About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 7839 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain

TRAINING FOR TEAMS AS A NEW ERA OF INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH

J.D. Wulfhorst1, N. Bosque-Pérez1, S. Eigenbrode1, B. Finegan2, L. Waits1, J.E. Force1, P. Morgan1, N. Sibelet2, Z. Klos1

1University of Idaho (UNITED STATES)
2Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (COSTA RICA)
As scientific disciplines became increasingly specialized in the 20th Century in the United States, academic institutions lost relevancy to address increasingly complex problems. A recent National Science Foundation program, focused on graduate research and education offered an opportunity to reconfigure training models about how we orient toward larger and often interdisciplinary projects. The program funded students for a portion of a PhD in a variety of disciplinary fields and allowed institutions to propose projects that enabled innovative approaches to training. A core group of faculty in natural resources and agricultural programs at the University of Idaho, along with colleagues at a partnering institution in Costa Rica applied for a 5-year award focused on landscape connectivity and fragmentation. Student recruitment was conducted in on-site, multi-day, intensive interviews for the doctoral research positions. The interviews simulated the cornerstone innovation of the program -- that students would work in structured interdisciplinary teams in order to conduct their research. The requirements of teams included collaboration on research design, data collection, and analysis. Tangibly, this also translated to a policy as proposed in our program to co-author chapters of each students' dissertation. Teams of 3-5 students emerged in the original project, and then in a subsequent renewal project, six teams of 4 students each were founded to implement projects. In some cases, project topics and areas were well-prescribed for the student teams, and in others, the students opted to reconfigure their focal areas. Each team had faculty mentors that collaborated for co-advising, participation in research design, and analytical efforts. The program faced many challenges inherent with interdisciplinary research, including forcing team science dynamics within an institutional framework and with students focused on obtaining individual degrees and often differing educational goals and professional aspirations. However, the success of the program -- measured through completion rates, publication records, and interdisciplinary innovations -- garnered much acclaim for testing a risky model because it simulated genuine team dynamics often found in science and academia. Teams successfully applied for and acquired supplemental funding to carry out projects and achieved numerous interdisciplinary goals to bridge gaps in the work needed between disciplines as well as within. From an educational standpoint, the program offered an opportunity to demonstrate the value of team-based management to address complexity and wicked problems faced within the natural and social sciences to address global problems. Student graduates of the programs have become leaders at other institutions and continue to foster this model with positive effects on a variety of institutional programs.
@InProceedings{WULFHORST2015TRA,
author = {Wulfhorst, J.D. and Bosque-P{\'{e}}rez, N. and Eigenbrode, S. and Finegan, B. and Waits, L. and Force, J.E. and Morgan, P. and Sibelet, N. and Klos, Z.},
title = {TRAINING FOR TEAMS AS A NEW ERA OF INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH},
series = {9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-5763-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {7839}}
TY - CONF
AU - J.D. Wulfhorst AU - N. Bosque-Pérez AU - S. Eigenbrode AU - B. Finegan AU - L. Waits AU - J.E. Force AU - P. Morgan AU - N. Sibelet AU - Z. Klos
TI - TRAINING FOR TEAMS AS A NEW ERA OF INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH
SN - 978-84-606-5763-7/2340-1079
PY - 2015
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2015
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2015 Proceedings
SP - 7839
EP - 7839
ER -
J.D. Wulfhorst, N. Bosque-Pérez, S. Eigenbrode, B. Finegan, L. Waits, J.E. Force, P. Morgan, N. Sibelet, Z. Klos (2015) TRAINING FOR TEAMS AS A NEW ERA OF INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH, INTED2015 Proceedings, p. 7839.
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