Common problems

Challenges and opportunities for integrated research

Over a series of workshops and interviews, as well as via a survey. Researchers described some of the challenges they experienced doing integrated research.

Here are some common problems people face along with resources to help work through these challenges.

Who to involve?

If you are unsure who to speak to, these techniques can help you discover relevant people. They will help you prioritise who to involve and avoid talking to the same old people again and again.

Ways to involve people

Once you know who to involve, the question is how to involve them. These resources concern getting initial agreements between collaborators, establishing roles and the nuts and bolts of effective meetings.

Understanding context

Projects do not exist in a vacuum. These resources help people have an awareness of external factors affecting the project and take wider contexts into account.

Scoping the problem area

The best intentions can be undone if there is no common vision. These resources help teams get agreement on the purpose underpinning the work, establish problem scope and highlight competing agendas or priorities.

Designing for impact

People think change occurs in different ways. These resources help raise and address conflicting assumptions about how change happens.

Working together

Sometimes there is friction within a team. This might result from methodology clashes, conflicting personalities, different agendas, overly-dominant voices or the lack of a clear kaupapa. These resources can help understand and address team disharmony.

Working with Māori

These resources address starting and forming relationships with iwi and hapū, establishing expectations, understanding protocols and moving beyond superficial engagement.

Team communication

Sometimes teams have difficulty communicating with another. This might be due to different disciplinary vocabularies, the use of jargon or unclear lines of communication. These resources help the clear communication of concepts and intent.

Communicating research

For research to have an impact it needs to be communicated beyond the project team. These resources address establishing who has the responsibility for communicating and how to make research meaningful to non-experts.

How did we do?

Integrated research works best when evaluation and reflection happens throughout a project—not just at the end. These resources go beyond evaluating just project outputs. They are ways to better understand team issues, the effectiveness of events or workshops, and research impacts.