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The Role of Trust in Collaborative Research Settings: Opportunities for Future Research in Graduate Engineering Education

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Opportunities within Graduate Study Programs - Graduate Studies Division Technical Session 5

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Graduate Studies

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Paper Authors

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Carey Whitehair


Catherine G.P. Berdanier Pennsylvania State University, University Park Orcid 16x16

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Catherine G.P. Berdanier is a Research Associate in the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. She earned her B.S. in Chemistry from The University of South Dakota, her M.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering and Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University. Her research interests include graduate-level engineering education, including inter- and multidisciplinary graduate education, online engineering cognition and learning, and engineering communication.

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Collaborative research is becoming the norm for science and engineering graduate students as the future of engineering research is increasingly interdisciplinary. However, little research describes the competencies required for graduate student success on collaborative and interdisciplinary teams. In related work, researchers in “science of team science” (usually focused on collaborative medical research settings) have begun to study the factors for success of collaborative and often interdisciplinary teams. One of the least-studied and abstract of these factors is the construct of trust—both within team members and in relation to the team leaders. This paper uses a systematic literature review method to investigate the role of trust within collaborative research settings, with the intention of unveiling future research directions for graduate-level engineering education. The results of this systematic literature review demonstrate that there is not a singular, clear, standard definition of trust within collaborative research and that there is a lack of studies that explore trust and collaboration within research settings and particularly none are aimed at the ways in which people develop these skills. The results of this review are immediately relevant to researchers involved with interdisciplinary and collaborative research, and have implications for those that educate graduate students to be future collaborative and interdisciplinary researchers.

Whitehair, C., & Berdanier, C. G. (2017, June), The Role of Trust in Collaborative Research Settings: Opportunities for Future Research in Graduate Engineering Education Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29008

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