Card game for researchers

Collaborating on a large research project is not always easy. Especially when all those researchers work in different fields. To find out what the scientists in Sylvia Kaljouw and Myrthe van den Berg’s project had to offer each other, they developed a card game. ‘It’s some sort of Monopoly for researchers.’

In Sylvia and Myrthe’s game, each work package of a research project has a market stall. The aim of the game? To close as many deals as possible in the areas of knowledge, data, network or technology. In the session Sylvia and Myrthe held with their Convergence Flagship Healthy Joints, 22 deals were closed.

According to Sylvia and Myrthe, the game is mainly a way to brainstorm faster. Myrthe: ‘Of course, you are not immediately stuck with a deal, but it does lead to something tangible. In meetings, people still regularly ask for a follow-up on closed deals. It’s a practical way of coming back to previous ideas.’

Sylvia and Myrthe show their game.

The researchers who participated consisted of a mix of early-stage and senior researchers. Myrthe: ‘PhD students and postdocs, as well as principal investigators and professors, participated. The early-stage researchers told us that they really enjoyed contributing to our Flagship using this format.’


Sylvia and Myrthe naturally landed some deals themselves during the game. For instance, Sylvia investigates behavioural interventions and needed a way to monitor that behaviour to see if the interventions are working. It turned out that in another work package, her colleagues are working with wearable devices that could be useful for such monitoring. Sylvia: ‘Through the game, you discover who does what and how you can reinforce each other.’

Want to get started with the card game yourself? You can download the instructions, trade cards and market offer posters here.