Research projects explore the unknown in a quest to acquire knowledge about a scientific phenomenon. Research projects attempt to solve a problem, spark innovation and change our world. Research projects share many similarities with other projects and can use many of the same project management practices that have been successfully implemented in other professions. Projects have a work breakdown structure that describes a sequential series of tasks to reach a defined goal. Research projects follow the scientific method.
Dr. Bryan McKersie will explore some of the differences of research project management from traditional project management and provide some useful tools for conceiving and proposing a research project.
About Bryan McKersie
Bryan McKersie was trained in plant physiology and cell biology at the University of Waterloo. On the faculty of the University of Guelph, he taught undergraduate and graduate students in plant physiology, plant biotechnology and crop science. His research program emphasized the physiological basis of abiotic stress tolerance in crops and the application of plant biotechnology techniques including plant tissue culture and plant transformation to crop improvement. One of his major accomplishments with his collaborators and students was the creation and field testing of the first genetically engineered alfalfa and grapevine, for abiotic stress tolerance (winter hardiness) in the early 1990s. After 22 years at Guelph, Bryan joined BASF Plant Science LLC at its startup phase in North Carolina first leading the plant transformation group and then the abiotic stress tolerance project. Subsequently, he worked as a research manager in the BASF/Monsanto collaboration until retirement in 2014. As a research manager he developed a philosophy for the management of scientific research projects which he has now develop into a book.
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