Friday, September 4, 2015, 2:00-3:30
Salon C, 2nd Floor, Kingsgate Marriott

The workshops will bring together symposium participants and UC faculty to discuss ways to enable cross-disciplinary research. There are many terms used in much the same way to refer to what is being called cross-disciplinary research. While each term that can be used does have its own nuance, in most cases, they are often used interchangeably. So cross-disciplinary can also be trans-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, or referred to as team science.

So the goal of the workshops are to share ideas and create reference resources about how we do our work and to consider ways that we can do our work better or differently.

Format of the Workshops

The workshop format will have our facilitators talking for just a few minutes about their work and how they have approached the questions and concerns raised in cross-disciplinary research and then we will break into small groups and talk about how to address barriers and ways to do research better. We will then reconvene and talk about our findings.

This is truly a conversational workshop designed to encourage individual reflection AND to gather preliminary answers to the questions below. Through these sorts of activities, scholars from different disciplines can begin to understand one another better, which can lead to new collaborations and more efficient and rewarding existing collaborations.

Topic 1:  Crossing Boundaries:  Exploring Disciplinary Frameworks for Collaborative Health Research

Bain Butcher
Cathy Ramstetter
Melinda Butsch-Kovacic

Often, faculty see their research as adhering to specific type of methodology or epistemic tradition that comes directly out of their disciplinary training.

Have you done cross-disciplinary research but not been totally satisfied with the result?  Have you wondered how you reconcile difference epistemic boundaries and methods in a collaborative research study design? What approaches can researchers from difference disciplines take to find a common ground?

This conversational workshop is all about exploring these questions and more.  In times where research around health and medicine require more than one disciplinary perspective, researchers from across A&S and across campus are invited to enter into a conversation about how to collaborate better and more effectively.  By directly addressing different disciplinary methods and methodologies, we want to open a dialogue on to facilitate such research collaborations at UC.  Moreover, we hope this initial conversation will also start to expose some of the barriers and impediments to cross-disciplinary research from disciplinary, as well as institutional perspectives.

Some questions we will consider are

  • How do you explain what you do and the importance of it to a diverse group? This question is intended to help people consider how to think and talk about what they do in ways they can show overlaps or complements to other field.
  • how do you choose methods that everyone will find satisfactory
  • How can we build a culture of understanding toward what our differences are and to make sure we are all on the same page with the same goal in the end?
  • how do we know if the collaboration is working
  • What approaches do we take at the beginning to ensure that different disciplinary approaches are respected as equal?

Topic 2: Practical Matters in Cross-Disciplinary Research in Health and Medicine

Gary Kreps
Scott Graham
Jack Kues

This workshop has the aim of discussing approaches to research projects in health and medicine.  As more institutions are encouraging faculty to collaborate across disciplines, this topics will have have us talking about the actual practice, the practical matters of doing cross-disciplinary research. Once team members have a better understanding of different disciplinary and methodological orientations, then questions arise about how to actually go about doing the research project.

Facilitated by a panel from across disciplines, we will discuss practices related to

  • where do you start finding collaborators
  • what do you need to know about working with community partners or medical practices
  • what are the ethical concerns that need to be addressed (beyond simply IRB approval)
  • How do we determine which collaborator to reach out to? Should we approach an office on campus or attempt to find someone ourselves?
  • what are ways to overcome challenges and barriers of research teams and with other stakeholders
  • what do you do when problems arise within the team
  • how do we know if a collaboration is working
  • List out potential barriers to cross-disciplinary research AND then brainstorm potential solutions.

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