Essential Science Project Management

The Essential Science Project Management course is part of the Essential Short Course Series™ and is held over a period of three days.

No science project can be successful without effective management. The course provides the necessary background to highlight the importance of the management of a science project. It sensitises young scientists to the central role of project management in their professional careers, and that a science project requires effective management in order to maximise its benefit. This course outlines the principles of science project management for both students and supervisors. Case studies are discussed to highlight the pitfalls with the aim on risk management.

The course was custom designed for professionals working in the science environment. The following individuals are recommended to attend:

  1. Science professionals responsible for science project management.
  2. Students entering a professional career in either academia or the private sector.
  3. Supervisors and post-graduate students and interns who want to acquire skills to manage their science project.
  4. Science managers.

Course Programme

Introduction to Science Project Management

  • a. Defining science projects
  • b. What is development?
  • c. Innovation pipeline
  • d. Research and innovation, the role of i.) Government; ii.) Public / Academic sector; iii.) Private sector

Management of a Science Project

  • Why is managing a science project different?
  • Project management processes
  • The project lifecycle
  • The project manager: Skills a scientist would need to manage a science project

Project Concept and Initiation

  • a. Context of the project
  • b. Project feasibility
  • c. Outline of project requirements
  • d. Verify the constraints
  • e. Position of a project in a career plan

Planning the Project

  • Project plan 101
  • Responsibility levels
  • Five dimensions of a project

Experimental design

  • Types of study designs
  • Controls
  • Bias
  • Statistics
  • Randomisation
  • Measurements

Operational Management

  • Good Laboratory Practice
  • Resources
  • Standard operating procedures (SOPs)
  • Evaluations and audits
  • Ethical conduct in science
  • Emergency management
  • Occupational Health and Safety

Resource Management

  • Purpose
  • Available resources
  • Procurement
  • Waste management

Human Resource Management

  • Working with people
  • People skills
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Conflict management
  • Team work
  • Time management
  • Stress management

Reporting Process Management

  • What is reported to whom?
  • How to report effectively

Data Management

  • Purpose
  • Scientific challenges of data
  • Data collection and generation
  • Organising data
  • Documentation of data: Lab books

Document and information management

  • E-mail
  • Phone calls
  • Storage
  • Security
  • Archiving
  • Literature searches

Quality Management (QM)

  • Purpose of QM in research
  • Quality assurance (QA)
  • Quality control (QC)

Project Time Management

  • Purpose
  • Time estimations
  • Effort vs duration
  • Contingency plans
  • Project network diagram
  • Project time line: Deadlines; Time line management
  • Measure progress
  • Risk management

Financial Management

  • Financial plan
  • Budget
  • Funding
  • Financial documents
  • Taxes and duties
  • Legislation

Risk Management

  • Risk plan
  • Identification, evaluation and assessment of risk
  • Risk control

Legislation in science

This is a preliminary programme, and the sequence may change.

Comments of previous delegates on our Essential Science Project Management™ short courses:

“Thank you very much it touched every problem I had with regard to my project. … I really got what I wanted and more.”

“The course is very important and helpful in my study and I therefore recommend that it is given to all postgraduate students as this will be helpful to them as well.”

“This seems to be the core of research to me. From conception of the research area to the point of reporting. I do appreciate (it) for I feel empowered!!”

“The course is an essential tool which is very meaningful to our lives.”

“I appreciate the information provided, it is valuable. Thank you also for sharing your vast experience with us.”

“I learnt many things that I did not know before. I found the course extremely helpful and informative. Excellent course!”

“This was an eye open(ing) course. Well designed, structured and presented.”