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Webinar #5: Are your Collaborations Painful, Proficient or Pivotal?

As academics, we are often advised that 'collaboration is the key to success'. And when collaborations work well, they can be one of the most rewarding aspects of the job and they can be pivotal for a career.

Unfortunately, collaborations do not always work out this way! Some can be sort of "ho-hum": proficient in terms of meeting the project goals, but not an especially energising experience, nor filled with relationships you are especially keen to continue.

And of course, collaborations can go horribly wrong, becoming toxic and even painful.

In this webinar, the fifth in the "Small Wins" series, ARC Laureate Fellow Sharon Parker will provide an evidence-based overview about building effective collaborations, as well as her own insights. She will be joined by ARC Laureate Fellows Tamara Davis and Sara Dolnicar (University of Queensland) who will describe their own experiences, insights, and tips.

Sharon's tips based on the evidence:

  1. Collaboration is increasingly important for academic success, but there are many diverse forms

  2. To avoid painful collaborations, try to work with people with similar goals and working styles (or discuss differences explicitly)

  3. Invest in clarifying roles, methods of working, etc, at the start

  4. Understand that there are different types of interdependence (interconnections between tasks) and that these types require different types of co-ordination

  5. Revisit how you are doing as a team throughout the process

  6. Do what you can as a collaborator to build affective trust and cognitive trust

Sara's tips:

  1. Collaboration flourishes in diverse teams

  2. Good collaborative qualities: Reliability, generosity, critical thinking, do-ers and problem-solvers

  3. Agree on clarity on research integrity and sharing authorship

  4. Avoid "freeriding" and stealing of ideas - they erode trust in collaboration

  5. Collaboration is a long-term game

Tamara's tips:

  1. Bring something to the table that adds to the collaboration

  2. Be visible - ask questions, be fully engaged, and be interested in other people's research

  3. Take initiative - ask and propose to do research that matters to you

  4. Do your best in everything, this builds a foundation of trust and respect

  5. Be innovative

  6. Communicate well and often

  7. Be generous with your expertise

  8. Pay attention to what benefits and motivates others

  9. Don't take offence easily

Read more evidence-based tips on our Collaborations page by clicking here.

Download a copy of the presentation slides by clicking here.


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