Courtesy of Carol L. Manahan

Recently, I attended a symposium called "Catalyzing Team Science," which gathered representatives from the institutes of the National Institutes of Health; it was sponsored by the Bioengineering Consortium (BECON), a senior interagency committee that focuses on bioengineering efforts at the NIH. This was the first time that BECON has invited a postdoctoral fellow to such a symposium (

In contrast to other areas of science, such as physics, the biomedical fields have only recently begun taking advantage of the benefits of working collaboratively with colleagues from varied backgrounds. The NIH and many academic institutions have designed grants for individual principal investigators, and that makes collaborative efforts challenging. Because BECON crosses all NIH institutes and centers, the consortium is in a unique position to design policies that encourage team science. Meeting participants' identified barriers to collaborative research and heeding their recommendations to academic institutions...

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