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Research project management – key for successful ITNs and research careers

25th February 2021 at 9:27 am

Behind every successful research and innovation project, there are efficient coordination and management processes. CHEOPS, a three-year project funded within Horizon 2020, pioneered the making of a novel type of solar “tandem cells”, which are both cheaper to produce and more efficient than any other solar energy technology on the market. This is just one of many examples where excellent research project management enabled the project to reach its goals while staying on budget.

With the scarcity of research funding and the increasing competition in academia, properly managing research projects has become all the more important. In fact having a realistic project plan in terms of scope, time and costs is a critical criterion to acquire funding.

Research project management differs from standard project management in that research is per se characterised by complexity and the unpredictability of its outcomes, which may in turn impact the project objectives that are likely to change.

At the heart of ITNs (Doctoral Networks in Horizon Europe) are the early-stage researchers (ESRs) working on three to five-years long research projects in view of graduating with a Ph.D. The success of their projects and their skills development makes the success of the ITN. Throughout their entire project, from conducting a literature review to presenting their final work, ESRs need to put research project management into practice. Familiarising with existing methods, developing new protocols or optimising existing ones, organising the daily work in a laboratory, coding scripts, meeting deadlines, presenting and networking at workshops and conferences, smoothly collaborating with colleagues and supervisors, overcoming challenges, positively exploiting unexpected outcomes, drafting and finalising manuscripts are all tasks that build upon the key aspects of research project management: planning, monitoring, managing risks, reporting and communicating.

Knowing how to manage research projects efficiently and successfully is a skill that strongly contributes to success at both the project and career levels, preparing researchers to more easily overcome challenges, seize opportunities and successfully progress through their career.

This is why at accelopment we offer a research project management online training module specifically designed for ESRs in ongoing Marie Skłodowska Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN) to learn how to successfully plan and manage their research projects.

Benefitting from the expertise of an ISO 9001 certified and OpenPM² trained team with a track-record of about 50 previously or currently managed European projects, participants will learn how to plan and manage individual research projects and become familiar with project planning tools through hand-on exercises, tailored to their ITN.

Do you know the basics of research management and EU project requirements? Test your knowledge with our research project management quiz!

Project Management Quiz

Project Management Quiz

What does the acronym S.M.A.R.T. stand for when referring to objectives?
Single choice
What are milestones in EU projects?
Single choice
Which documents or information are NOT formally required to be submitted in EU projects?
Multiple choice

Get in touch with us to discuss your options for training modules tailored to your needs.

Dr Emily Rose Ciscato

Dr. Emily Rose Ciscato
Project Manager Communications

Dr. Johannes Ripperger
Research & Innovation Manager