Beth Cardier, PhD

Beth Cardier, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the Eastern Virginia Medical School, as well as co-director of a small advanced research group, Sirius-Beta. She holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Computing Systems, which was awarded by the University of Melbourne in 2013. She models narrative processes to understand how networks of information interact, cohere and evolve during comprehension. Her research has provided new foundations for intelligence analysis (with Earl Research), natural language processing (with Disney Research) and 3D knowledge visualization (with the Virginia Modeling Analysis & Simulation Center at Old Dominion University). Two patents have been filed on her work. With EVMS, she has led a project to model neurobiological processes across multiple scales with support from the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative. Her understanding of interdisciplinary collaboration comes from these projects.

Building Successful Interdisciplinary Team Collaboration

A common problem in team collaboration is the lack of a shared vision. When the diverse knowledge of individual members has not been integrated towards a common goal, professional endeavors can feel like high-school, with each individual pushing their own agenda or squabbling for dominance. Often, the leaders of these teams have not been aware that a shared story needed to be built, or how to do it.

Techniques from storytelling are designed to incrementally develop a unified approach from a diverse team. Not only can these methods bring together incompatible perspectives, the resulting products are often innovative and inherently motivational. This presentation describes some principles based on storytelling, such as analogy, which can enable teams to transfer ideas between domains more easily and build a shared purpose.

At the end of the professional development byte, you will:

  • Determine why facilitation is needed to bring together different perspectives in a team
  • Identify the signs that indicate a team is not cohesive
  • Apply facilitation techniques that enable a team to incrementally integrate the knowledge and skills of individual team embers

Watch this professional development byte:


  1. “Why Truly Innovative Science Requires a Leap into the Unknown” Uri Alon, Ted Global, Filmed June 2013,
  2.  “The Way of Improvisation” Dave Morris, TedxVictoria, Filmed November 19, 2011,
  3.  “How to manage for collective creativity” Linda Hill, TedX Cambridge, Filmed September 2014,
  4. National Academies Keck Futures Initiative, Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research, 2005, National Academies Press, Washington DC, free book downloadable here:

Dr. Cardier has disclosed that she has no relevant financial relationships.