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Project Management for Scientists


Admission requirements

BSc degree in science.


This course is geared toward students at the MSc and PhD levels who want to learn how to successfully manage scientific projects. The course deals with the entire life cycle of a project from initial scientific vision to the operational phase. Course subjects include the formulation of scientific visions and strategies, competitive proposal writing skills, establishing of scientific requirements, collaboration with project managers and engineering teams as well as formal approaches to successfully organizing, planning, and executing a scientific project. Most examples will come from astronomical projects.

The following topics will be covered in lectures and exercises:

  • Scientific Projects

  • Scientific Vision and Strategy

  • Project Definition

  • Science Requirements

  • Proposal Planning and Organization

  • Work Breakdown Structure

  • Cost and Schedule Estimates

  • Team Formation and Hiring

  • Project Organization and Control

  • Schedule and Time Management

  • Risk Management

  • Communication

  • Typical Project Problems

Course objectives

Students will understand the methods of project management and will be able to successfully apply them to scientific projects.


See MSc schedules.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, practical work in class and homework.

Assessment method

60% exam, 20% practical work, 20% homework
First exam is a 3-hour written test.
Retake exams will be oral.


Blackboard will be used to communicate with students. To have access, you need an ULCN account. More information:

Reading list


  • The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management, Fourth Edition, by Eric Verzuh, published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd.


Via uSis
More information about signing up for your classes at the Faculty of Science can be found here
Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Lecturer: Prof.dr. C.U. (Christoph) Keller
Assistant: E.M. Zari, MSc
Course website: Project Management for Scientists.


PhD students, postdocs and faculty of Leiden University are welcome to attend.