Sunday, February 19, 2017
Exhibit Hall (Hynes Convention Center)
Susan Carter, University of California Merced, Merced, CA
BACKGROUND: Team Science (TS)-based research has become increasingly central in scientific discovery. Diversity on teams is known to have positive effects on creativity, innovation, and productivity. Apart from its contribution to scientific breakthroughs and societal grand challenge problems, TS has beneficial impacts on individual research careers. However, women and under-represented minority (URM) scientists are less likely to participate in TS collaborations and their participation develops later in their careers. This poster describes methods and initial results from a five year Team Science Retreat Program for institutional leadership, faculty and postdoctoral fellows from the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems, developed as part of the Center for Research Excellence and Diversity in Team Science (CREDITS). METHODS: These methods are based on components of a series of pilot retreats for faculty in the UC system, expanded to include faculty and administrative leadership from both the UC and CSU systems. The initial cohorts targeted women (especially URM) researchers across STEM disciplines. Faculty participants were selected by competitive application; administrative leadership participants were invited based on nomination from Provosts, Presidents and Chancellors at each institution. While the retreats focused on issues facing women and URM scholars, participation from multiple team members, including males was encouraged to create a climate of inclusion. All participants received training on the evidence base for TS; leadership skills; tools for developing and functioning in diverse, interdisciplinary teams; barriers to interdisciplinarity; implicit bias; and the ways that men, women, and URMs navigate academic careers differently. Key stakeholder interviews; pre and post retreat and one and five year surveys of participants; and bibliometric analysis are being used to assess the impact on faculty and leadership engagement in TS efforts and on increasing the diversity of TS efforts. RESULTS: Institutions can support early and mid- career scientists through a TS leadership program, including a component that values diversity. These tools can remove barriers to participation in TS. Data from this program suggest that women and URM faculty perceive and experience different barriers to entering science teams than their white male counterparts. Among participants, confidence about TS competencies increased after the TS Retreats. Leadership can gain important insights and practical tools to promote tenure and promotion policies that support interdisciplinarity and team science. CONCLUSIONS: Institutional leadership can support TS efforts and increase the participation of women and URM in leadership roles in science teams through specific interventions. The activities increase research and science capacity and promote the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and a stronger and more diverse STEM workforce.