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Research project management

Good and professional project management of (collaborative) research is key to a successful execution of the project and important to comply with the funder requirements. Research project management entails many aspects, from consortium meetings to reports an coordination of all project activities. A research project manager is a linking pin to the rest of the research support manager network at Leiden University.

Support for project managers

If you have any questions or encounter any problems with your project, you can always discuss it within the community of research project managers at Leiden University. In addition, there are active networks of research project managers called ARMA-NL in the Netherlands, that can help you with resolving day-to-day issues.

Start of the project

The first meeting that is held after your projects has started is called the kick-off meeting. This meeting is an important introduction meeting and the project vision and management requirements are often discussed. The kick-off meeting usually takes one to two days and consists of a non-scientific part and a scientific part. See the example of an kick-off meeting agenda to get an idea of what should be discussed. The community of research project managers can also provide advice.

Administrative organisation of a project

1. Create an external and internal website for the project

  • E-mail lists for internal communication
  • Repository for official project documents:
  • PDF version of the complete Grant Agreement 
  • PDF version of the Consortium Agreement 
  • Official Description of Work
  • Copies of the approved deliverables & milestones
  • Agendas and approved minutes of the meetings
  • Copies of all official correspondence with the fund provider
  • Financial documents, templates, payment schemes etc.

2. Financial Management

  • Design the financial administration according to the financial regulation of the fund provider and local auditing rules.
  • Design of distribution of the funds to the partners
  • Design of payment schemes
  • Develop financial templates for partners if needed

3. Timekeeping

  • Obligatory in most EU and big Dutch research projects
  • Nominate a person to be responsible for managing time records
  • Contact project administration for access to the time recording system
  • Consult the funding regulation about the type of time recording

4. Reporting

According to the requirements of the project. For advice, consult the community of research project managers.

5. Retention and Archiving of Contractual Documents

  • After finishing the project all paper and digital documents and correspondence must be archived.
  • Consult the data steward at your faculty or institute about archiving options.
  • The financial administration of a project has a document retention of seven years and the project administration of EU projects have document retention of five years after the date of final approval of the project.
  • All documents should be archived digitally, according to the guidelines of your faculty.


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