Adapting Collaborative Science for a Virtual World
Collaborative science involves working closely with partners at every stage - from conceptualizing a new project, to conducting the research, to refining tools to best meet a management need. As a result, it can be challenging to imagine how to adapt collaborative science practices to a new, socially-distant reality. This page offers resources for project teams as they seek to design and modify projects using virtual methods for engaging team members, end users and stakeholders.
In May 2020, we hosted a webinar on Collaborative Science in a Virtual World: Recognizing Limits and Leveraging Opportunities. Webinar panelists and participants helped us identify key challenges and offered a range of tips, tools and resources. Some of these tools are listed below and many other more specific ideas, including platforms and techniques for virtual engagement, are listed in the webinar summary report.
Effective engagement and collaboration virtually often means doubling down on the techniques and principles we know work in any environment. This includes best practices such as developing clear roles and expectations for all participants, carefully designing meetings, and taking time to nurture relationships during and outside of meetings. For other resources on stakeholder engagement and designing strong collaborative science projects, see: Applicant Resources
Tips, Resources and Training for Virtual Engagement
- Job Aids and a How to Guide for Facilitating Virtual Meetings from NOAA’s Digital Coast
- Best Practices for Virtual Engagement - A guidebook from Local Government Commission
- Beyond Inclusion: Equity in Public Engagement - A guidebook and tip sheets from Simon Fraser University
- How to Design and Deliver Engaging Virtual Trainings and Facilitate Virtual Meetings - Trainings offered by Cathy Angell Communications, a former NERRS Coastal Training Program Coordinator
- Online Communities and Communication Tools - Resources and training from the Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement
- A Guide for Using Virtual Events for Community Building - from the Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement
- Running Good Virtual Meetings - Video and other training from Habitus Incorporated
- 9 Tips for Engaging Virtual Meetings - Video from Climer Consulting
- Ten Tips for Improving Our Online Meetings - A blog post from the Consensus Building Institute
- Own the Room - Training and Tips
- Impact by Design offers a range of services, including tips such as warm-up activities for virtual meetings
Additional Resources for Designing and Modifying Projects
- Collaborative Science in a Virtual World: Recognizing Limits and Leveraging Opportunities - A webinar summary report
- Seven tips for conducting community science while keeping your distance - A blog post from Thriving Earth Exchange
- Reimagining Stratgy in the Context of COVID-16 Crisis: A Triage Tool - This tool is for community organizations but the framework could be useful from some projects.