The Handbook of Research Management is a unique tool for the newly promoted research leader. Larger-scale projects are becoming more common throughout the social sciences and humanities, housed in centres, institutes and programmes. Talented researchers find themselves faced with new challenges to act as managers and leaders rather than as individual scholars. They are responsible for the careers and professional development of others, and for managing interactions with university administrations and external stakeholders. Although many scientific and technological disciplines have long been organized in this way, few resources have been created to help new leaders understand their roles and responsibilities and to reflect on their practice.

This Handbook has been created by the combined experience of a leading social scientist and a chief executive of a major international research development institution and funder. The editors have recruited a truly global team of contributors to write about the challenges they have encountered in the course of their careers, and to provoke readers to think about how they might respond within their own contexts.

This book will be a standard work of reference for new research leaders, in any discipline or country, looking for help and inspiration. The editorial commentaries extend its potential use in support of training events or workshops where groups of new leaders can come together and explore the issues that are confronting them.

Getting Started

An academic career is marked by the expectation of stages of growth and increasing levels of responsibility. Initially, a promising young person learns how to excel as a graduate student and from there, how to undertake an initial dissertation research project. If successful, the gifted scholar may move on to a good, tenure track, position in a research university where he or she becomes a proficient teacher, begins to conduct additional individual research projects – building on the dissertation or exploring new lines of work, starts to mentor graduate students and takes on service tasks on behalf of the wider university community.

As a talented junior academic enters mid-career, it is common for them to be approached to take on roles such as department ...

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