Publications, Presentations & Awards


Our Publications


Towards understanding the characteristics of successful and unsuccessful collaborations: a case-based team science study 

Love, H.B., Fosdick, B., Cross, J. E., Suter, M., Egan, D., Scofidio, E., Fisher, E.R. 

Link to open access article here.

Scientific breakthroughs for complex, large-scale problems require a combination of contributory expertise, disciplinary expertise, and interactional expertise, or socialized knowledge. There is, however, little formal recognition of what expertise is important for team success, and how to evaluate different types of contributions. This is problematic for the field of the Science of Team Sciences (SciTS). Funding is increasing for team science globally, but how do we know if teams are collaborating in meaningful ways to meet their goals? Many studies use bibliometric and citation data to understand team development and success; nevertheless, this type of data does not provide timely metrics about collaboration. This study asks: Can we determine if a team is collaborating and working together in meaningful ways in a process evaluation to achieve their goals and be successful in an outcome evaluation, and if so, how? Click to Read the Full Abstract

This exploratory longitudinal, mixed-methods, case-based study, reports on eight interdisciplinary scientific teams that were studied from 2015–2017. The study used six different methods of data collection: a social network analysis at three-time points, participant observation, interviews, focus groups, turn-taking data during team meetings, and outcome metrics (publications, award dollars, etc.). After collecting and analyzing the data, a Kendall Rank Correlation was used to examine which development and process metrics correlated with traditional outcome metrics: publications, proposals submitted, and awards received. Five major implications, practical applications, and outputs arise from this case-based study: (1) Practicing even turn-taking is essential to team success. (2) The proportion of women on the team impacts the outcomes of the team. (3) Further evidence that successful team science is not about picking the right people, but on how to build the right team for success. (4) This article presents process metrics to increase understanding of successful and unsuccessful teams. (5) Teams need to engage in practices that build relationships for knowledge integration. This case-based study represents an early step to more effectively communicate how teams form and produce successful outcomes and increase their capacity for knowledge integration. The results contribute to the knowledge bank of integration and implementation by providing additional evidence about evaluation for scientific teams, including the know-how related to everyday interactions that lead to goal attainment. This study provides further evidence that to create new knowledge, scientific teams need both contributory and interactional expertise.

Science facilitation: navigating the intersection of intellectual and interpersonal expertise in scientific collaboration

Craven, A. E., Jones, M.S., Ngai, C., Zarestky, J., Love, H.B.

Link to open access article here.

Today’s societal challenges, such as climate change and global pandemics, are increasingly complex and require collaboration across scientific disciplines to address. Scientific teams bring together individuals of varying backgrounds and expertise to work collaboratively on creating new knowledge to address these challenges. Within a scientific team, there is inherent diversity in disciplinary cultures and preferences for interpersonal collaboration. Such diversity contributes to the potential strength of the created knowledge but can also impede progress when teams struggle to collaborate productively. Facilitation is a professional practice-based form of interpersonal expertise that supports group members to do their best thinking. Click to Read the Full Abstract

Although facilitation has been demonstrated to support group functioning in a wide range of contexts, its role in supporting scientific teams has been largely overlooked. This essay defines scientific facilitation as a form of interactional expertise and explains how facilitating scientific teams requires skills in managing interpersonal interactions as well as understanding how different types of disciplinary knowledge integrate in the creation of new knowledge. Next, it explains how this science facilitation expertise may be developed through metacognition. Finally, it provides examples of how scientific facilitation could be more widely incorporated into research by describing three pathways to expand the use of facilitation theory and techniques in collaborative scientific research: developing facilitation skills among scientists leading teams, using broadly trained facilitators, and using specialized science facilitators. The strengths and risks of each path are discussed, and criteria are suggested for selecting the right approach for a given team science project.

The impact of gender diversity on scientific research teams: a need to broaden and accelerate future research

Love, H. B., Stephens, A., Fosdick, B. K., Tofany, E., & Fisher, E. R.

