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A profession ready to address grand challenges

What is the research?

This study led by University College London (UCL) will explore and identify the basic underlying assumptions, the espoused values and the practices that underlie collaboration in 5 traditional and non-traditional project management sectors, which are increasingly required to work in multidisciplinary, international and cross-sector teams in a professional manner. The sectors are higher education, medicine, engineering, information communication technology, and government, and contribute to addressing Grand Challenges. The aim of the study is to answer the question: how can project managers drive collaborative working in Grand Teams in a professional manner?

Why is it important?

A key part of the development of the legitimacy and influence of the profession of project management, as it evolves to Chartered status, is the need to address the Grand Challenges that the world is facing which cannot be resolved by a company, organisation, industry, or nation in isolation.

This is important, not only because professions contribute to the identification of Grand Challenges, but also because, in the case of the project management profession, most Grand Challenges are addressed via projects and project managers are expected to be able to work collaboratively, in multidisciplinary teams from across different sectors internationally. In other words, we need to understand how project managers can help lead Grand Teams, i.e. teams which are multidisciplinary, international and cross-sectorial.

Who is the intended audience?

The target audience of this research is professionals planning and delivering projects that address grand challenges, namely professionals in higher education, medicine, engineering, information communication technology, and government.

How can I take part in the research or find out more?

Why not help shape the research by helping shape understanding of how project professionals drive collaboration working in grand teams by taking part in an interview?

For further information or to get involved please contact Dr Effie Konstantinou directly via:

What are the benefits in taking part?

There are many benefits to taking part:

  1. Helping to development of the “Grand Team Collaboration Toolkit: This will be a map and selection of best practices that raise awareness of the similarities and differences between the assumptions, values and collaborative practices across different sectors.
  2. To inform the research report
  3. To aid ongoing CPD
  4. To support the development of the Project Management (PM) Helix (within the Vision2020 network) for dissemination and education

Any other considerations?

The project will handle data confidentially and in accordance with the Data Protection Act. The anonymity of organisations and individuals will be preserved where participants require this.

Who are the research leads?

Kimberly Cornfield is the Head of Proposal Management within the UCL European Research and Innovation Office. I lead a team of dedicated European proposal managers who provide a niche and comprehensive in-house support service to UCL academics and clinicians that are leading large-scale European collaborative grant proposals. Kimberly is also a recent graduate of the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects (SMP) and I have taken on a voluntary role as Director of SMP Alumni.

Dr Effie Konstantinou is Senior Lecturer at The Bartlett School of Construction & Project Management at UCL. Effie is Course Director for the MSc in Strategic Management of Projects (SMP) at the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.