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National Cancer Institute

Connecting Research Methods and Successful Teams

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Love H, Cross J. Connecting Research Methods and Successful Teams. Oral presentation at 2017 SciTS Conference. Clearwater Beach, FL. Jun 13, 2017. Evaluating and Enhancing Team Processes. Online at:

What makes a successful team? What is ‘success?” Often we look at metrics like publications, grants, or invention patents to determine if a team was successful. These are important measures of success and certainly help us know if a team is successful by most research and institutional standards. However, metrics like these may take years to gather. What if you only have six months to know if a team is ‘successful?’ What if you need to know if the team is engaging in a meaningful way to have a longer-term impact? To solve this problem, Wooten et al. proposed three different types of evaluations: outcome, process, and developmental (2014). Most evaluations are outcome evaluations where metrics like publications and grants and collected. For two-years we followed eight transdisciplinary research teams and gathered mesolevel data and for a process evaluation. According to Wooten et al, process evaluation study how the team interacts, team meetings, and engagement (2014). More specifically, we have used social network analysis, participant observation, coding meetings, conducting focus groups, studying historical publication data, and interviewing members of teams. In this paper, we will provide an overview our mixed methods meso-level data collection highlighting three research methods: social network analysis, coding for evening-turn taking, and participant observation. We will provide results which demonstrate how mixed-methods meso-level data is used in a process evaluation of teams. Further, we will explain how positive results in a process evaluation have larger and longer-term macro-level and outcome evaluation impacts. Finally, our refined methods in our process evaluation has helped our institutions coach, identify, and support successful teams earlier in the teaming process. Allowing us to maximize budgets and institutional support for our teams to develop new and innovative science.



Type of Publication:

Oral presentation


scits 2017 conference, presentation, research methods, successful teams

Addresses these goal(s):

  • Learn about the field of team science: history, theory and concepts
  • Conduct research on/evaluate team science

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Resource created by Jane Hwang on 10/3/2017 12:31:55 PM.

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