Link to open access article here.

Multiple studies from the literature suggest that a high proportion of women on scientific teams contributes to successful team collaboration, but how the proportion of women impacts team success and why this is the case, is not well understood. One perspective suggests that having a high proportion of women matters because women tend to have greater social sensitivity and promote even turn-taking in meetings. Other studies have found women are more likely to collaborate and are more democratic. Both explanations suggest that women team members fundamentally change team functioning through the way they interact. Yet, most previous studies of gender on scientific teams have relied heavily on bibliometric data, which focuses on the prevalence of women team members rather than how they act and interact throughout the scientific process. In this study, we explore gender diversity in scientific teams using various types of relational data to investigate how women impact team interactions. Click to Read the Full Abstract

This study focuses on 12 interdisciplinary university scientific teams that were part of an institutional team science program from 2015 to 2020 aimed at cultivating, integrating, and translating scientific expertise. The program included multiple forms of evaluation, including participant observation, focus groups, interviews, and surveys at multiple time points. Using social network analysis, this article tested five hypotheses about the role of women on university-based scientific teams. The hypotheses were based on three premises previously established in the literature. Our analyses revealed that only one of the five hypotheses regarding gender roles on teams was supported by our data. These findings suggest that scientific teams may create ingroups, when an underrepresented identity is included instead of excluded in the outgroup, for women in academia. This finding does not align with the current paradigm and the research on the impact of gender diversity on teams. Future research to determine if high-functioning scientific teams disrupt rather than reproduce existing hierarchies and gendered patterns of interactions could create an opportunity to accelerate the advancement of knowledge while promoting a just and equitable culture and profession.

Small Group Research Journal

Teaching Team Science: The Key to Addressing 21st Century Global Challenges

Love, H.B., Cross, J. E., Fosdick, B., Scofidio, E., and Dickmann, E.

Link to article here.

Download article here

To solve complex 21st-century global challenges, universities must prepare students to be competent team members. This article presents results from analysis of data collected at a university in four types of undergraduate sociology classrooms using mixed-methods, including social network analysis, student reflections, and an alumni survey. Results showed that learning is a social process. Compared with traditional lecture, fixed teams, and interacting teams, opportunistic collaboration is the most effective structure in teaching team learning through fostering communication, support, and learning networks. Post-secondary education should endorse opportunistic collaboration learning practices to prepare students for workplace success in a global economy.


Gradients of agreement for democratic decision-making

Hannah B. Love

Link to blog post here.

How does your team make decisions? Do you vote? Does the loudest voice usually win? Does everyone on the team generally feel heard? Does your team have a charter to provide guidance? Or maybe there is often just silence and the team assumes agreement?


Interpersonal relationships drive successful team science: an exemplary case-based study

Hannah B. Love, Jennifer E. Cross, Bailey Fosdick, Kevin R. Crooks, Susan VandeWoude & Ellen R. Fisher

Link to open access article here.

Scientists are increasingly charged with solving complex societal, health, and environmental problems. These systemic problems require teams of expert scientists to tackle research questions through collaboration, coordination, creation of shared terminology, and complex social and intellectual processes. Despite the essential need for such interdisciplinary inter-actions, little research has examined the impact of scientific team support measures like training, facilitation, team building, and expertise. The literature is clear that solving complex problems requires more than contributory expertise, expertise required to contribute to afield or discipline. It also requires interactional expertise, socialised knowledge that includes socialisation into the practices of an expert group. These forms of expertise are often tacit and therefore difficult to access, and studies about how they are intertwined are nearly non-existent. Click to Read the Full Abstract

