Future Research Leaders Program
Researchers, like other members of staff, need access to ongoing professional development. However, the nature of research work means that the content and focus of these activities needs to reflect the different ways that research operates. This year, the University of Sydney continues its development program for new and emerging chief investigators (The Future Research Leaders Program).
This is a joint collaboration with other Group of Eight Universities and comprises eight modules that explore various aspects of research project management.
Choose one, several or all of the modules to suit your needs now. You will find the modules are great for building a practical knowledge of research projects and how they can be effectively managed and led.
Four modules of the program will be offered each year.
Mid-career researchers who are new to the role of CI (recently won grants) or who are currently working towards being in a CI role (ie. who have already been involved in successful grants and have submitted grant applications with themselves as a lead CI). The program develops the skills required by those responsible for the management of research grants and projects. The focus of the program is on those who will be managing research projects, teams or budgets.
How does the program work?
The program employs a blended learning approach so that participants can preview the content ahead of time. This will involve working through on-line material that includes activities and exercises to link the learning with your current research. The face to face workshops then build on those exercises. This allows everyone to maximise the value of that face to face contact to learn from experienced researchers, their peers, and to share strategies and apply that new knowledge into their own context. Each module takes approximately 9 hours to complete and includes 5 hours of work prior to the workshop and then participation generally in a 4 hour workshop (there is 1 full day workshop).
Because of the pre-reading involved it is advisable to avoid doing too many modules in close proximity.
Who is delivering the program?
The program is co-ordinated by Learning Solutions and the Research Portfolio. The face to face components will be co-facilitated by some of the University’s most respected researchers.
It is important to Learning Solutions to evaluate the long term impact of the program. To help us do that everyone signing onto the program for the first time this year will be sent a 'researcher capability' survey. This will enable us to follow up participants and their supervisors to review what impact the program has on the perceived research.
What will be covered?
1. Research strategy and planning - scheduled for 2013
Effective research must be carefully planned to achieve the best outcomes for the researcher/s, the university and the furthering of knowledge. This module explores the initial stage of research project management: designing and costing the project as well as operating within the broader research and political context. This module is suited to any researcher who is developing a new grant proposal or project area.
2. Commencement and collaboration – putting ideas into practice - scheduled for 2014
There are many issues to address once funding for a research project has been obtained. This module explores the first year of a research project to ensure successful start-up and consolidation. The module is extremely valuable for all grant recipients.
3. Governance and compliance: protecting yourself, your research and your university - scheduled for 2014
Research is bound by significant governance expectations, responsible research practices and the need to comply with statutes and regulations. This module examines the policy and risk management context in which research operates and the resultant requirements for research practice.
4. Intellectual property and commercialisation - scheduled for 2013
The intellectual capital within the research project needs to be carefully preserved and managed. This module provides an overview of how intellectual property is defined and managed at the University of Sydney. It explores the potential for commercialisation of research outcomes and also examines the issues relating to knowledge management within a research setting. A useful module for each of us – but particularly important for those working in areas where the research outcomes have high commercial potential.
5. Financial, resource and risk management - scheduled for 2013
Research projects must operate within the funding and resource constraints agreed at start-up. The researcher must therefore carefully manage the resources to ensure they support the full research life cycle. This module explores some useful principles and practices for managing the financial processes, assets and risks attached to research.
6. Grant and contract administration - scheduled for 2013
Research grants and contracts are legally binding agreements between the provider and the researcher. This module explores the nature of research grants and contracts. It examines the principles of effective grant management and explores the responsibilities of the researcher with respect to the execution and reporting of project outcomes. It is essential for any researcher with responsibility for a grant execution.
7. Leading and managing people in a research context- scheduled for 2014
Research projects require some particular approaches to managing people. We will explore the ongoing management of the research team and allied contributors and particular management issues that may arise. We will focus on management within the distinctive research context of constrained periods of employment and tight timelines. If you have responsibility for managing students, research teams, research centre or a programme of research, this is most important. It will make a real difference to how your group operates.
8. Project review and evaluation (closeout) - scheduled for 2014
The successful completion of the research project requires a number of closure processes relating to research, people, finance, knowledge, assets and media management. This module covers effective closing out of the project life-cycle and the initiation of new allied projects.