Building a Cross-Disciplinary Culture in Academia Through Joint Hires, Degree Programs, and Scholarships



The University of California San Diego has problem-focused, multidisciplinary research and training embedded in its development since Roger Revelle launched the idea of an experimental campus in the University of California (UC) system in 1960. With a limited number of departments and a plethora of programs, institutes and centers, working in thematic and problem-focused teams became common at UC San Diego. In this brief chapter, we summarize several design and implementation aspects of the team science approach that has resulted in the rapid ascendency of UC San Diego into a top-tier research university with a research portfolio of over one billion dollars per year. In particular, we will highlight our strategic framework to promote training and research experience in team science, which includes costly new faculty hiring and time-consuming Joint Doctoral Training Program infrastructure commitments, as well as inexpensive and flexible student scholarships efforts. In each case, we describe advantages and inherent challenges these types of structures and processes produce for the academic community.


Science of Team Science Team science Cross-disciplinary Interdisciplinary Multidisciplinary Transdisciplinary Collaboration Joint hires Multi-department hires Joint degree programs Academic culture Academic policies Higher education 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of Research Affairs and Departments of Psychology and PsychiatryUniversity of California San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and School of Marine SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaSan Diego, La JollaUSA
  3. 3.Division of Infectious Diseases & Global Health Sciences, and Department of MedicineUniversity of California San Diego School of MedicineLa JollaUSA

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