Most of the published work in this area utilises archival data analysis, not individual team behaviour and assessment. This study addresses the call of numerous studies to use mixed-methods and social network analysis to investigate scientific team formation and success. This longitudinal case-based study evaluates the following question: How are scientific productivity, advice, and mentoring networks intertwined on a successful inter-disciplinary scientific team? This study used applied social network surveys, participant observation, focus groups, interviews, and historical social network data to assess this specific team and assessed processes and practices to train new scientists over a 15-year period. Four major implications arose from our analysis: (1) interactional expertise and contributory expertise are intertwined in the process of scientific discovery; (2) team size and inter-disciplinary knowledge effectively and efficiently train early career scientists; (3) integration of teaching/training, research/discovery, and extension/engagement enhances outcomes; and, (4) interdisciplinary scientific progress benefits significantly when interpersonal relationships among scientists from diverse disciplines are formed. This case-based study increases understanding of the development and processes of an exemplary team and pro-vides valuable insights about interactions that enhance scientific expertise to train inter-disciplinary scientists.

Is cultivating reciprocal learning the gold standard for high impact pedagogies?

Hannah B. Love, Rodolfo Valdes-Vasquez, Svetlana Olbina, Jennifer E. Cross & Mehmet E. Ozbek

Link to journal here.

High Impact-Practices (HIPs) have been found to improve student engagement and retention, increase civic engagement, and enhance learning outcomes. Research on HIPs shows that combining multiple HIPs into a course, also known as hybrid HIPs, are more impactful than individual HIPs, and that community engagement and service-learning pedagogies are especially impactful when combined with other HIPs. The purpose of this study was to assess whether different levels of hybrid HIP combinations produced similar or different outcomes for students, as assessed by reciprocal learning. Click to Read the Full Abstract

The courses included in this study were a study abroad course and two comparison courses within one department, which employed different levels of hybrid HIPs, such as collaborative assignments, service-learning, reflections, active learning, and project-based learning. Social Network Analysis (SNA) was used to evaluate three types of social ties (communication, social support, and learning) in these three courses. The results show that careful design and integration of multiple HIPs in the study abroad course produced markedly denser and more integrated communication and social support networks than the other courses. In addition, the study abroad class developed a learning network with high levels of reciprocal learning. This study contributes to the field of higher education in two ways: (a) expands the evidence-base for the robust learning outcomes produced by hybrid HIPs and (b) demonstrates that HIPs have to be planned within courses. Finally, integrating high-level learning objectives and pedagogies, regardless of whether or not the course type is considered as a HIP, will enable the ‘gold standard’ to be applied to all the different course types.

Select Presentations


“The Significance of Intervention on Team Development and Process”, Conference on the Science of Team Science, Galveston, TX: 2018

“Including graduate students in interdisciplinary research.” Science of Team Science (SciTS) Conference, Phoenix, AZ: 2016

“Connecting Research Methods and Successful Teams”, International Science of Team Science Conference, Clearwater, FL: 2017

“Using Social Network Analysis to Manage and Foster Effective Interdisciplinary Academic Science Teams.” International Network for Social Network Analysis Sunbelt Conference, Utrecht, Netherlands: 2018

Using SNA to Predict the Success of Interdisciplinary Scientific Teams.” 56th International Congress of the Americanists, Salamanca, Spain: 2018

Canal with boats

Team Science Awards


Science of Team Science (SciTS) Poster Presentation Award, Science of Team Science Conference, Lansing, MI.  “Successful process evaluation provides insight into team development and goal attainment: The science of team science”

Science of Team Science (SciTS) Meritorious Contribution Award for Emerging Scholar Poster Presentation, Science of Team Science Conference, Galveston, TX. “The Central Role of Women in the Development Process and Outcomes of Scientific Teams.”

Social Change Scholarship, Colorado State University. “How the Engagement of Scientific Interdisciplinary Teams Creates Social Change.” 

Highest achievement in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Graduate Student Symposium, Colorado State University. “Including Graduate Students in Interdisciplinary Research.”


Featured Podcasts


Human Resource Development Masterclass

In this episode of HRD Masterclass, Dr. Hannah Love (Divergent Science, LLC), Dr. Alina M. Waite (Indiana State University), and Dr. Jill Zaresky (Colorado State University discuss the relationship between HRD and STEM. Listen to the podcast here.


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