Research Faculty Can Now Tap Into Professional Project Management | Duke Today

Duke’s research community will now have access to professional project management assistance through the Research Project Management Core, a new service of the Office of Research and Innovation.

For non-clinical research projects, investigators might retain a whole or fractional project manager to coordinate and plan meetings and events, manage websites and social media, or handle project reporting, milestones or deliverables. These professional project managers also can be retained to support personnel management, hiring and training, and even proposal development.

“This is another way for us to make Duke’s research environment as productive and focused as we can for our investigators,” said Jenny Lodge, Vice President for Research and Innovation. “Faculty are called upon to be great at a lot of things, but organizing a conference, managing a major project with multiple participants and hard deadlines, or onboarding a new team members, might not be their core competence, and these activities take their eyes off their focus on the research. I’m very grateful to Rebecca Brouwer and Jamie Wylie for developing this new service for faculty.”

OR&I has so far hired two full-time project managers and will be adding at least two more in July. The project managers can be retained fractionally and either short-term or long-term. Five schools and UICs have approved a voucher system to make retaining an OR&I project manager even easier by having the unit cover the cost.

This new level of service to researchers is part of the Duke 2030 Strategy. A dozen Duke faculty participated in a pilot program and received 5 to 20 hours per week of support. Every one of the faculty who tried it said it would be a great resource for Duke researchers and almost all strongly agreed it had made their research projects better.

“The support I received from this program during the pilot phase was invaluable,” said Pedro Lasch, a research professor of Art, Art History and Visual Studies. “The lab I direct is one of many faculty led initiatives on campus that cannot afford a full-time or half-time support position. Being able to work with skilled staff at this adaptable rate is ideal, which is why I have decided to extend our collaboration beyond the pilot.”

The estimated cost for the service is going to be $350-$500 per month for each 5 percent increment in effort, including current fringe benefit rates. The project manager’s effort may be allocated to sponsored funds, as allowed, or departmental and discretionary funds. Grant managers will have to determine the appropriate Facilities and Administrative (F&A) allocation, if applicable. To learn more, please email

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