This paper describes our experience with the iterative development and use of a project charter for helping to manage expectations of the various members of interdisciplinary research teams. Some of our team members may be working with other researchers for the first time, and many of them have not worked previously with researchers from other disciplines. The charter is based on the need to explicitly discuss principles and policies of research practice with people from different disciplines at the start of the project, and to have a common agreement to refer to if necessary during the project. Our current template contains the following principles: •We are interested in disseminating the results of this project as widely as possible, with credit to us for doing it. •We intend this work to move forward at a steady pace, given due awareness of the vagaries of life. •We would prefer for this work to be funded. •We understand that the work we do on this project may have future phases. Modifications and additions may be made to further the project by other members. •We wish to communicate in such a way as to preserve professional dignity. •We would like to foster goodwill among all the participants. Although these seem on the surface like motherhood statements that would go without saying, in practical terms these principles, and the longer list of policies that emerge from them, is actually the basis of fundamental misunderstandings between disciplines.