The Halifax institute for Global Interdisciplinary Collaboration is a new initiative that takes its inspiration from three large global projects involving 550 physicians and scientists from 31 countries.
As the President of Getting to Know Cancer (a nonprofit NGO) and Neuroqualia (also a nonprofit NGO), I have had the good fortune to lead 36 teams of scientists over the past decade as we attempted to solve two large-scale challenges in cancer research and a major unresolved problem in neuroscience. Each of these projects required inputs and efforts from many dozens of scientists who normally wouldn’t collaborate with one another.
All of our work was published in high-impact, top-tier, peer-reviewed journals (details here) and many of the researchers who were involved commented on the fact that the sort of interdisciplinary collaboration that we had organized (involving so many institutions ) was a rare but powerful approach that should be used much more often.
In some instances, these projects created opportunities for competing labs to collaborate and in most instances the researchers forged important new alliances with scientists at other institutions in many other countries. So I was left with an overwhelming sense of responsibility to share our methodological success with others.
As a result, an advisory board was formed, and using the inputs from seasoned international staff at universities in a good number of countries, we have collaborated to identify some of the most important aspects of global interdisciplinary collaboration. Our goal was simply to lay the foundation for an annual conference where best practices, and lessons learned, can be shared by researchers and staff who are involved in global research collaborations and international partnerships. We think this forum will be highly valued by universities, NGOs, and by those who are working in the government.
I do hope you will join us in Halifax. We hope to inspire and empower you in this beautiful city. And when you leave, we are sure you will be better prepared to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges and to take your organization to new heights!
Leroy Lowe, PhD
President, Neuroqualia and Executive Director, The Halifax Institute for Global Interdisciplinary Collaboration
Best Practices in Global Research Collaboration
29-30 May, 2023, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada