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Kicking Off a New Team (Team Science Seminar Series 2023-2024 #2)

Kicking Off a New Team (Team Science Seminar Series 2023-2024 #2)

November 2, 2023 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
Online Event
Register below to receive Zoom link
Laurel Barchet

Event Video

Watch on Vimeo

For those who are viewing the recording, but did not attend the live event, please contact Laurel Barchet ( to receive and complete the evaluation survey. The evaluation survey is required in order to receive the Team Science Seminar Series certificate of completion.


Picture this, you just got awarded a grant for a new study. You are excited and anxious to get started but can’t do your project on your own and need to bring together a team to carry out the work. What do you do next?

In this second session of the 2023-2024 Team Science Seminar Series, join Jennifer Sprecher and Erin Blakeney to learn about and practice strategies and approaches to set up your team for success with team “Kick Off” materials and activities.

Event Materials

2 MBSLIDE PRESENTATION: Kicking Off A New Team (Team Science Seminar Series Nov 2023)35 KBHANDOUT: Research Study Charter (Blank)44 KBHANDOUT: Research Study Charter (Facilitator version)102 KBHANDOUT: Project Roles Chart23 KBHANDOUT: Team Welcome Letter Outline

Learning Objectives

At the end of this seminar, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe ways in which kick-off materials and activities can help support team success.
  2. Identify and adapt kick-off tools for your team (welcome letter, onboarding materials, kick off meeting agenda, roles and responsibilities document, project aims clarification and project charter)
  3. Practice activities that can help successfully kick-off your team (Impromptu Networking, Team Agreements)

Schedule of Activities

12:00-12:10pm – Welcome, Overview, Introductions
12:10-1:25pm – Presentation, Interactivity, Q&A
1:25-1:30pm – Thank You and Feedback Survey

About the Speakers

Jennifer SprecherJennifer Sprecher is Director of Strategy Development and Deployment with the School of Nursing. Ms. Sprecher works with organizations to achieve excellence through Strategy development, Lean Project Management, balanced scorecards, change management, benchmarking, team problem solving, team and leadership coaching.

Ms. Sprecher is a strong team facilitator, called upon to facilitate high-level teams where interaction and reaching objectives are critical. Sample facilitations include strategic planning, building collaborations, designing and developing new services, products and processes, implementing process improvements, implementing research studies and creating new research centers. She has worked extensively in the past few years within the arena of team science and applying team concepts to innovative development and research teams.

Before the UW School of Nursing, Ms. Sprecher focused exclusively on health research in the Institute of Translational Health Sciences, also within the University of WA. Prior to the UW, she spent 7 years as Executive Director of the Washington State Quality Award (WSQA), a Baldrige-based non-profit organization. With a background in Industrial Engineering, Ms. Sprecher has been working with process improvement for over 25 years using continuous process improvement methods including Lean, Lean-Sigma, Plan Do Check Act and 6S (5S workplace organization combined with Safety) and Total Quality Management.

Ms. Sprecher has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering, a Master’s of Science in Management Systems, is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and an International Coaching Federation ACC certified Leadership Coach.

Erin Abu-Rish Blakeney, PhD, RN, is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Informatics at the UW School of Nursing. She is a co-lead of the UW ITHS Team Science Core and has nearly 15 years of experience as a health professions and health services researcher in developing, implementing, and testing team approaches to interdisciplinary education, healthcare, and research.

Dr. Blakeney earned her first bachelor’s degree in Politics and Environmental Studies from Whitman College, a second bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University, and a master’s degree in International Education from New York University focusing on cross-cultural exchange and training. She earned her PhD in Nursing Science Statistics from the University of Washington and she is currently in the third year of a 3-year NHLBI-funded K12 career development program focused on implementation science.

Dr. Blakeney’s program of research is motivated by the understanding that how teams work together influences production of new knowledge and translation of research into practice along the entire classroom to bench to bedside spectrum. Her current areas of research interest include: (1) identifying best practices and promising models for improving interdisciplinary team dynamics and outcomes; (2) understanding mechanisms of action connecting the quality of interdisciplinary team communication and relationships with team effectiveness and outcomes; (3) discovering strategies to implement and sustain team science training and best practices for individuals and teams carrying out interdisciplinary translational research and practice.