Project management 101 - how to plan, implement and minimizing risk

Research projects are characterized by a high degree of uncertainty and complexity. This course will help you as a project manager to understand and plan research projects to minimize risk and ensure effective implementation.

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Course description

From sectors outside academia, there are increasing demands for the organization of research activities to streamline these according to "classic" project management principles and methods. 

At the same time, we know that research projects have specific characteristics that should be considered. Research projects are characterized by a high degree of uncertainty and complexity, with significant elements of creativity and innovation. It can often be challenging to predict the outcome of these projects. The project teams are characterized by an asymmetric distribution of knowledge where the individual participant knows much more about the potential of their activities than the project manager. In addition, participants often have competing motives for scientific recognition, career development, or the right to ownership of a research result.

Given these and other inherent challenges of managing a research project, this module addresses the following issues:

1. What are the differences and similarities between "classic" projects and research projects?

2. How risk level in research projects can be reduced?

In dealing with these questions, the module provides an overview of fundamental principles for project management and compares these with conditions in academia.

The course will include theory and practice, reflection, and group work.

Target Audience

UV researchers who want to learn more about project management methodology and how research projects differ from "regular" projects in other sectors.

Learning Objectives

Participants will get an overview of:

  • Introduction to project management methodology
  • "Classic" project management compared to research project management
  • Risk management in research projects


Hiwa Målen, Senior research adviser at division of research and innovation, University of Bergen and former Center manager at Digital Social Core Facility a research infrastructure for advanced social science data collection and multi-disciplinary research at the University of Bergen.

He holds a PhD degree in microbiology and biochemistry from the University of Bergen, and his scientific works have contributed to the global effort to combat the disease. They are cited frequently in top scientific journals. Målen is also a certified as research manager by the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators (EARMA).

In addition to his researcher and administrative background, Målen has extensive project management expertise with several years' experience as a project manager in the private sector, responsible for project portfolios covering maintenance & modification on the North Sea energy extraction installations. As Improvement Coordinator at the corporate level, the organisation applied his experiences and knowledge from project completions to educate next-generation project managers and streamline corporate processes towards increased efficiency and value creation. 

In 2015, Leadership Foundation in Norway selected Målen as one of the Top10 role models in Norway for outstanding contributions to Norwegian business and society. His Majesty Crown Prince Haakon handed over the award.

Published Aug. 22, 2022 4:21 PM - Last modified Sep. 9, 2022 10:54 AM