Lessons Learned from an Academic, Interdisciplinary, Multi-Campus, Research Collaboration

  • Elaine Nguyen Idaho State University College of Pharmacy
  • Xiaomeng Xu Idaho State University, Department of Psychology
  • Renee Robinson University of Alaska Anchorage/Idaho State University
Keywords: Interdisciplinary Research; Distance Technology; Collaborations


Background: The formation of productive academic research groups can be difficult, especially in environments without a robust and existing research infrastructure. Idaho and Alaska, are Institutional Development Award (IDeA)-eligible states, historically receiving low levels of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Purpose/Methods: We present a case study highlighting an academic research collaboration established across two-disciplines, three-career stages, and three-campuses utilizing distance technology.

Results: One lesson learned from our experiences is that regardless of position (junior or senior faculty) or time at the institution/department (new or established), it is important to reach out to others. Collaborations require conscientious effort to establish and maintain. Second, a psychologically safe space must be created, establishing trust.  Lastly, in order to eliminate distractions, optimize team performance, and improve deliverables, the team must have a shared mission. Team members must recognize, appreciate, and fully utilize each other and available resources.

Conclusion: Our experiences and lessons learned can be utilized by others to strengthen opportunities to form and grow interdisciplinary research collaborations and develop a stronger research infrastructure.


Article Type: Note

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Received 2020-05-18
Published 2020-06-09
Pharmacy Practice & Practice-Based Research