Team science is better science

Team science is better science
Steve Kozlowski, Michigan State University psychology professor, helped write a National Research Council report on how scientific research is improved when undertaken in teams. Credit: Michigan State University

A Michigan State University researcher helped write a groundbreaking new report from the National Research Council that concludes scientific research is increasingly dominated by teams - a promising approach that is also rife with challenges.

Steve Kozlowski, professor of psychology, said the book-length is likely to have major public policy and research funding implications as academic and communities are still largely structured around an outdated concept of the independent solo investigator.

Team can be challenging, especially when teams or groups are geographically dispersed, include diverse disciplines or experience changing membership. Yet the evidence indicates that innovation and impact are enhanced by multidisciplinary science teams.

Kozlowski has served on numerous multidisciplinary research teams that have received millions of dollars in federal funding to tackle issues dealing generally with teamwork, including a $2.5 million project to help NASA build a better team on Mars.

Kozlowski said resolving the challenges that impede science team effectiveness requires attention to assembling the right people, training and development, and team leadership.

"Universities need to better support and recognize and funding agencies need to support research to improve the effectiveness of team science," said Kozlowski, who served voluntarily for two years on the committee that developed the NRC report. "Social scientists like me who study teams and team-science practitioners, and scientists working in teams need to collaborate on research efforts to produce knowledge that can be applied to enhance the effectiveness of team science."

The NRC complete report can be read or downloaded free here.

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Citation: Team science is better science (2015, May 18) retrieved 18 October 2019 from
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Jun 07, 2015
To learn more about this report on Team Sciences from the Chair & Committee members of the report, there is a free webinar on June 18th. Register at

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