International collaboration, mobility and team diversity in the life sciences: impact on research performance.
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The combination of knowledge and skills from different backgrounds or research cultures is often considered good for science. This paper describes the extent to which academic research teams in the life sciences draw on different national knowledge pools and how this is related to their research performance. We distinguish between international collaboration between research teams and international mobility leading to team diversity, where scientists with a background in another country work as members of a team over time. Our findings confirm previous results on the positive relationship between international collaboration and team performance. Moreover, we show that the most successful teams have a moderate level of diversity: maximizing diversity does not maximize performance. These results have implications for research team management and for research policy, in particular pointing out a need for adequate integration support to mobile scientists.