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Management | Research | Working effectively

Advanced Project Management for PhDs

Your PhD trajectory is a large-scale research project spanning several years. In the 2nd or 3rd year your PhD trajectory often becomes a multi-stakeholder and multi-challenge project, requiring advanced project management skills.

Target group
PhD candidate
Downside Up
Training course
The workload for this course amounts to 17 hours, including 12 hours group sessions + 5 hours on the job assignments
Dates 2024
29 April, 2 October, 22 October, 28 October

Why this course?

Developing project management skills to effectively plan and execute the required tasks is found to be a crucial factor in PhD success. The problems you face in your project can be quite complex and specific to your unique situation. In this course we introduce you to different methods of problem-solving, while simultaneously putting those into practice. We find practical solutions to take you steps further in whatever you are facing in your project. By the end of this course, participants are better capable of using their PhD experience thus far, to actively take the lead in their project and positively influence stakeholders in order to come to a fruitful, efficient and healthy final phase of their PhD trajectory. This course is useful to PhD candidates at all stages but those in their third or fourth year will gain most from it.

Course description

The group sessions address the following topics:

  • The first group session focuses on diagnosing the present state of your project, on identifying personal challenges related to your productivity and on how you deal with success and failure; 
  • The second group session helps you in solving a current and relevant problem in your project by using the principles of Design Thinking, combining divergent and convergent thinking;
  • The third group session addresses next-level stakeholder management. We discuss Group Model Building as a problem-solving method, evaluate and map how well you (need to) know your stakeholders, and we apply persuasive communication techniques to get your stakeholders on board with your ideas;
  • The fourth session is an intervision session in which we apply a structured method of group consultation to a current issue you are facing in your project. The technique of intervision contributes to your professional development as well.

Course objectives

  • Proactively evaluate the progress of your project;
  • Apply different methods to manage your time and focus more effectively;
  • Identify possible challenges and (future) bottlenecks in an early phase and get a clear picture of all the factors involved and how they influence (and maybe reinforce) each other; 
  • Intervene adequately by applying the principles of Design Thinking and Group Model Building;
  • Communicate effectively and convincingly with stakeholders;
  • Get enduring commitment from your stakeholders to address challenges together;
  • Use a structured method of peer consultation that can also be applied in your project collaborations.

Teaching method

The backbone of this course consists of four 3-hour group sessions, where we together explore different techniques, share inspiration, practice skills and prepare and reflect on on-the-job project management assignments. The sessions are meant to facilitate participants in acquiring the necessary skills and trust to put their project management improvements into practice between sessions. When registering, you can choose between an in-person edition and an online edition of this course.

About the lecturers

The academic trainers from DOWNSIDEUP are specialized in training researchers, striving for a productive, healthy, creative and inclusive work culture in the academic world. They bring along a wide range of backgrounds, including research experience and expertise in psychology, communication, and coaching. With positive energy, openness and by asking challenging and supportive questions, they help you further in your development.

Practical information

  • You can register for this course using the registration buttons on the right side of this page. Please note the difference between Staff (employee of Leiden University) and Extern/LUmc (e.g. extern, self-funded researchers or employee at LUmc).
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