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Collaborative Science: Designing the Future Dr. Susan Winter University of Maryland, College Park

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Presentation on theme: "Collaborative Science: Designing the Future Dr. Susan Winter University of Maryland, College Park"— Presentation transcript:

1 Collaborative Science: Designing the Future Dr. Susan Winter University of Maryland, College Park

2 National Science Foundation  “…promote the progress of science… advance the national health, prosperity and welfare… secure the national defense…” –National Science Foundation Act of 1950  EPSCoR goals  stimulate sustainable improvements in participants’ R&D capacity and competitiveness  advance science and engineering capabilities in EPSCoR jurisdictions

3 US R&D Fragmented: Difficult to Influence, Much Less Control  Universities Inherently Parochial  Government Jurisdictional Issues  Private Sector Competitors

4 Advance Science and Engineering Capacity  Complex intellectual challenges  Multi-disciplinary collaboration among diverse teams sharing common resources  Distributed Geographically  Virtual Organizations!

5 Organization of Scientific Work  Old Science  Lab, Researcher + Assistants  Division of Labor  Narrow Focus of Work  New Science  Complex Problems  Shared Resources  Interdisciplinary Teams  Global Operations, Distributed, Asynchronous

6 Science  Infrastructure Development  Enabling Technologies  Organization of Work  Exploitation of Capability

7 Principles for Designing Collaborative Science Organizations  Informed and Reflective Choices  General Principles  Understand Specific Contexts

8 Organizations  Likelihood of Success for Kinds of Alliances  Knowledge-based Alliances Least Likely  Leadership and Processes are Important  Silos are Hard  Interactions  Incentives  Insights Building Cultures Building Spanning Roles

9 Knowledge Management/ Group and Team Science  Trust is Key  Absorptive Capacity  Tacit vs. Explicit Knowledge

10 Sociotechnical Systems  “If You Build it, They Will Come” Myth  Crowdsourcing/Social Participation  Citizen Science  Prizes/Contests/Competitions  Gamification  Incentives NOT well understood

11 3 Aspects of Scientific Work  Assets  What do you have to work with?  Knowledge Flows  Who tells who about what and when?  Governance  Who can make what decisions?  What are the incentives?

12 3 Aspects of Scientific Work Dimension  Assets  Knowledge Flows  Governance Collaboration Success  Knowledge-based Alliances vs. Sharing Equipment or Data  Silos Impede Knowledge Flows  Mandating Use vs. Incentives

13 Types of Collaborations  Lifecycle and Endurance  Temporary, Recurring, Permanent  Boundedness  Problem-focused vs. Group-enabling  Scale and Scope  2 vs. 2,000 Scientists

14 Determinants of Enablers  Degree of Shared Context  Discipline, Department, Organization, Country, Language, Culture  Task and Actor Interdependence  Divisible, Serial Dependence, Co-creation

15 Determinants of Enablers  Regulatory Environments  Degrees of Freedom?  Technical and Human Infrastructure  Tools Custom, Off-the-Shelf, End-User Developed Heterogeneous Environments (Platforms, Networks) Poor Fit to Tasks Technical Difficulties are the Norm!  Human Large Gaps in Expertise on Teams

16 Mix Modalities to Enable Knowledge Flows  Oral  Face-to-Face, videoconference, phone  Written  Manuals/Wikis, Contracts, Journal Articles Pictures/Graphics (drawing boards), Meta-data, MOUs, , Text Messages, Blogs, Tweets

17 Is this easy? No!  Hitting a Moving Target  Will Eventually Sort it Out  Goal = Accelerate Process so Get Sorted Faster  Hard and Persistent Problems even with the Help of the Organizational Sciences  Resources are Sparsely Distributed and Poorly Connected (Who do you call for help?)  Hard to Disseminate Lessons Learned

18 Problems Are Tractable If  Committed & Not Easily Discouraged  In It for the Long Run  Issues Play out Over Time  Iterative Process of Doing & Learning  Synthesis Across Instances for Patterns  Know why you are invested in this  Complementary Assets  Engage Really Good People to Work on Them

19 Designing Collaborative Research Organizations: Smart Learning by Doing  Bring Assets to Bear on the Problem  Research Evidence  Industry Lessons Learned  Assessment for Continuous Improvement  Support Leaders and Members for Knowledge Transfer/Deployment  Workshops, Manuals, Online Resources  More Research/Translation to Practice

20 Questions?

21 Understanding Innovation Communities Building Innovation Communities Realizing the Potential Translational science Research Evidence: Creation/Synthesis/Agenda Tailored suite of materials: - Practices, tools, processes… - Scale, Disciplinarity, Pedagogy Funding Good Practices Human Capital


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