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 or 919-684-9021.

Tools and Resources for Current Teams

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. (Note: 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. 

Research and Technology Support Resources

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. There are also resources to help students get up to speed more quickly on basic research methods that teams may be relying upon in their work.

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.

TEAMMATES: A Tool for Student Peer Evaluations

This free, online tool helps facilitate feedback between students working in teams for learning purposes and/or as one input into grades. The tool is flexible and includes a variety of use options, including the option of providing anonymous or open feedback.

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.

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.

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 2019-2020 Teams

View the slides from our orientation for 2019-2020 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.