STEMskiller: Skill Set Map for Mentors of Early Career Researchers

CAREER MANAGEMENT: Leadership and teamwork

Project management for researchers: “real-world” v. academic interpretations, why important, trends, tools, examples


Scientific research teams can be organized in different ways to achieve the results they wish to achieve. Various project management (PM) techniques are touted in the commercial sector; principal investigators (PIs) may find concepts useful in the management of their teams, extended to the concept of project leadership (PL). While in some countries the phrase “project management” is affiliated with completing grant projects and various software tools, the concept of effective project management extends well beyond this into the realm of effective leadership and can be defined as “the practice of leading the work of a team to achieve goals and meet success criteria at a specified time.”[1] The term "applied project management" includes tools and resources for using PM techniques in real-world academic settings. Particularly useful for researchers working in international research teams and those planning to pursue careers in corporate settings.


Useful Project management resources:

Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science. (n.d.). Project Management for Research.

A toolkit for managing all aspects of a research project, including the following sections: Grant Writing + Project Development, Implementation, Closeout, Transfer + Application, and Project Management Software. Includes templates and examples for some areas, some applicable only to Ohio State but perhaps useful for other institutions.

Linger, J., Midlam-Mohler, S., Slavinski, J., & Fiorentini, L. (2015). Project management inside and outside of the curriculum at The Ohio State University. age26(1).

Describes PM and applied PM courses at The Ohio State College of Engineering, including rationale for developing these courses as well as learning objectives and sample syllabi for selected courses.

vitae (2020). Managing a research project.

Brief overview of the key stages of a typical research project.

Kennett, B. (2014). Planning and Managing Scientific Research: A guide for the beginning researcher. ANU Press.

Open eBook discussing: The Nature of Research and Innovation, The Life Cycle of a Project, How to Plan and Manage a Project, Communicating Research, Research Issues, and Case Studies.

Sutton, L., Berdan, L.G., Bolte, J., Califf, R.M., Ginsburg, G.S., Li, J.S., McCall, J., Moen, R., Myers, B.S., Rodriquez, V., Veldman, T., and Boulware, L.E. (2019). Facilitating translational team science: The project leader model. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, 3, 140–146.

Extends the concept of project management to academic project leadership and its potential role in research and team science, applicable to all disciplines. Describes a case study and includes challenges and solutions to common problems in research teams.

Tags: All IPS, all PSR, all GL, IAL IntL; all Comp

Peer Review: None

Table of contents:

3.2.2. Project management


Author: Stephanie Krueger

Peer Reviewer(s): None

Last Updated: October 28, 2021


Editor: Stephanie Krueger Last modified: 24.5. 2024 08:05