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NIH Office of Ombudsman National Institutes of Health
Collaboration and Team Science


How many times we have heard or even told students at a career fair, “If you do what you love, you will love what you do.” It sounds so trite, so simplistic, and yet there is something about that phrase that people enjoy holding onto.

When thinking about this in the context of the laboratory and a great collaboration, what is the driving force behind this commitment to solve a research question together? This is where passion comes in. We have used the words commitment, vision, and mentorship—all of which are vitally important, and all derive from an inner passion and a relentless curiosity.

What could be more fun and more satisfying than finding other people with similar passions and interests with whom to unravel complexities and make new discoveries? It is not just successful scientific problem solving and discovery that lead scientists to work collaboratively. Although it is not often discussed, one of the most compelling aspects of collaborative work is that it is fun.

Anyone who participates in a a highly cohesive research team quickly notices that people work well together, there is a welcoming and enthusiastic environment, and the members are clearly comfortable working with each other.

In informal discussions with scientists, they often refer to having fun and point to the satisfaction that comes from being part of a team that works well together.

For more on Team Science and Collaboration - check out the Field Guide (see below).

Download a free PDF of the "Field Guide"

Collaboration and Team Science: A Field Guide is intended for anyone who is currently participating on or leading a research team, considering becoming involved in a research team, or contemplating building a research team.
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