Introduction to Collaboration

For researchers in the natural sciences who wish to participate in collaborative projects

14 experts in collaboration, including researchers, funders, editors and professionals

2.5 hours of learning

15-minute bite-sized lessons

1-module course with certificate

About this course

‘Introduction to Collaboration’ introduces the idea of research collaboration and how becoming a more effective collaborator could help to further both your research and your career. Even if you’ve already participated in collaborative research, this course provides a useful introduction to the topic of research collaboration, as well as valuable context and advice around the pros and cons of collaborative projects and how they can help you reach your goals.

What you’ll learn

  • Why collaborative research is becoming more prevalent
  • The pros and cons of collaborating
  • The specifics of collaborating with industry
  • How collaborative projects can help advance your research and career

The course

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Introduction to collaboration

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Developed with expert academics and professionals

This course has been created with an international team of experts with a wide range of experience, including:

  • Interdisciplinary and international collaborations
  • Publications resulting from collaborative research
  • The sociology of collaboration
  • Collaborative tools
  • Science communication
  • Funding opportunities for collaborative efforts
  • Institutional support for research collaboration

Tulika Bose

Tulika Bose is a Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA, and has recently served a 2-year term as the Physics Co-coordinator for the CMS experiment at CERN. She previously served as the CMS Trigger Co-coordinator. She received her BA from Cambridge University, UK, where she worked as an undergraduate on the measurement of the W mass at the OPAL experiment at CERN. Her PhD research at Columbia University, USA, focused on a search for Bs oscillations at D0 and led to the first double-sided bound on the oscillation frequency in 2006. Her work has been recognized by a prestigious Alfred P. Sloan fellowship and a CMS Distinguished Researcher award. Tulika has a keen interest in outreach and has given many public lectures and interviews and also organized various events reaching out to high school students. Tulika is an ideal panel member due to her unique perspective and extensive expertise in the structure, the methodology and the output of large-scale, structured and efficient collaboration in research and how to communicate about it.

Luke Fleet

Luke is a Senior Editor & Team Leader at Nature. Following a PhD on spintronics from the University of York, UK, and in collaboration with the RIEC at Tohoku University, Japan, he undertook postdoctoral research in organic electronics at Imperial College London and the London Centre for Nanotechnology, UK. Luke has extensive experience as a trainer for Nature Masterclasses and in science communication through his various talks and outreach activities. His experience is extremely valuable to help us develop informative content on how to collaborate effectively from the scientific, science communication and editorial point of view.

Mark Hahnel

Mark is the founder of Figshare, which he created whilst completing his PhD in stem cell biology at Imperial College London, UK. Figshare currently provides research data infrastructure for institutions, publishers and funders globally. He is passionate about open science and the potential it has to revolutionize the research community. Mark has first-hand expertise of collaboration in research both as a scientist and as a businessman who develops tools that support collaborative work, enabling him to give a unique point of view on the design of this course.

W. John Kao

W. John Kao holds the role of Chair Professor of Translational Medical Engineering at The University of Hong Kong, in addition to Head of Biomedical Technologies Cluster at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park. 

Before joining The University of Hong Kong as Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global), John was Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Pharmacy, Surgery, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA. He also served as the Associate Dean of the Division of International Studies and an executive director of the Institute of Clinical and Translational Research, a consortium based at the University of Wisconsin–Madison of multiple campus partners and research-intensive universities in the Midwest. He has extensive experience of working across a large range of disciplines and cultures, and has helped fund international collaborations between top institutions around the world.

Pep Pàmies

Prior to leading the editorial team at Nature Biomedical Engineering, Pep worked at Nature Materials for over 5 years, where he handled and commissioned content across research topics in materials, physics and chemistry. Before that, he conducted research in computational soft matter and computational biophysics at Columbia University’s Chemistry Department in New York City, USA, at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam, Germany, and at the Atomic and Molecular Physics Institute in Amsterdam, Netherlands. 

Pep obtained a PhD in Chemical Engineering in December 2003 from Rovira i Virgili University in Catalonia, Spain. As Chief Editor of Nature Biomedical Engineering – a high-profile scientific journal for researchers in the applied life sciences, bioengineering and health – Pep advised on the value of interdisciplinary collaborative efforts and on the outputs resulting from them.

Paola Quattroni

Paola is a Research Funding Manager in the Research and Innovation department of Cancer Research UK (CRUK). She oversees CRUK’s policy on data sharing and preservation and coordinates most of the open science activities across the organization. Paola is responsible for ensuring that research data are managed appropriately and are shared to maximize reuse. She has a background in microbiology and pharmacology and prior to joining Cancer Research UK she worked in open science publishing. Paola has shared with us her expertise on data sharing – a crucial aspect of research, especially for collaborative projects, and on funding at CRUK, which champions research collaboration by providing dedicated funding mechanisms such as the Catalyst award.

Kathrin Zippel

Kathrin’s research focuses on gender, diversity, science and organizations. In her book, Women in Global Science: Advancing Careers Through International Collaboration (Stanford University Press), she argues that global science is the new frontier for women, providing both opportunities and challenges as gender shapes the dynamics and practices of international research. These studies put her in an ideal position to contribute a unique perspective on the sociological aspects of research collaboration linked to gender and international teams.

Advice from experienced collaborators

The course has additional insights through video interviews from:

Louise Ashton

Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong

J. Michael Cherry

Professor of Genetics, Stanford University

Adriane Esquivel Muelbert

Research Fellow, University of Birmingham

Brian Nosek

Executive Director, The Center for Open Science

George Pankiewicz

Unified Model Partnerships Manager, Met Office

Doris Schroeder

Director of Centre for Professional Ethics, UCLan School of Sport and Health Sciences

Malcolm Skingle

Director, Academic Liaison, GlaxoSmithKline

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