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National Cancer Institute

Training Future Team Scientists: Reflections from Translational Course

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Sarraj H, Hellmich M, Chao C, Aronson J, Cestone C, Wooten K, Braiser A. Training Future Team Scientists: Reflections from Translational Course. Oral presentation at 2017 SciTS Conference. Clearwater Beach, FL. Jun 13, 2017. Team Science Training for Graduate Students and Postdocs Online at:

Problem Statement The importance of Interprofessional and Multidisciplinary (IPMD) collaborations between scientists and clinicians to translational research is well documented. However, there remains a paucity of formal training to prepare biomedical scientists and physicians to take part in IPMD collaborations. Method We developed an eight-week IPMD course, in which biomedical graduate students (n=6) were teamed with medical students (n=10) to design a translational research project that addresses a significant gap in the detection, treatment, or prevention of human disease. The capstone project for each team (n=5 teams) was an NIH-style translational research proposal. At the end of the course, students completed a reflective writing assignment discussing the impact of the exercise on their perceptions and attitudes about IPMD team science. Students’ responses were mapped to the eight team science competencies outlined in the NIH document “Collaboration in Team Science: A Field Guide.” Results While students were not explicitly asked to identify team science competencies, students on average identified two competencies from the field guide in their essays (mean = 2.30.3). The number of competencies mentioned per student ranged from 0 to 5. Developing Shared Vision was the most commonly identified, with 9 of 16 students citing examples where this competency was practiced within their team. Two of the team competencies (Sharing Credit and Leveraging Network) were not recognized by any of the students. Significance A major objective of our course was to create an authentic translational research experience to introduce and develop IPMD team science competencies in our students. Preliminary evidence suggests that most students successfully recognized and contextualized at least two team science competencies into their IPMD grant writing experience. In the future we plan to modify the curriculum to improve the acquisition of competencies/student and to assess the durability of the learning in this initial cohort.



Type of Publication:

Oral presentation


SciTS 2017 Conference, Presentation, Team Science Training, Postdoc, Graduate Students, Reflection, Evaluation

Addresses these goal(s):

  • Provide training for team science to team members or students
  • Conduct research on/evaluate team science

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Resource created by Jane Hwang on 10/3/2017 9:57:44 AM.

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