Developing and evaluating a team development intervention to support interdisciplinary teams

Susan E. Morgan, Alexandra Mosser, Soyeon Ahn, Tyler R. Harrison, Jue Wang, Qian Huang, Ashley Reynolds, Bingjing Mao, John L. Bixby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Incentivizing the development of interdisciplinary scientific teams to address significant societal challenges usually takes the form of pilot funding. However, while pilot funding is likely necessary, it is not sufficient for successful collaborations. Interdisciplinary collaborations are enhanced when team members acquire competencies that support team success. Methods: We evaluated the impact of a multifaceted team development intervention that included an eight-session workshop spanning two half-days. The workshop employed multiple methods for team development, including lectures on empirically supported best practices, skills-based modules, role plays, hands-on planning sessions, and social interaction within and across teams. We evaluated the impact of the intervention by (1) asking participants to assess each of the workshop sessions and (2) by completing a pre/postquestionnaire that included variables such as readiness to collaborate, goal clarity, process clarity, role ambiguity, and behavioral trust. Results: The content of the team development intervention was very well received, particularly the workshop session focused on psychological safety. Comparison of survey scores before and after the team development intervention indicated that scores on readiness to collaborate and behavioral trust were significantly higher among participants who attended the workshop. Goal clarity, process clarity, and role ambiguity did not differ among those who attended versus those who did not. Conclusions: Multicomponent team development interventions that focus on key competencies required for interdisciplinary teams can support attitudes and cognitions that the literature on the science of team science indicate are predictive of success. We offer recommendations for the design of future interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere166
JournalJournal of Clinical and Translational Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 9 2021


  • Team science
  • interdisciplinary teams
  • team development
  • workshop evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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