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Drug Discov Today. 2011 Feb;16(3-4):93-8. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2010.11.015. Epub 2010 Dec 4.

Project management of life-science research projects: project characteristics, challenges and training needs.

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Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, Leiden University, Einsteinweg 55, 2333 CC, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Thirty-four project managers of life-science research projects were interviewed to investigate the characteristics of their projects, the challenges they faced and their training requirements. A set of ten discriminating parameters were identified based on four project categories: contract research, development, discovery and call-based projects--projects set up to address research questions defined in a call for proposals. The major challenges these project managers are faced with relate to project members, leadership without authority and a lack of commitment from the respective organization. Two-thirds of the project managers indicated that they would be interested in receiving additional training, mostly on people-oriented, soft skills. The training programs that are currently on offer, however, do not meet their needs.

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