NSF-EAGER: Assessing the Role of Social Innovation for Resilience in Global Collaborative Research

PI: Julia Melkers. Co-PI: Eric Welch (ASU)
Postdoc: Maria Baez Cruz

PhD Student: June Mi Kang
Collaborators: Nicolas Robinson-Garcia (Spain) Richard Woolley (Spain) Aleksandra Klein (Austria) Christian Naczinsky (Austria) Agrita Kiopa (Latvia)

This 2021-23 project addresses the topic of global social innovation in science capacity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has massively disrupted science worldwide, and the purpose of this project is to understand how teams have innovated to minimize these effects on their research activities. Our focus is on teams that involve international collaboration, where teams are working together across national boundaries. We focus on three intertwining features of the social dynamics of international collaborative teams: Social innovation, Adaptation and Resilience, and Learning and Transferability. Social innovation refers to new and different ways of modifying individual and group behavior within the context of team science.

The project involves a series of case studies focused around distinct internationally collaborative teams across four countries: Austria, Latvia, Spain and the United States. Data are drawn from bibliometric data sources, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and a survey of researchers. We focus on teams that are new emergent collaborations that establish norms for interaction during the pandemic but also adaptive collaborations that adjust to the barriers and constraints of the pandemic. We use a novel methodological approach to identifying teams using advanced computing techniques in a new and robust bibliometric dataset, complemented by other snowball sampling techniques. The project will conclude with an international workshop to share and disseminate findings that further international collaboration.

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