: While the intellectual and scientific rationale for research collaboration has been articulated, a paucity of information is available on a strategic approach to facilitate the collaboration within a research network designed to reduce health disparities. This study aimed to (1) develop a conceptual model to facilitate collaboration among biostatisticians in a research network; (2) describe collaborative engagement performed by the Network’s Data Coordinating Center (DCC); and (3) discuss potential challenges and opportunities in engaging the collaboration. Methods
: Key components of the strategic approach will be developed through a systematic literature review. The Network’s initiatives for the biostatistical collaboration will be described in the areas of infrastructure, expertise and knowledge management and experiential lessons will be discussed. Results
: Components of the strategic approach model included three Ps (people, processes and programs) which were integrated into expert management, infrastructure management and knowledge management, respectively. Ongoing initiatives for collaboration with non-DCC biostatisticians included both web-based and face-to-face interaction approaches: Network’s biostatistical capacities and needs assessment, webinar statistical seminars, mobile statistical workshop and clinics, adjunct appointment program, one-on-one consulting, and on-site workshop. The outreach program, as a face-to-face interaction approach, especially resulted in a useful tool for expertise management and needs assessment as well as knowledge exchange. Conclusions
: Although fostering a partnered research culture, sustaining senior management commitment and ongoing monitoring are a challenge for this collaborative engagement, the proposed strategies centrally performed by the DCC may be useful in accelerating the pace and enhancing the quality of the scientific outcomes within a multidisciplinary clinical and translational research network.
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