U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Management of Scientific Laboratories course

Sponsoring University:

University of California San Diego


Management of Scientific Laboratories


Christian Roche, Claude Geles and Gilles Lindecker, CERN

This course will introduce the principles of management of scientific laboratories, covering long-term strategy to day-to-day management. Subjects to be studied include: (1) Overall policy-making. Topics addressed here are, strategic planning, strategic-resources management, relations with policy-makers (government, industry), public relations, and international relations. (2) Laboratory management. We cover the various aspects of organization and structures, basic principles of corporate finance and personnel management, policy making for capital investment and construction of facilities, purchasing/interfacing with suppliers, organizing the operation of facilities from commissioning to dismantling (including "make or buy" decision analysis). (3) Project management and management by project. We will study management functions in a project environment, including cost estimating, scheduling, resource planning, technical planning, purchasing, organizational structure and staffing. (4) Day-to-day operations. We analyze the main administrative functions: logistics including space and store management; personnel actions, staff compensation, hiring & firing; maintenance & operation; accounting & attribution of costs; and security. Throughout the course, we will discuss the differences between existing and newly created laboratories. For each topic undertaken, basic concepts, theories or methods will be developed and applied to typical cases. Case-studies will be assigned. The major purposes of the course are: to provide future managers of scientific laboratories at all levels with basic methods and techniques of modern management and to help build more effective communication between scientific and managerial cultures.