September 1, 2016

As a scientist, what does this mean for me? / How do I get involved in multidisciplinary team science?

Interprofessional Collaborative Research involves the active engagement of two or more professions or disciplines in a research project, with the highest degree of integrated collaboration — all members of the research team are equally involved in the research process from start to finish.

In this context, profession is defined as a paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification and discipline is defined as a branch of knowledge, typically one studied in higher education. Thus collaborative researchers might include those from different academic disciplines (physics, chemistry, biology, statistics, computer science, economics, sociology, psychology, education, etc.) or professionals (health care administrator, statistician, educator, researcher, nurse, physician, etc.).

Team-based, interprofessional/interdisciplinary collaborative researchers will work together to:

  • Identify common interests, questions, and hypotheses
  • Design the research project
  • Interpret the results in terms of their significance and implications
  • Disseminate research findings broadly across multiple professional groups for maximum impact

Collaborative researchers respect the knowledge that each participant brings to the discussion so that together they might know better how to understand complex problems, and can include a wide range of research areas including basic science, clinical research, educational science, and community research.

Specifically, the Office of IPE provides learning experiences that teach researchers how to create and enhance the quality of their research collaborations. These offerings will assist in promoting more team-based science to collaboratively investigate complex problems and further scientific knowledge. These offerings will underscore the UAMS culture of collaboration, as well as the core competency domains for interprofessional collaborative research that is integrated within that culture.

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