- it enables you to solve a larger problem, if you only had the knowledge and tools to solve an element of it;
- it enables you to 'do more with your time';
- it is an opportunity to learn from other disciplines;
- it is an opportunity to propagate new ideas.
Other questions that were explored in the breakout groups after lunch included:
- do partners need to understand more than one discipline?
- how do you know what is not known in the other disciplines?
- how do you find, choose, manage and reject partners?
- how do you ensure that everyone contributes and delivers effectively?
- what resources are needed by a collaborative project?
- what makes a collaborative funding proposition convincing?
Whilst it was often interesting to sketch out and explore a cross-disciplinary theme, when it comes to preparing an application you need to have a clear, well defined research question and sub-goals. It was suggested that less partners was better logistically, ideally less than four. This would make it possible for all the partners to attend meetings and give updates. Whilst there are technological alternatives to meetings these days, there is really no substitute for them.
The rest of the programme for the Grants Factory 2011 will be announced shortly.