Virtually Climbing Mt Everest

Project Plan

In partnership with collaborators from UniSA, UniMelb, the University of Adelaide, we are investigating the ingredients of effective submarine teams in collaboration with Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group.

The impetus for this study began following an in-depth interview study with ex-submarine captains. In this, we sought to uncover how decisions are made and communication is handled in ways that keep the crew of deep-sea submarines safe from unexpected threats (e.g., the torpedoes of enemy vessels).

These interviews sparked many fascinating avenues for inquiry, including those around the functions of trust, voice, and speaking up when in such high-stakes situations.

To further investigate the role of some of these factors, we designed a simulation using the highly regarded teaching tool, Everest v3, mirroring the communication dynamics faced by such teams.

We are excited to give members of the community the opportunity to test out their teamwork in an exciting simulation with (virtual) life-or-death stakes! And in doing so, we hope to turn our findings into recommendations to support the important work of Australia’s submarine teams.

Your Support

Attracting sufficient participants for team-based experiments is a significant challenge. We will need to run the simulation more than 100 times to obtain sufficient data.

We are therefore seeking the help of members of the local community to join us on the climb.

Participation is entirely virtual and can be undertaken from home. You will receive $60 as compensation for your time.

There are four steps:

  1. Complete the brief eligibility/availability survey here.
  2. We will send you an email message confirming a 2.5-hour session for your participation.
  3. At the time of your session, you will log into the simulation using the details we will send by email. You will also join a Zoom call, which will connect you to your other team-members.
  4. After a short virtual training session and pre-survey, you and your team will commence the climb. You will be asked to complete brief surveys at timepoints during and after the ascent.

Together with your team, you will work to overcome challenges and score points toward objectives, all while trying to avoid rescue and make it to the top.

Complete the eligibility survey today and secure your spot!


By participating in this research, you will…

  • be contributing to a new and exciting research field
  • be supporting research efforts that affect national safety and security
  • get to practice teamwork and communication skills in an exciting, simulated context
  • be compensated for your time: $60 ($20 for each hour of participation)


Participants will need to be over the age of 18 due to the recording of the session and associated ethics approval. By completing the online eligibility survey, you are providing preliminary consent to participate in the study.

You will then be asked to read a participant information form sign a digital consent form upon logging into the simulation.

Thank you!

Project Members

Dr. Ruchi Sinha
Project Leader / Team coordinator

Our team coordinator, Dr. Ruchi Sinha, is a leading expert in the field of team dynamics and effectiveness. Ruchi examines how the social network of interpersonal relationships, as well as the personality of members within a team, influences critical work outcomes such as the level of voice, conflicts, information sharing, and power/status struggles.

Ruchi is passionate about translating the principles of team research into actionable solutions, and her work has appeared in several top media outlets, including the Harvard Business Review and New York Times.