U.S. Particle Accelerator School
U.S. Particle Accelerator School
Education in Beam Physics and Accelerator Technology

Managing Science in Research Labs, Part I : Strategic Management course

Sponsoring University:

University of Texas, Austin


Managing Science in Research Labs, Part I : Strategic Management


William Barletta, USPAS/MIT; Barbara Thibadeau, Oak Ridge National Lab and Raffaella Geometrante, Kyma S.r.l.

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. Successful research managers in any field require a broad set of executive skills to maximize the scientific effectiveness and output of their teams. 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 they meet the course prerequisites or have 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) "The Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage" by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, Harvard Business School Press (2008) and lecture notes provided by the instructors.

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).

Credit is only earned when this one-week half course is taken with a second one-week half course and both are successfuly completed thereby earning 3 credit hours.

UT Austin course number & course title on transcript: PHY 396T (69875): ADV TOPICS IN ACCELERATOR PHYSICS
Indiana University course number and title on transcript:
Physics 671, Advanced Topics in Accelerator Physics
Michigan State University course number: PHY 963
MIT course number: 8.790 "Accelerator Physics"