation) the opportunity to present their work at the partner university.
In order to stimulate collaboration and networking, the Team Science Committee has funded three collaborative cross-site grants (each £2K), and contributed towards conference attendance for seven ECRs to engage in discussions relating to cutting-edge research activities. We have provided funding for four summer students to work alongside post-doctoral researchers at both institutions; enabling the post-doc to gain valuable supervisory experience, the student to work in a productive research environment and the team leader to trial a potential future PhD student. These awards (4 X £1500) were highly competitive and we hope to continue this opportunity next year.
The Team Science Committee also planned an ECR symposium day, ahead of the official plenary launch lecture given by Nobel Prize Laureate Brian Kolbika, in April 2018. This was a hugely successful event, with over 130 registered delegates and a full agenda of speakers (40% female representation). The event drew interest from other related networks (ONCORNET and BPS) helping to raise the profile of COMPARE as a leader in this area of research. Following on from the huge success of this event, the Committee also organised the annual Away Day in May 2018. This event once again brought together the ECRs from both institutions to discuss issues relevant to Team Science: authorship and contribution, recognition, progression and collaboration. Invited speakers to this event included representatives from the journal Nature Communications, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), Prof Jason Swedlow (a member of the International Advisory Board) and Prof Steve Watson (Editor-in-Chief, Platelets) joined the panel discussion. The excellent feedback from this highly subscribed event again highlights the positive impact of Team Science, particularly on the ECR community.
Perhaps as a result of the success of many of the activities highlighted above, the profile of COMPARE Team Science has been raised and we are now being recognised as leaders in this area. Steve Hill and Jeanette Woolard were invited to take part in a series of interviews, specifically aimed at highlighting imaging scientists, and the important role of Team Science in recognising wider contribution to research outputs. This website is now available at: http://www.imagingscientist.com/. Natalie Poulter and Jeanette Woolard were also invited to the Academy of Medical Sciences in June 2018, as part of their two year progress review meeting on Team Science.
Professor Jason Swedlow, University of Dundee presenting at the Team Science Away Day, Fazely Studios, May 2018
Looking forward, Team Science needs to move to the next phase of delivery. Our focus will be on maintaining the positive steps with the ECRs, and integrating Team Leaders into several sand-pit and collaborative events. Team Science is defined by a multi-disciplinary approach, and we now need to encourage broader collaboration. We have engaged with the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, and several clinical collaborations are in development. There are opportunities to develop these further and our Team Science Committee hopes to take the lead in this area.
Team Science Newsletter - September 2018
Team Science Events
Team Science Committee - October 2018-2019
Team Science Committee 2017-2018
Leigh Stoddart (Chair) – University of Nottingham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Joëlle Goulding- University of Nottingham (email@example.com)
Mark Soave – University of Nottingham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Carl White – University of Nottingham (email@example.com)
Dee Kavanagh – University of Birmingham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Abdullah Khan - University of Birmingham (email@example.com)
Victoria Simms – University of Birmingham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
COMPARE Team Science 2016-2017
In 2016, the Academy of Medical Sciences, chaired by Prof Anne Ridley, published a report on Team Science which highlighted some key areas of concern for the future of collaborative research, namely that;
• academic research is rooted in a tradition of individual and small team scholarship;
• there is a lack of recognition for contribution of both academic and, importantly, non-academic colleagues;
• there is ill-balanced focus on first and last author position, and
• there are issues of who is the Principal Investigator on the grant and the relative contribution of the Co-Investigator.
The report suggested several changes to research culture, highlighting the need to reassess distribution of recognition, funding for training (in team skills) and career development (this should be a ‘deliverable’ on grants) and research behaviour, particularly to ensure that credit is allocated fairly, and that PIs give due consideration to the career paths of colleagues outside the ‘PI track’.
COMPARE has embraced the concept of Team Science and have appointed Jeanette Woolard, Deputy Director of COMPARE (Nottingham) and Natalie Poulter, Research Fellow (Birmingham) as the two Team Science leads who will work towards establishing a Team Science environment within COMPARE, with an annual budget of £20,000 to support training events, team building and networking. The focus will be on the younger generation, the Post-Docs and PhD students, who will help attitudes to change and team science to grow into the future.
Jeanette Woolard visited both Prof Ridley and another member of the Team Science Advisory Committee, Dr Anne-Marie Coriat, Head of the Wellcome Trust Research Grants Committee, to seek additional guidance on how COMPARE could become a beacon for Team Science in the Midlands. The advice was clear: to develop networking and collaborative links between UoB and UoN for our early career researchers, by facilitating travel and attendance at conferences, and through establishment of a COMPARE Team Science Committee, composed of members of this cohort. To this effect, an Away Day was organised and took place on the 26th May 2017 at East Midlands Conference Centre. This event was attended by 44 PhD and Post-Doctoral researchers representing a wide range of the research groups within COMPARE. The purpose of the day was to introduce the aims of COMPARE, the concept of Team Science and to allow the young researchers from the two Universities to get to know one another through short presentations on themselves, their key research questions and skills and through a team building exercise. The event was a great success with excellent feedback received.
A Team Science Committee was formed consisting of seven members representing both Universities and PhD students and Post-Docs. This committee will decide the format of future events. Grants to attend conferences to develop networks and grants to support travel and consumables to a partner laboratory are also being offered to foster further personal scientific development and cohort building both within and outside of COMPARE. The overriding feeling from the event was one of enthusiasm and hope for the future of Team Science and we look forward to seeing where this goes in the coming years.
Team Science Away Day
The Academy of Medical Sciences - Team Science