U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Management of Scientific Laboratories course

Sponsoring University:

Indiana University
held in Tucson, Arizona


Management of Scientific Laboratories


Claude Geles, Gilles Lindecker, Christian Roche, CERN; Melvin Month, Brookhaven National Lab

This course will introduce the principles of management of scientific laboratories, covering organization, projects, operations, policy, administration and the nature of the lab environment. We present the basic ideas and methods needed by management to run a knowledge-based institution. These include: 1) Study of the principles, tools and techniques of management from long-term strategy to administration to day-to-day operations. 2) Introduction to the management of organizational flux - new technology, new projects, new laboratories, mission changes, project failure-mode and laboratory decline. 3) Description and assessment, with direct, practical insight, of the dominant forces in knowledge-oriented organizations and of the problem of performance measures. 4) Study and analysis of scientific laboratory policy, strategy and politics and the interplay with laboratory customers and missions. 5) Description of the informal organization, the management of organizational stress and the related question of accountability. Throughout the course, we will discuss the differences between small and large, 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. Prerequisites: none.