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ERIC Number: EJ980462
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1068-4867
Managing Risk and Uncertainty in Large-Scale University Research Projects
Moore, Sharlissa; Shangraw, R. F., Jr.
Research Management Review, v18 n2 p59-78 Fall-Win 2011
Both publicly and privately funded research projects managed by universities are growing in size and scope. Complex, large-scale projects (over $50 million) pose new management challenges and risks for universities. This paper explores the relationship between project success and a variety of factors in large-scale university projects. First, we characterize the challenge of large-scale university research project management, synthesize findings from the literature, and identify research gaps. Second, we offer a profile of large-scale U.S. university-run projects based on a survey conducted by us. The projects address a range of research from large-scale clinical trials to the construction of complex scientific instruments. While NIH is the largest overall government funder of university research, NASA is the largest funder of these large-scale university projects. Third, we share some preliminary results from our survey. While universities often meet their technical performance goals, cost and schedule overruns are common and can be significant. Qualitative data confirmed that research project managers face anti-management challenges in the university setting and challenges with project management techniques not tailored to the university. (Contains 4 figures and 5 endnotes.)
National Council of University Research Administrators. 1015 18th Street NW Suite 901, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-466-3894; Fax: 202-223-5573; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A