Limitations and risks
Bringing together many individuals from various disciplines, and distributed across the globe, is a task that requires care. The PCI does not embrace the status quo and coordinated research comes with calculated risks and limitations.
First, effective collaborations will take time to establish as scientists are mainly trained to work independently and recognised for their individual accomplishments. Collaboration is not yet rewarded in science. Relying on others implies some level of risk, but we are committed to creating a culture where team members embrace collaborative spirit by acknowledging credits and rewarding contributions. Similarly, science is competitive by nature, and this can generate disagreements and conflicts. Our strategy to address sensitive issues relies on active listening, understanding the context and engaging with the conflict.
Second, scientists tend to collaborate with members of their local institution, and distributed research across universities and countries introduces common difficulties and challenges. We believe communication is the oxygen of a distributed research institute. Absence or lack of communication leads to the collapse of collaboration. Consequently, we are building a platform that allows synchronous communications and encourages continuous exchange among team members. Researchers must be connected and feel part of the community to maintain efficient communication.
Third, funding is a major limitation for research. This is why we have a long-term plan to slowly reduce our dependence on traditional funding bodies and move towards alternative sources. Additionally, the PCI will not have research facilities, and therefore, the funds will primarily be used for researcher salaries and lab expenses. We believe this strategy will allow the PCI to invest directly in research and reduce unnecessary costs.
Despite these challenges, we are confident that scientific collaborations spanning from the proposed distributed research will significantly enhance research impact. Trust is the foundation to build boundless organisational and geographic cooperation.