As part of Montana State's strategic plan, we are focused on improving lives and society through research, creativity and scholarship. Montana State University faculty, staff, and students are known nationally and internationally for discovering, applying, testing, and sharing knowledge and creative works that expand understanding and positively impact lives and society.

To help in reaching Goal 2.2: Expand interdisciplinary scholarship, the Research Capacity Team (RCT) has put together this list of resources and services for faculty, students and staff to help them to create and maintain interdisciplinary collaborations.

“We bring very different ways of knowing to science that have, in the end, produced a fantastic article that advances the study of hazards and risk preparation. None of us could have done this work as individual scientists.”

- Liz Shanahan, MSU News, Jan 2, 2020

Looking for collaborators? Learn more about how we can help...

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Comments or suggestions for this resource are welcome! Please email Nika Stoop [email protected].

  • Finding Collaborators
  • Finding grant opportunities and assistance
  • Putting the group together: Shared understandings, Building a diverse group, Fostering trust and open communication, Shared Leadership, Experiencing failure, Shared goals
  • Working with non-MSU or offsite entities (tribes, non-profits, federal or state entities)


  • Understanding diverse communication/working styles
  • Creating an inclusive environment
  • Conflict management
  • Creating opportunities for meaningful engagement
  • Decision-making and accountability
  • Identifying and managing training/education needs in grads, postdocs, etc.
  • Online collaborative spaces
  • Meeting space


  • TBD
  • Scheduling
  • Communicating
  • Sharing/managing data and information
  • Writing collaboratively
  • Managing the group's intellectual property
  • Creating and protecting time for idea generation, brainstorming, “academic loafing”
  • Publishing/Presenting guidelines for an interdisciplinary group
  • Facilitation of group meetings


  • TBD
  • Archive or Data Repository Resources
  • Documenting the collaboration's history
  • Publishing/Presenting guidelines for an interdisciplinary group

Herbert JL1, Borson S, Phelan EA, Belza B, Cochrane BB. Consultancies: a model for interdisciplinary training and mentoring of junior faculty investigators. Acad Med. 2011 Jul;86(7):866-71. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31821ddad0.

University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Best Practices & Resources for Interdisciplinary Research Collaborations. Retrieved on January 4, 2019 from

Levinson, B., K.W. Thornton Managing. Interdisciplinary Research: Lessons Learned from the EPA-STAR /NSF/USDA Water and Watersheds Research Program. In

Renard, Kenneth G., McElroy, Stephen A., Gburek, William J., Canfield, H. Evan and Scott, Russell L., eds. 2003. First Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds, October 27-30, 2003.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.

Appleby, Michelle. “What Are the Benefits of Interdisciplinary Study?” OpenLearn. The Open University, 09 Apr. 2015. Web.

Bridges and Barriers to Developing and Conducting Interdisciplinary Graduate-Student Team Research Wayde Cameron Morse, Max Nielsen-Pincus, Jo Ellen Force and J. D. Wulfhorst

Ecology and Society Vol. 12, No. 2 (Dec 2007)

Creating and maintaining high-performing collaborative research teams: the importance of diversity and interpersonal skills. Kendra S Cheruvelil, Patricia A Soranno, Kathleen C Weathers, Paul C Hanson, Simon J Goring, Christopher T Filstrup, Emily K Read

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Vol. 12, No. 1, Special Issue: Macrosystems ecology – an emerging perspective (February 2014), pp. 31-38

Covey, S. R. 1991. Principle-centred leadership. Simon and Schuster, New York, NY.

Fiore, S. M. 2008. Interdisciplinarity as teamwork: how the science of teams can inform team science. Small Group Research 39:251-277.

Katzenbach, J. R., and D. K. Smith. 1993. The wisdom of teams: creating the high-performance organization. Harvard Business School Press, Boston.

Laal, M., L. Geranpaye, and M. Daemi. 2013. Individual accountability in collaborative learning. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 93:286 – 289.

Leholm, A., and R. Vlasin. 2006. Increasing the odds for high-performance teams – lessons learned. Michigan State University Press, East Lansing, MI.

MIT (Massachusetts Institute Of Technology). 2011. The third revolution: the convergence of the life sciences, physical sciences, and engineering.

NRC (National Research Council). 2009. A new biology for the 21st century. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC.

National Academy of Sciences: Committee on Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research and the Committee on Science Engineering and Public Policy. 2005. Facilitating interdisciplinary research. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC.

National Research Council of the National Academies. 2014. Convergence: Facilitating transdisciplinary integration of life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, and beyond. The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.

Tuckman, B. W. 1965. Developmental sequence in small groups. American Psychological Association Psychological Bulletin 63:384-399.

Lungeanu, Alina, Yun Huang, and Noshir S. Contractor. Understanding the assembly of interdisciplinary teams and its impact on performance. J Informetr. 2014 Jan; 8(1): 59–70. doi: 10.1016/j.joi.2013.10.006.

Best Practices for Developing Interdisciplinary Research Teams. Iowa State University.

Lakhani, Jahan, Karen Benzies K. Alix Hayden.Attributes of Interdisciplinary Research Teams: A Comprehensive Review of the Literature. Clin Invest Med 2012; 35 (5): E260-E265.

Nancarrow, Susan A, Andrew Booth, Steven Ariss, Tony Smith, Pam Enderby, and Alison Roots. Ten principles of good interdisciplinary team work. Hum Resour Health. 2013; 11: 19.

Published online 2013 May 10. doi: 10.1186/1478-4491-11-19