Adapting Collaborative Science for a Virtual World
Collaborative science involves working closely with partners at every stage - from conceptualizing a new project, to conducting the research, to refining tools to best meet a management need. As a result, it can be challenging to imagine how to adapt collaborative science practices to a new, socially-distant reality. As the pandemic continues to impact projects, the Science Collaborative will be learning alongside project teams, tracking techniques used, and sharing lessons learned about virtual engagement.
This page offers resources for project teams as they seek to design and modify projects using virtual methods for engaging team members, end users and stakeholders. Many of these resources were shared by panelists and participants in a webinar we hosted in May 2020 on Collaborative Science in a Virtual World: Recognizing Limits and Leveraging Opportunities, and additional tips are summarized in the webinar summary report.
Science Collaborative Webinars
- Collaborative Science in a Virtual World (Part 2): Collaborating Around Multiple Stressors, January 2021
- Putting 2020 in the Rear View: Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on Collaborative Research, December 2020
- Collaborative Science in a Virtual World (Part 1): Recognizing Limits and Leveraging Opportunities, May 2020
Effective engagement and collaboration virtually often means doubling down on the techniques and principles we know work in any environment. This includes best practices such as developing clear roles and expectations for all participants, carefully designing meetings, and taking time to nurture relationships during and outside of meetings. For other resources on stakeholder engagement and designing strong collaborative science projects, see: Applicant Resources
Tips, Resources and Training for Virtual Engagement
- Job Aids and a How to Guide for Facilitating Virtual Meetings from NOAA ’s Digital Coast
- Beyond Inclusion: Equity in Public Engagement - A guidebook and tip sheets from Simon Fraser University
- How to Design and Deliver Engaging Virtual Trainings and Facilitate Virtual Meetings - Trainings offered by Cathy Angell Communications, a former NERRS Coastal Training Program Coordinator
- Online Communities and Communication Tools - Resources and training from the Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement
- A Guide for Using Virtual Events for Community Building - from the Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement
- 9 Tips for Engaging Virtual Meetings - Video from Climer Consulting
- Ten Tips for Improving Our Online Meetings - A blog post from the Consensus Building Institute
- Own the Room - Training and Tips
- Impact by Design offers a range of services, including tips such as warm-up activities for virtual meetings
- Unmuted: What works, what doesn ’t, and how we can all do better when working together online. - A report from the Goodman Center
Additional Resources for Designing and Modifying Projects
- Collaborative Research in a Virtual World: Implications of COVID-19 for the Co-Production of Environmental Knowledge and Solutions A pre-print article co-authored by members of the Science Collaborative
- Seven tips for conducting community science while keeping your distance - A blog post from Thriving Earth Exchange
- Reimagining Strategy in the Context of COVID-16 Crisis: A Triage Tool - This tool is for community organizations but the framework could be useful from some projects.