Team Science


Is changing the scientific questions that we can answer


Team Science

Thoughts regarding collaboration
  • Joelle Goulding

    What team science means to me is working together but also acknowledging everyone who is involved in that work.

    Joelle Goulding Research Fellow
    University of Nottingham
  • Mike Ferguson

    It's absolutely essential for almost everything that we're doing these days in Life Sciences at any scale.

    Mike Ferguson Regius Professor of Life Sciences and Academic Lead for Research Strategy
    University of Dundee
  • Jeanette Woolard

    It was about making sure that junior colleagues had recognition on publications; that there was a clear career path for colleagues who were maybe not on that PI track and that we had a more cohesive and collegiate atmosphere.

    Jeanette Woolard Research Associate Professor
    Deputy Director of COMPARE
    The University of Nottingham
  • Claire Jones

    You start to learn what people are comfortable with, what they enjoy doing and we swap skills.

    Claire Jones Materials Properties and Surface Analysis Group
    NSG Group
  • Ann Wheeler

    The most important part of my role is engaging academics, heads of department and also outside organisations.

    Ann Wheeler ESRIC Facility Manager
    University of Edinburgh

    Members of the team have skills to operate the equipment to get the best possible data. Other members know how to interpret the results. Also, other members know how to put those results in the context of the problem. It's fitting all those bits together.

    RIK DRUMMOND-BRYDSON Professor of Nanomaterials Characterisation
    University of Leeds

Stakeholders in Collaboration

Besides acting as experts in technology and experimental applications, Imaging Scientists are facilitators who combine broad expertise gained from working with many different labs and imaging systems with a professional network that together, help catalyse interdisciplinary research.
Team Science Stakeholders

The fast pace of development in this field has created greater complexity for data analysis and handling resulting in solutions to be solved in a highly interdisciplinary way. Imaging facilities are thus in an excellent position to catalyse such interactions, as a meeting point for life scientists, developers, image analysis experts etc.

  • You also have to work with the companies who are selling you the technology. We have many collaborations with external microscopy experts so that we can learn their new techniques or we can work together to develop new techniques that will answer new scientific questions.

    We are lucky enough to have two physicists who can build new types of microscopes and one of them also designs software and is building citizen science projects. So we're now working with the general public who are helping us with our science as well.

    It's changing the speed at which we work, and it's changing the scientific questions that we can answer.

    Lucy Collinson Francis Crick Institute

Case Study - COMPARE

COMPARE is a collaboration between the University of Nottingham and the University of Birmingham and is working towards establishing a Team Science environment within COMPARE
Team Science Case Study

Image Source - COMPARE

The team at COMPARE have set up novel career paths for the progression of early career scientists via support through training events, team building and networking.

The focus of COMPARE has been on the postdocs and PhD students. Ensuring that they have recognition in publications, clear career paths and that they experience a cohesive and collegiate atmosphere - it’s aim - to change attitudes and for team science to grow in the future.

The success of this team science approach is now attracting PI’s as they see the benefits of inclusivity and are actively wanting to be involved in the project. This will benefit the early career scientists who will have more engagement with and access to PI’s in the future.

Team science at COMPARE extends beyond the laboratory. The project has developed networking and collaborative links between the University of Birmingham and the University of Nottingham for their early career researchers by facilitating travel and attendance at conferences, and through the establishment of a COMPARE Team Science Committee.

Conclusions & Future Directions

Team science broadens the scientific question that can be answered.

Collaboration between imaging experts helps develop innovative techniques that will answer new scientific questions.

Team Science allows interdisciplinary experts to share the mission, share the problem, and share the output.

Networking creates opportunities to broaden potential and enhance career progression.

An alternative measure of success is facilitating the process of users to deliver the best impact.

Collaboration between institutions and facilities allows for greater knowledge transfer and broader academic experience.