Universiteit Leiden

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A new university-wide pool for research project management

With the Leiden Research Support (LRS) programme, we worked on strengthening available support in the pre-award phase. Following in the footsteps of fellow knowledge institutions, we are now also giving post-award project management a boost. This will enable researchers to meet the requirements for funding and relieves them of the admin burden of implementation. It also increases the chances of getting grants. In 2024 we started a new pilot through which we aim to build a small university-wide capacity-pool of research project managers, housed at LURIS, but working on larger-scale local projects that have a substantial research management task and need. The flexible capacity in this pool can be used in externally funded complex collaborative projects when local capacity isn’t available.

There are several advantages to working with a pool of project managers: 

  • Project managers are available throughout the project life cycle, so researchers don't have to worry about the management burden of large projects. 
  • Projects can start quickly, because project managers don't have to be recruited externally first. 
  • It provides flexibility and scalability for externally funded research projects that can vary in size and duration. 
  • Expertise is not lost, but is built, expanded upon and secured within the pool. 
  • The role of project manager becomes more interesting and it offers career prospects, especially for colleagues with a temporary (project) appointment. 

Researchers who have been awarded external funding for a complex collaborative project (which includes capacity for project management) can request the deployment of a portion of the time of a pool project manager. The project managers are deployed based on their experience and expertise, paying attention to the needs and requirements of the specific project. It is expected that the greatest demand will come from EU Horizon Europe projects and a number of complex national projects, such as those arising from het Nationaal Groeifonds. 

The pool is a new service complementary to already existing project management capacity within institutes and faculties. If project management capacity is already available locally (faculty/institute), it is expected that the locally available workforce will first be called upon.

  • Close collaboration with the Principal Investigator (PI) of the project, who is responsible for the scientific content of the project. 
  • Performing day-to-day management, e.g., organizing consortium meetings, trainings, communication with partners, and alleviating the workload of the PI when it comes to non-scientific tasks. 
  • Maintaining contact with the funder’s Project Officer (PO) regarding the progress of the project. 
  • Assistance with all aspects of the projects’ contractual documentation, including change requests, amendments, and the drafting of other agreements as required. 
  • Ensuring adequate and timely reporting of the project’s progress. 
  • Coordinating the support of other (research) support staff, experts in fields such as legal, finance, HR and Business Development.

Learn more

Curious about this pool? Please contact Anouschka Versleijen via a.g.s.versleijen@luris.nl or Dennis Janssen via d.c.f.m.janssen@bb.leidenuniv.nl. They will be happy to tell you more.

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