Enhancing Research Team Performance

Review existing agreements governing ownership, use, and disposition of materials that may be developed in the course of the project -- data, research tools, computer codes, bio materials, etc., in the context of university policy. Verify that the representations made by your program officer are the same as the written agreements.

Coordinate Your Team

Inform everyone (intramural and extramural collaborators) at the outset of the goals, timetable, possible obstacles and scientific issues. Make the grant application generally available.

Design communication mechanisms--project meetings, conference calls, and/or interim progress reports-- to ensure that all are kept informed.

Define each team member's role.
Decide who will:

  • make personnel decisions and supervise employees
  • authorize purchases and charge expenses
  • manage data and have access to data
  • be responsible for IRB submissions, renewals, amendments, etc. at each performance site

Make sure members understand confidentiality of sponsor information and restricted access to information.

Plan for Success

Determine how significant contributions will be recognized--how authorship/inventor credit will be allocated. by whom public presentations and media inquiries will be handled and how institutions will be recognized.

Consider how to modify the project as discoveries are made redirect the research agenda, negotiate new collaborations and spin-off projects.

Make intellectual property, copyright and patent decisions in accord with University policy.

Plan for Contingencies

Decide, in accord with University policy, if a team member leaves the project, how materials and work products will be handled, e.g. data, lab books, software, computer codes, research tools, biologics, grant funds, etc.,

Prepare to correct budget deficits, should they occur, in accord with University policy.

Conclude the Project

Discuss, with respect to IRB requirements, when the project will be considered completed.

Decide where data will be stored following completion.

Need Further Assistance?

If you would like some help working through an issue, consider contacting one of the following individuals for an informal confidential consultation:

Staff and Faculty:
Tamar Gronvall, Director, Office for Conflict Resolution, (612) 624-1030

Jan Morse, Director, Student Conflict Resolution Center, (612) 624-7272