Session: RCDC Research Roots & Wings Roundtable I: Mentoring Doctoral Students for Transdisciplinary Team Science (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

85 RCDC Research Roots & Wings Roundtable I: Mentoring Doctoral Students for Transdisciplinary Team Science

Friday, January 13, 2023: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Paradise Valley, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Shinyi Wu, PhD, University of Southern California, Paula Nurius, PhD, University of Washington, Desmond Patton, PhD, MSW, Columbia University, Daniel Hackman, PhD, University of Southern California, Jorge Delva, PhD, Boston University and Mo Yee Lee, PhD, Ohio State University
The Social Work Grand Challenges highlight that complex social problems are often best addressed by a transdisciplinary collaboration that capitalizes on the conceptual and methodological contributions of different fields. This paradigm of collaboration creates a platform for innovations in both research and applications to solve challenging social problems. Social work, as an integrative and applied discipline (Brekke, 2014), is well positioned to collaborate with disciplinary scholars with the greatest synergy, take a leadership role in transdisciplinary teams, and make critical contributions to orienting team science towards achieving social justice goals. The new scientific environment of transdisciplinary team science warrants effective communication, collaboration, and the development of partnerships between social work researchers, researchers from other disciplines, practitioners, and policymakers (Gehlert et al., 2017). Thus, educating and training the next generation of social work researchers to prepare them for transdisciplinary team science is an urgent need (Nurius et al., 2017).

The challenge for doctoral education, however, is to successfully prepare the next generation of social work researchers to address complex societal challenges within a transdisciplinary context, while retaining the unique scientific methods, conceptualizations, and values of social work. A common challenge for doctoral students is to augment their leadership role in these teams when interacting with researchers from other disciplines. In addition, training in transdisciplinary science raises critical issues for mentorship, particularly around publication, research funding, obtaining faculty positions, and successfully meeting promotion and tenure expectations. As scientific technologies and capabilities change, social work doctoral education is also challenged to align structure and curriculum in a way that will nurture students’ skills and competencies to not only function and lead in a transdisciplinary context, but also adapt flexibly and dynamically to social change.

This roundtable aims to generate a dialogue on how to successfully prepare our doctoral students for transdisciplinary team science across various stages of their career trajectory by convening featured panelists and audience members to explore the following topics:

• Identify skills and competencies needed to engage in transdisciplinary team science in alignment with social work values; • Educational structure, curriculum, and training strategies for strengthening social work researchers’ involvement and leadership role in transdisciplinary teams; • Effective mentoring strategies that expand students’ capacity to engage in and lead transdisciplinary teams; • Institutional efforts and/or practices that support the development of transdisciplinary team science expertise and leadership among students and faculty.

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