Tools for Team Success

The resources below are designed to help team leaders and members set up processes and practices that support effective team-based research. All of these resources are optional. Teams are encouraged to adapt and modify them as needed. If you have questions about these resources, or other team resources, please contact Laura Howes at laura.howes@duke.edu or 919-684-9021.

For Newly Selected Bass Connections Teams

Your Project Was Selected – Now What?

Congratulations on the approval of your Bass Connections project! Here are some key considerations and resources to help you get organized and make a strong start.

Orientation Overview for 2020-2021 Teams

View the slides from our orientation for 2020-2021 teams for more information about how Bass Connections operates and resources available to teams. 

Engaging External Organizations and Communities

One goal of Bass Connections is to apply knowledge in service of society. There are a variety of ways that Bass Connections teams can engage external organizations and communities in their work.

Using a Project Manager to Improve Your Team

Feedback indicates that faculty and students alike find it beneficial to appoint a project manager to help organize the team. This document provides tips on how to recruit a project manager and how to structure this role.

Tools and Resources for Current Teams

Tips for Remote Teamwork

This academic year presents both challenges and opportunities for Bass Connections project teams. With teams operating in hybrid and remote formats and team members collaborating across the globe, team leaders may need to consider new approaches to building community and organizing their team for success.

Project Syllabus Guide and Template

A project syllabus that describes the team’s goals and lays out the general parameters of the team’s work can help students understand team leaders’ objectives, policies expectations from the project's outset. (Please note that when you click the link above, it will download the file as a document that can be used for editing.)

Project Team Charter Template

Team charters can be a useful tool for making sure that everyone on the team understands – and is committed to – the project goals and the key principles around how the team will operate. ​​​​​​(Please note that when you click the link above, it will download the file as a document that can be used for editing.)

Team Building Suggestions

Since Bass Connections teams work together closely over an extended period of time, it’s important to get to know one another – doing so can build trust and create an atmosphere of open communication that will help the team throughout the project.

Setting Team Norms

Setting norms can help teams create a set of shared expectations around how team members are expected to work together and can set the tone for a team’s culture.

Guidelines for Teamwork in Bass Connections

Kenzie Doyle, Jana Schaich Borg and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong share the team values document they created, and invite others to use or adapt it.

ModU: Videos on Research Methodology

These modular videos from Duke’s Social Science Research Institute can help students prepare to contribute to many Bass Connections research projects. 

Team Collaboration Tools

Team leaders and students are likely to be juggling multiple priorities throughout the year. Luckily, there are a range of resources available to facilitate information sharing and project coordination among teams.

Giving Students Opportunities to Reflect on Their Experience

Reflection can be indispensable to the learning process. We offer suggestions on formats, provide examples and include an optional template.

Research Consultations and External Funding

Looking for help with study design or implementation? The Duke Office of Research Initiatives offers research consultations including: study design and planning guidance, resource recommendations, help navigating Duke’s research processes and environment, and advice on best practices in collaborative research. Teams can request a consultation by emailing myresearchnavigators@duke.edu or through myRESEARCHhome (go to the “Research Help” widget and click on “Meet with a Navigator”). The service is free and consultations typically take about an hour.

Looking for external funding? The Office of Campus Research Development helps Duke researchers identify federally-funded grant opportunities and advise on the proposal development and writing process. Learn more about the OCRD’s proposal development services or explore their grant toolkits for common external opportunities. The Office of Foundation Relations provides consultations and guidance on foundation funding opportunities.  

Faculty in the SOM can contact the SOM Office of Research Development and the Duke Health Office of Foundation Relations and Corporate Giving.

Research and Training on Factors for Team Success

Executive Summary: How Our Research Teams Fail and Succeed

Despite the prevalence of teams in our society, research finds that many teams fail to live up to the potential. This short article summarizes common challenges that teams of all types face and highlights five common characteristics of successful teams.

Understanding Team Effectiveness from Google re:Work

Through Project Aristotle Google assembled a team of researchers to study factors for team success. They found that the following factors matter most: psychological safety, dependability, structure and clarity, meaning, and impact. Google re:Work provides descriptors for these factors, suggestions on how to achieve them within any team and adaptable tools for your own team.

Communication within Teams

This mini-course covers best practices for communicating within teams, including how to: use a project charter, make decisions, manage conflict and provide feedback, ensure accountability and run effective meetings. The “exercise files” also include several templates to support team work. To access this course, first sign in to LinkedIn Learning using your Duke NetID and password, and then click the link above.  

Video: Moving from Collections to Connections: Conversations on Teamwork

This seven-minute video can help team leaders frame a conversation with their team about the benefits of working on an interdisciplinary team, as well as some of the common challenges.