7 Project management – a toolbox for scientists

Academia Raetica

General information and fee

  • Dates: Friday, July 14, 2023 and Monday, July 17, 2023

  • Time: both days from 09:00 AM to about 05:00 PM

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

  • Lecturer: Dr. Sina Saladin

  • Language: English

  • Target audience: all scientists

  • Course fee for participants from Academia Raetica member or partner institutions: CHF 180

  • External participants (not working at an Academia Raetica member or partner institution): CHF 350

  • Registration deadline: June 30, 2023

  • Max. number participants: 12 (min. number participants 8)

  • Our terms and conditions

  • Course Coordinator: Daniela Heinen, daniela.heinen@academiaraetica.ch, phone 081 410 60 84

  • Credit points: The workload in­clu­ding pre­pa­ra­ti­on and ho­me­work will be ap­pro­xi­mate­ly 20 hours. (Preliminary work: between 30 minutes and 1 hour. Workshop: 2 x 8 hours. Homework: between 1 - 3 hours.) Plea­se check 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.


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 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.


During the 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 set-up, the selection of topics and exercises. Participants will receive a 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. During the training participants will get theoretical introduction into the topic by the trainer combined with many interactive group exercises in virtual breakout rooms or in physical project teams. One option 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.

The course material and a project management handbook with exercises 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 a project is and what is not

  • Compare project management in academia vs. industry

  • Introduction to the project life cycle

  • Stakeholder managment

Develop plans

  • Work breakdown structure (WBS)

  • Define dependencies and relations

  • 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

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 form the University of Basel. Sina Saladin 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 (www.managescience.ch). 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).


Image by G. Altmann / Pixabay

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