Frequently asked questions Project Management

Do we need a project manager?

Given the nature of the work and the complexities of managing the administrative processes that are integral to GCRF projects (including Third Party financial and administrative oversight devolved to Imperial from RCUK, health and safety and duty of care monitoring), we strongly recommend including project management costs as part of your application so that dedicated administrative support can be employed and charged to the project.

These costs are eligible under RCUK’s terms and conditions within this funding stream.

How much project management can be included?

This will depend on the size and scale of your project, but given RCUK obligations for Imperial to manage Third Party relationships, some full or part-time professional support throughout the duration of the project is highly advisable. Any professional staff included in the project should be fully justified in the Case for Support, outlining how the suggested FTE will support the highly complex, large-scale, multi-partner nature of the work.

Equally, if you choose to omit dedicated project management costs from your bid, you should carefully consider what existing staff resources are available to manage project governance, and how the necessary due diligence and audits requirements for Third Party relationships will be met.

What is a project manager responsible for?

GCRF projects require considerable governance and management throughout the project lifecycle. Typical tasks for a project manager would include:

  • Ensuring the relevant due diligence, safety and financial aspects of the project are in place and regularly monitored
  • Facilitating the relationship between researchers, the department, Project Advisory Board and funder ensure project milestones are delivered
  • Maintaining auditable record-keeping (e.g. records of expenditure and partner spend)
  • Monitoring changes in circumstances during the project and assessing the impact.

Professional support in these areas is strongly recommended to fulfil the College’s administrative due diligence responsibilities for managing Third Party collaboration which is devolved to us by the funder.

Would the project manager travel overseas?

If the nature of the research entails onsite support, then a project manager job description can include a requirement for overseas travel. As a College employee, the project manager would be subject to the same policies and regulations regarding off-site working, travel and insurance as those applying to an academic member of staff. Contact your HR team for further advice on drafting job descriptions.

Any decision to place academic or professional staff abroad for a period of time should be fully justified in the original proposal, and discussed with your Head of Department as part of the risk assessment review.