U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Managing Science in Research Labs, Part I course

Sponsoring University:

University of Texas at Austin


Managing Science in Research Labs, Part I: Strategic Management


William Barletta, USPAS/MIT and Ajda Lah, University of Ljubljana

[This course may be taken as a one-week stand alone course or may be taken along with the "Managing Science in Research Labs, Part II: Managing Organizational Behavior" course being offered June 23-27]

Purpose and Audience
Accelerator science and technology is, for the most part, a team enterprise whether conducted in a large (inter)national laboratory, a major research university, or an industrial setting. The successful research manager requires a broad set of executive skills to maximize the scientific effectiveness and output of his/her team. This course is designed to develop strategic management skills for principal investigators and first line managers through upper-middle managers.


At least three years of graduate training in physical, chemical or biosciences. Some supervisory experience in a research laboratory setting (either government, industry or university) is preferred.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that he or she meets the course prerequisites or has equivalent experience.

To understand the basic aspects of leadership and strategic management of team science in the research laboratory setting. Gain experience with organizational skills such as program planning, interpersonal influence and leadership.

Instructional Method
Lectures will be given in the mornings. The afternoons will be devoted to “learning by doing” and interactive practice sessions in each of the organizational skills covered. Homework assignments will be given in preparation for the interactive sessions.

Course Content
The lectures will start with a brief description of organizational models followed by discussions of the general measures of the scientific manager. Topics will include (a) measures of a scientific manager (b) business environment for research organizations (c) leadership in scientific organizations (d) forecasting and risk. Lectures on resource management include discussion of resource type, total cost of doing business, financial basics, make/buy decisions and setting priorities. The discussion of strategic plans and business plans transitions to the marketing science module. This module will include, proposal preparation, scientific presentations, managing reviews and marketing your staff. Lectures on human resources will cover: (a) managing within the law (a) choosing your team: interviewing basics (c) evaluating performance (d) and succession planning.

Reading Requirements
(to be provided by the USPAS) "Strategic Marketing Management", 6th Edition by Alexander Chernev and Philip Kotler, Cerebellum Press (2011) and lecture notes.

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on performance: final exam (30 % of final grade), homework assignments (35 % of final grade) and in-class assignments (35 % of final grade).

IU/USPAS course: Physics 671