Collaboration Planning: Planning for Success in Team Science

Kara L. Hall, Kevin G Crowston, Amanda L. Vogel

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


While team science has the potential to successfully achieve complex and sophisticated research goals, it can also introduce unique costs, in terms of finances, time, and effort related to the management of large, complex teams. Written collaboration plans help to maximize the likelihood of success in scientific collaborations by laying out a plan for maximizing effective team functioning. These documents aid in building a strong foundation for a scientific collaboration; identifying facilitating factors and challenges that are likely to influence the success of the collaboration, and developing related strategies to work within these influences; executing the collaboration; and engaging in quality improvement specific to team functioning. Collaboration planning may benefit any scientific endeavor that includes two or more investigators working together, but such planning becomes increasingly important as a proposed scientific collaboration grows in scope and size. Poor management of large scientific collaborations may negatively impact the quality of the science that is produced, whereas effective management has the potential to foster innovation, creativity, and productivity. Funding agencies currently emphasize evaluation of the technical and scientific merit of funding applications. But for team science applications, the merit of the proposed collaboration plan may be equally important to the success of the science. We propose that funding agencies consider requiring collaboration plans as part of funding applications, in parallel to research plans. Reviewers can then use submitted collaboration plans to assess the capacity of a proposed team to collaboratively execute its proposed scientific work. This poster identifies ten components that we recommend as the core content for collaboration plans. It describes in detail the ten components for collaboration planning, which range from providing a rationale for the proposed team composition to identifying what technologies are needed to support communication and workflow coordination, to planning for conflict prevention and management, to budgeting for the planned resources and activities. The poster also highlights key elements for investigators, funders, and reviewers to consider related to each component. These collaboration planning guidelines provide a strong starting point for investigators and funding agencies interested in collaboration planning. Future research directions may include study of the impact that collaboration planning has on both the collaborative functioning and scientific success of science teams. For additional information see:
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jun 4 2015
EventScience of Team Science Conference - Bethesda, United States
Duration: Jun 3 2014Jun 5 2014


ConferenceScience of Team Science Conference
Abbreviated titleSciTS
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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