What is project management and why is it important for your research?
- After a grant is awarded, successful project management is important to ensure all objectives are met on the established timeline.
- It is very important to decide on a consistent system to manage and store documents, track project progress, and record research decisions (often called an ‘audit trail’).
- Depending on your needs and institutional resources, online project management tools (for example, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Trello) and/or shared document programs (e.g., Box, Google Docs) can be very useful. Many tools/programs have a free option, although often with fewer features.
- Budget tracking and monitoring are especially important. Accurate and complete financial records must be kept in accordance with institutional and funder requirements.
- Every funder is different and will have different reporting and financial requirements. Be sure you understand the expectations and adhere to all requirements!
- Complete and submit all required funder reports and updates on time.
- The Principal Investigator (PI) should schedule regular meetings with all team members and establish a clear plan to communicate project responsibilities and progress. It is important to set clear expectations about who is responsible for doing what and when.
Helpful Links, Videos and Online Courses
- Managing Your Grant: Nuts, Bolts, and Coffee.
- Provides a helpful, brief overview of key principles in post-award grant management.
- What is Grant Management? A Complete Guide to Grant Management for Companies and Non-Profits.
- This resource is from a private company selling software solutions to help with grant management, but it provides helpful general information that is clear and well-written.
- Good Practice in Grant Management and Reporting.
- This is a good, general overview of grants administration and management, especially regarding financial reporting. It is not clinical research/health-specific, but more focused on charities and non-profit organizations. However, many key principles still apply.
- ESSENCE on Health Research (2020) – The five keys to improving research costing and pricing in low-and middle-income countries: Case studies on grants management and research costing.
- This comprehensive document from the World Health Organization offers the experiences and practices of grants management and/or research costing in institutions within Africa, Asia, and Latin America, including how indirect costs are applied to project budgets, how indirect cost recovery rates (ICRR) are calculated and how recovered indirect costs are distributed and used. Full of practical and relevant tips to manage research budgets in the context of low and middle-income countries.
- Sakraida, T. J., D’Amico, J., & Thibault, E. (2010). Small grant management in health and behavioral sciences: Lessons learned. Applied Nursing Research, 23(3), 171-177.
- This is a helpful article about health science grant management and describes lessons learned in post-award management. Unfortunately, it is not available as open-access but you can order it through the publisher, request it through your institution if applicable, or try through an open-access research database.