On June 10, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) responded to a National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) request for information on the benefits and challenges associated with “team science” and team-based research. The RFI sought feedback from the scientific community on the needs and opportunities in team science at multi-investigator, institutional, regional, and national levels.
Team science describes research activities that involve multiple principal investigators working collaboratively to tackle scientific inquiries that cannot be solved by a single investigator or an individual laboratory. In its letter to NIGMS, FASEB stated the importance of establishing research teams to address complex questions, leverage resources, and decrease the risk of duplicative research efforts. However, the Federation urged the Institute to maintain its emphasis on investigator-initiated research project grants.
FASEB suggested that the Institute:
- Balance its research portfolio between investigator-initiated research projects and team science efforts
- Develop and disseminate best practices for institutional and regional resource sharing to encourage collaboration
- Seek guidance from existing programs that emphasize team-based research, such as the Clinical and Translational Science Awards, regarding strategies to evaluate investigators’ contributions to team-based research activities.