News / Bowker Secures NSF Funding for “Team Science” Project


Geoffrey C. Bowker, Professor and Senior Scholar in Cyberscholarship, is the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) award to study the emergence, coalescence, and structural form of multidisciplinary distributed teams in science. Dr. Bowker will serve as Principal Investigator for the two-year project, “Team Science: Sociotechnical Dimensions of Distributed Work,” which the NSF recently funded for $249,411.

Bowker will work with Paul N. Edwards, Associate Professor at the School of Information, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. They will develop a typology of interdisciplinary scientific teams, survey a subset of teams on factors contributing to their success or failure, and craft a report to the NSF and other funders on how to foster emerging teams. The survey and analysis will focus on new kinds of scientific teams including:

  • teams that deal with the terabytes of data being created by sensor networks;
  • teams from various communities which have historically been quite separate – for example, the scientific community and the policy community;
  • open source/open access projects such as Mozilla and other distributed, participatory projects;
  • those engaged in citizen science, such as civilians tracking species of birds or mammals through mobile devices.

This will help funders and researchers to better understand modern work processes in scientific research. The researchers also seek to determine how new collaborative technologies and the evolution of cyberinfrastructure have contributed to the success … and may continue to do so – of multi-disciplinary, virtual science teams.

For more information about Dr. Bowker’s project, please visit this NSF project page.