STEMskiller: Skill Set Map for Mentors of Early Career Researchers


Leadership and teamwork


While leadership and teamwork skills are often discussed as being essential for effective academic and non-academic careers, very little emphasis is placed on these skills at present in formal STEM training curricula. The resources presented in this section provide mentors with lists of competencies which mentees (and perhaps the mentors themselves) should develop. The highlighted resources might inspire institutions or other organizations to develop similar training interventions. 

Useful Leadership and Teamwork resources:

Big Ten Academic Alliance. (2016). Academic Leadership Program (ALP) Goals, Outcomes, and Objectives.

This document outlines the ALP program and its goals, to:

…help talented and diverse faculty and select executive-level professional staff further develop their ability to be effective academic leaders at all levels of research universities. It is intended to help those considering leadership positions understand the university as dynamic and inclusive institutions, and to help them build awareness of the diverse, complex, and changing landscape of higher education while exploring their role in that landscape.

Topical areas for the training (detailed materials not provided here) include: Contemporary Issues in Higher Education (President and Provost; Diversity, Inclusion, and Climate; Academic Leadership; Globalization; Public Engagement; Contemporary Issues in Higher Education; and Teaching and Learning), Internal and External Relationships (President and Provost; Diversity, Inclusion, and Climate; Leadership Values, Skills, & Styles; Faculty; Staff; Students; External Constituents/Stakeholders; Research), and Money, Management, & Strategies (President and Provost; Diversity, Inclusion, and Climate; Leading Into Your Future; Strategic Planning; Financial Planning/Budget Models; Philanthropy & Advancement; Space and Infrastructure; Prioritization & Time Management).

Big Ten Academic Alliance. (2016). Department Executive Officers (DEO) Seminar.

Description of specialized training for department heads and chairs at large research universities. Topics include conflict resolution and time management, faculty development, performance reviews, and group problem solving. Sample agenda.

Bowen, W. & Tobin, Eugene M. (2015). Locus of Authority: The Evolution of Faculty Roles in the Governance of Higher Education.

Chapter summaries are openly available (otherwise JSTOR access required for reading full text or can be ordered via your library’s interlibrary loan staff). Provides a history of higher education in the U.S. context, descriptions of the challenges faced by current higher educational leaders, and cases studies describing the evolution of faculty in governance at several four institutions: a “multi-campus flagship public university,” a liberal arts college, an “elite private research university (with no professional schools),” and “the largest urban university of two- and four-year colleges in the United States.” Helpful for introducing leadership concepts to young faculty members, including broader societal responsibilities such as “the principle that higher education is the pathway to social mobility (p.2).”    

McEwan, D., Ruissen, G.R., Eys, Mark A., Zumbo, B.D., Beauchamp, M.R. (2017). The effectiveness of teamwork training on teamwork behaviors and team performance: A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled interventions. PLoS ONE 12(1): e0169604.

Provides useful definitions of taskwork (individual skills, competencies) and teamwork, including useful example of the latter (“the seamless communication between a surgeon, nurse, and anaesthesiologist, rather than the technical competencies of these practitioners”) together with evidence-based discussion (following review of 16,849 unique articles) about the questions of who can benefit from teamwork training and what types of training work, concluding that:

When taken together these findings suggest that teamwork training should incorporate experiential activities that provide participants with more active ways of learning and practising teamwork. These may include various workshop-style exercises that involve all team members, such as working through case studies of how teams can improve teamwork, watching and critiquing video vignettes of teams displaying optimal versus suboptimal teamwork, discussing and setting teamwork-related goals and action plans, or other activities that help stimulate critical thinking and active learning of effective teamwork. Teams may also find it useful to conduct simulations of specific team tasks that the group is likely to encounter in-situ, such as aviation teams using an airplane simulator, surgical teams conducting mock-surgeries on medical manikins, military teams practising various field missions, and so on. Teamwork can be also fostered by having team members participate in team reviews/briefings before, during, and/or after the execution of team tasks that occur in-situ. In summary, simply lecturing about the importance of teamwork is not sufficient to create meaningful improvements in teamwork; rather, substantive positive effects can be derived by having team members engage in activities that require them to actively learn about and practise teamwork.

Tags: All IPS; all PSR; all GL; all Comp

Peer Review: None

Table of contents:

3.2. Leadership and teamwork


Author: Stephanie Krueger

Peer Reviewer(s): None

Last Updated: October 28, 2021


Editor: Stephanie Krueger Last modified: 24.5. 2024 08:05