Essential team science skills for biostatisticians on collaborative research teams

Emily Slade, Ann M. Brearley, Adrian Coles, Matthew J. Hayat, Pandurang M. Kulkarni, Amy S. Nowacki, Robert A. Oster, Michael A. Posner, Gregory Samsa, Heidi Spratt, Jesse Troy, Gina Maria Pomann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Despite the critical role that quantitative scientists play in biomedical research, graduate programs in quantitative fields often focus on technical and methodological skills, not on collaborative and leadership skills. In this study, we evaluate the importance of team science skills among collaborative biostatisticians for the purpose of identifying training opportunities to build a skilled workforce of quantitative team scientists. Methods: Our workgroup described 16 essential skills for collaborative biostatisticians. Collaborative biostatisticians were surveyed to assess the relative importance of these skills in their current work. The importance of each skill is summarized overall and compared across career stages, highest degrees earned, and job sectors. Results: Survey respondents were 343 collaborative biostatisticians spanning career stages (early: 24.2%, mid: 33.8%, late: 42.0%) and job sectors (academia: 69.4%, industry: 22.2%, government: 4.4%, self-employed: 4.1%). All 16 skills were rated as at least somewhat important by > 89.0% of respondents. Significant heterogeneity in importance by career stage and by highest degree earned was identified for several skills. Two skills (regulatory requirements and databases, data sources, and data collection tools) were more likely to be rated as absolutely essential by those working in industry (36.5%, 65.8%, respectively) than by those in academia (19.6%, 51.3%, respectively). Three additional skills were identified as important by survey respondents, for a total of 19 collaborative skills. Conclusions: We identified 19 team science skills that are important to the work of collaborative biostatisticians, laying the groundwork for enhancing graduate programs and establishing effective on-the-job training initiatives to meet workforce needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere243
JournalJournal of Clinical and Translational Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 6 2023


  • Team science
  • biostatistics
  • clinical and translational research
  • collaboration
  • data science
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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