The Working Group Model

Our research does not rely on permanent research faculty, but on a global network of researchers. We convene research teams, called working groups, to tackle scientific questions related to improving the health of ecosystems and communities and to apply that science to solutions.

Working groups are typically composed of 12 to 18 experts from a range of disciplines, sectors, career stages, and institutions. They come together for short periods of time, often at our headquarters in Santa Barbara, to focus and collaborate on answering their research questions. Each participant brings his or her data, methods, and experiences for synthesis and analysis, while NCEAS offers logistical and technical support to facilitate their innovation.

We invite researchers to form working groups around specific questions or topics through periodic calls for proposals.

Explore our current working groups.

A model for impact

The working group model is designed to accelerate discovery and increase the impact science can have on decisions to enable people and nature to thrive. 

With diverse individuals and data sources, our working groups can connect disparate dots, discover key gaps in knowledge, and reveal untapped opportunities in the evidence. In fact, research has shown the diversity of participants in our working groups is key to enabling greater productivity and problem-solving capacity (see Hampton and Parker, 2011 and Campbell et al., 2013).

NCEAS working groups have not only helped to significantly advance scientific understanding in ecology and the environmental sciences, but have also influenced policy and natural resource management.

Planning a working group

If you are planning your first working group at NCEAS, the following links may be helpful: