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Office of Research Development and Education

Office of Research Development and Education


Reaping Benefits, Avoiding Complications

​Many of today's evolving research areas require expertise in multiple disciplines. Large funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation strongly encourage cross-disciplinary efforts as do many smaller federal and non-federal sponsors. Collaborators may be colleagues within our institution, other academic institutions, industry, non-profit organizations, government agencies, foreign entities and other organizations.

Research collaborations provide great benefits along with challenges. Successful collaborators address potential challenges (e.g., publication credits) early and learn how to work effectively together.

Helpful collaboration tools are presented below. As ORDE identifies additional tools, we will make them available to the University Research Community.



  • Researcher Guidebook: A Guide for Successful Institutional-Industrial Collaborations (University-Industry Demonstration Partnership, 2012)
    This Guidebook addresses opportunities and challenges inherent to collaborations from both the university and industrial partner perspectives.
  • Collaboration and Team Science: A Field Guide (L. Michelle Bennett, Howard Gadlin and Samantha Levine-Finley, National Institutes of Health, August 2010)
    This helpful guide, written by long-time employees of NIH, talks about how to build an effective research team, develop a shared vision, communicate and share credit; a collaborative agreement template is provided.


  • Dear Doc: Advice for Collaborators (Howard Gadlin and L. Michelle Bennett, Translational Behavioral Medicine, December 2012)
    This essay is a product of two NIH employees who drew together advice articles written by an anonymous scientist. Name or no name, the advice is priceless both in content and humor. Topics include collaboration, conflict management, diversity, power, tenure process, change management and successful lab team tips.
  • How to Collaborate (Sharon Ann Holgate, Science, July 20, 2012)
    This article gives specific advice on maintaining positive collaborative relationships from the viewpoint of researchers.
  • With All Good Intentions (Heidi Ledford, Nature, April 10, 2008)
    The author discusses a specific, very public collaborative dispute and then explores how best to avoid problems and build effective collaborative relationships. A checklist of 10 questions researchers should ask at the earliest stages of collaborative work is included.


  • Colorado Profiles Website
    The Colorado Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) has developed COLORADO PROFILES to facilitate research collaborations, identify experts or potential mentors and easily network with other faculty in your area of expertise or complimentary areas. All faculty on both the Denver and Anschutz Medical Campuses are encouraged to participate. This resource may also be used to locate collaborators across the country.
  • NCI Team Science Toolkit Website
    The National Cancer Institute has instituted a user-led effort to identify resources to help researchers build better cross-disciplinary collaborations.




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