The purpose of the Great CTSA Team Science Contest was to find the best ideas in all of CTSA-land for encouraging better team science. The CTSAs have been operating for as long as ten years and many hubs have been trying out and testing novel ideas for how to encourage better collaboration and teamwork in biomedical research. We want to find the best examples of things that have worked or seem especially promising.
The Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program has identified team science as a critical element of clinical and translational research. To highlight and encourage team science-related efforts among the consortium, CTSA Program members collaborated to create and execute the Great CTSA Team Science Contest, which lead to 170 submissions from more than 40 institutions, and a grand total of 11 winners.
The contest, which was organized by the Institutional Readiness for Team Science Work Group of the Methods & Processes Domain Task Force, sought out the best examples of novel ideas for encouraging better collaboration and teamwork in biomedical research.
The rules were simple: think of something that’s been done at your hub to advance team science and write it down in the style of a newspaper or magazine article. Drum up a catchy headline (15 words or less!) and first paragraph explaining the who, what, where, when, why and how, and you’re ready to submit. Winners would receive something way more valuable than a cash prize: bragging rights.
And while the contest organizers were admittedly ‘tongue-in-cheek’ in their advertisements, the end-goal was purposeful.
Submissions highlighted a range of initiatives from ones involving mobile applications to data catalogs to a firefighter-scientist collaboration. For each story that was submitted, five judges from around the consortium were randomly selected by a software system to rate the submissions on aspects like importance, influence and impact. The scores were then analyzed by a team of biostatisticians, with the highest-rated submissions in different categories declared the winners.
The 11 winners, listed below, were formally announced and recognized by Dr. Michael Kurilla, director of the Division of Clinical Innovation at NCATS, at the 2018 Fall CTSA Program Meeting.
“Scientific collaboration is arguably more important than ever,” said Dr. Kurilla after the meeting. “When it comes to translational science, it’s particularly beneficial to bring together researchers with diverse scientific backgrounds and perspectives to address and solve complex problems that can’t be solved in silos.”
Further details about the contest and this year’s winners can be viewed here.