Project management – a toolbox for scientists

Academia Raetica

Projects are all around us. Specifically, in science the planning and management of projects is highly complex and requires a set of tools and techniques to perform successfully. Project management includes excellent techniques to allocate, use, and monitor resources to achieve a goal in a desired time frame. In a scientific setting, goals may include the setup of experiments, the allocation of grants, publishing a paper, or even achieving tenure. To develop a common language, this comprehensive workshop imparts a toolbox of project management skills for doctoral candidates and/or postdocs from various disciplines. It provides basic project management concepts and principles based on international standards (PMI). An important part of this training includes aspects of agile project management and how to apply flexible project management approaches into the research environment. During the workshop scientists will go through the full project life cycle to develop highly valued transferable competencies to enhance their professional portfolio.

An afternoon breakout session on time management for researchers will address common self-management techniques, which particularly focus on challenges in the research environment.


During the project management workshop participants will develop their individual project life cycle based on real project cases. 10 days before the workshop participants are asked to fill an online survey and send feedback about their expectation with the option to submit their individual project. This information will provide the base of the workshop setup, the selection of topics and exercises. Participants will receive detailed feedback before the first training day. During the first part, participants will prepare what is necessary to define a project and develop an individual project management plan. Participants will get theoretical introduction into the topic by the trainer combined with many interactive group exercises. One option is to include a homework exercise between workshop days. Here, participants can work on their individual project life cycle and receive detailed and individual feedback on their work by the trainer. During the second part, participants will change the perspective and learn different approaches and frameworks in project management.

A breakout session on time management for researchers (can also be booked seperately!) will take place in the afternoon of the second training day. To develop time management skills in a scientific environment inherits special challenges, since research is fundamentally exploratory, and often unpredictable. This highly self-reflective session offers a complementary approach to project management, such as the organization of private and professional tasks. This is to meet deadlines, deliver results and to create impact without losing the focus for individual aims and visions. Participants will learn how to set priorities, plan a week and reflect individual habits and preferences. 10 days before the breakout session participants are asked to fill an online survey and send feedback about their expectation in the training. This information will provide the base of the workshop set-up, the selection of topics and exercises. Participants will receive feedback before the training. The course material and a handbook with exercises and self-reflections will be distributed as PDF files to all participants before and during the training.


Participants who complete this comprehensive workshop will learn how to initiate, plan, and execute a project that meets objectives on time and within the budget. In addition, the workshop addresses different techniques which are relevant for a flexible approach to project management.

Define and prepare

• Understand what is (not) a project

• Compare project management in academia vs. industry

• Introduction to the project life cycle

• Stakeholder management

Develop plans

• Work breakdown structure (WBS)

• Gantt charts: define a schedule and estimate task durations

• Cost estimations

• Risk management plan

Execute and monitor

• Execution and closing of projects

• Monitoring of progress including an overview of available online tools

• Project communication

Introduction to Agile Project Management

• Agile and iterative approaches

• Changes, project crashing and common mistakes

Breakout session time management for researcher incl. self-reflections

• Set priorities

• Plan a week

• Deal with disturbances

• From stress to flow

What we DON`T DO

Learn PM software in detail. This workshop gives an overview on available PM software tools, only.


Sina Saladin has broad professional experience in implementation and development of project outlines in the academic environment. She holds a doctorate in Molecular Biology from the University of Zurich as well as an MBA in Academic Management from the University of Basel. Sina Henrichs combines her extensive research experience in the life sciences and in-depth understanding of process development and project management to provide interactive and professional training experiences. She implemented the Graduate Center GRACE, the professional platform for doctoral candidates and postdocs at the University of Basel and is founder of Manage Science ( In 2018, Sina moved to Davos to work as a project manager at the AO Foundation. Since 2021 she works at the WSL-Snow and Avalanche Institute SLF to implement a new research center on climate change, natural hazards and extremes in the alpine region (CERC).

General information and fee

  • Dates: The course is postponed. We will announce a new date.

  • Location: PMOD/WRC, Davos, Dorfstrasse 33, Davos Dorf – Meeting room (top floor)

  • Lecturer: Dr. Sina Saladin

  • Language: English

  • Target audience: PhD students and postdocs

  • Course fee for participants from Academia Raetica member or partner institutions: CHF 180, including the Time Management Workshop on Monday afternoon. Without the Time Management Workshop: CHF 150. The course fee includes coffee breaks.

  • External participants (not working at an Academia Raetica member or partner institution): CHF 350, CHF 300 without the Time Management Workshop.

  • Registration deadline: The course is postponed. We will announce a new date. Max. number participants: 12 (min. number participants 8)

  • Cancellation policy: We ex­pect you to be pre­sent for the full du­ra­ti­on of the cour­se. Please see our Terms of Participation for details.

  • Course Coordinator: Daniela Heinen,, phone 081 410 60 84

  • Credit points: The workload in­clu­ding pre­pa­ra­ti­on and ho­me­work will be between 12.5 to 16 hours.

    • Preliminary work: between 30 minutes and 1 hour

    • Project Management Workshop: 12 hours of teaching divided over 1.5 days

    • Time management breakout session: 4 hours

    • Homework (optional): between 1 - 3 hours

Plea­se check beforehand with your su­per­vi­sor at your uni­ver­si­ty, if the cour­se counts towards ECTS.

  • Course certificate: You will receive a certificate of attendance, if you attend the entire course.


Image by G. Altmann / Pixabay

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