239900 Strategies for facilitating and supporting cross-disciplinary team science on cancer: Lessons from the National Cancer Institute's TREC initiative

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 10:50 AM

Amanda L. Vogel, PhD MHS , Clinical Monitoring Research Program, SAIC-Frederick, Rockville, MD
Brooke Stipelman, PhD , National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD
Annie Feng, EdD , Feng Consulting, Livingston, NJ
Dan Stokols, PhD , Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA
Kara L. Hall, PhD , Division of Cancer Control & Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Linda Nebeling, PhD , Health Promotion Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD
Research on the links between health behaviors and cancer may benefit significantly from cross-disciplinary team science approaches that integrate concepts and methods from diverse fields. Enabling these approaches is expected to accelerate scientific innovation and the translation of research to practice and policy. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has funded multiple large cross-disciplinary team science initiatives over the past decade, and has undertaken substantial efforts to identify factors that influence the effective practice and outcomes of cross-disciplinary team science.

In this talk, we present findings from a qualitative study of lessons learned by NCI staff and NCI-funded investigators on this topic. We interviewed 40 program staff and investigators involved in NCI's Transdisciplinary Research in Energetics and Cancer I (TREC I) initiative. TREC I (2005 -2010) supported four research centers and a coordination center to foster the integration of biological, behavioral, and social science research to address the relationships among diet, physical activity, energy balance, obesity and cancer. Interviews were recorded and transcribed, and analyzed for key themes with support from research software.

We share strategies for success used in TREC I to facilitate and support cross-disciplinary team science, including: approaches for forging and maintaining cross-disciplinary teams; strategies for overcoming “language barriers” among disciplines; tools to foster cross-institutional collaboration; and ways to use institutional and grant funding to support novel research directions. These findings contribute to the growing body of knowledge on best practices for cross-disciplinary team science. They may be translatable to other institutional settings, funders, and research objectives.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the concept of cross-disciplinary team science, and its potential to accelerate scientific innovation and the translation of research to practice and policy. 2. Identify three key strategies that funding agencies and academic institutions can use to support cross-disciplinary team science initiatives. 3. Identify three key strategies that investigators can use to facilitate effective cross-disciplinary team science collaborations.

Keywords: Cancer, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Behavioral Scientist with SAIC, where I provide support to the Office of the Associate Director (OAD) in the Behavioral Research Program (BRP) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). I had leadership in developing this study, implementing the data collection, conducting the analysis, interpreting the findings, and writing the related presentation. I have expertise in the use of qualitative methods, including case study, interviews, document review, and expert panel methods.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.