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  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Submits Comments to NIH on Approaches to Team Science

    Jodi (Lubetsky) Yellin, PhD, Director of Research Workforce, Training, and Science Policy
    Stephen Heinig, Director, Science Policy

    The AAMC June 16 submitted comments to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) in response to a Request for Information on approaches to support team science in the biomedical research community.

    In its request, the NIGMS notes, “Team science allows for a level of collaboration that has the potential to achieve scientific breakthroughs or new understandings of phenomena that would not be attainable either by an individual or by simply additive efforts of two or more scientists.” The AAMC supports this view, recognizing in its letter the advantages of team science in addressing complex, transdisciplinary scientific questions.

    The AAMC also presents a number of recommendations to NIGMS on the organization, composition, and assessment of team science, including:

    • Ensuring that study sections are educated to be unbiased against multi-institutional teams during grant review;
    • Supporting research facilitating the development of software, models, templates or other tools to support the engagement and management of research teams in collaboration with the research community;
    • Urging training program grant reviewers to consider the value of training as a team member and promote programs with a team-based focus;
    • Facilitating collection and dissemination of curricula and tools to facilitate collaboration; and
    • Creating a collaborative proposal (modelled after the National Science Foundation), where investigators from two or more organizations collaborate on a unified research project and submit one single, focused proposal, to avoid difficulties that arise around subcontracting.