Guide to Collaborative Science

 

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Turtle entangled in trash. Mission-Aransas Reserve. Photo credit: Jace Tunnell.

Design Your Project

Give structure to your project by figuring out who to involve, how you will collaborate, and what kind of expertise you will need.


 Decide Who Needs to Be Involved and How

Take time to map out the interests and contributions of potential partners.

  • Focus on a core set of primary end users.
  • Identify who else could help meet your objectives.
  • Be explicit about participant contributions and roles.

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 Build Your Team

Recruit team members with collaboration and communication expertise in addition to scientists and technical experts.

  • Ensure that your team has capacity to fill all the needed roles.
  • Include end users on your team when it's appropriate.

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 Enable Participation

Recruit team members with collaboration and communication expertise in addition to scientists and technical experts.

  • Consider and address barriers to participation for members of your team and for end users.

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 Design Your Collaborative Process

Consider how you will engage people, with attention to the specific context of your project. 

  • Consider your project's scale, level of conflict, complexity, and context.
  • Consider your project's purpose and the type of input needed.
  • Use an adaptable approach with methods that fit your goals.
  • Build on prior experiences and relationships.

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 Additional Resources

Explore additional resources related to planning a collaborative approach. Examples: related frameworks, FAST decision making guide, and others.

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This guide distills key observations and lessons learned from Collaborative Science projects funded by the NOAA NERRS Science Collaborative Program. Copyright 2022. For questions or permissions, please contact nerrs-info@umich.edu.