The Cancer Research Project Managers Network (CRPMN) works across The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Manchester, and the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT). The CRPMN brings together project managers (PMs) across Manchester to improve cancer research delivery.
Led by Emma Thorpe, Holly Summersgill, Rebecca Elliott, and Kate Vaughan, the CRPMN has a vision to:
- recognise PMs as having valued roles that are integral to research teams as part of the Team Science ethos that underpins cancer research delivery,
- drive the delivery of exceptional scientific research, and
- will lead the way in defining and developing research project management as an independent and recognised profession.
Project managers and the CRPMN
PMs enable multidisciplinary collaborative research teams to delivery high quality cancer research. When someone wants to start a research project, this is a complex process involving many different departments across The Christie, the University of Manchester, and MFT. It can also include other collaborators such as a commercial sponsor, a clinical trials unit, or private companies.
What unites all research projects is that they need PMs to do the behind-the-scenes work to make research happen.
PMs can support diverse research types, including clinical, non-clinical, Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products (CTIMPS), medical devices, and population/community-based projects.
The CRPMN has over 50 members and is made up of a diverse group of highly qualified PMs. Mostly from a science background, PMs have a range of experience which they can use in many ways to enhance research impact, value, and delivery. Most PMs work with a research team or theme, rather than an individual researcher.
Future direction of the CRPMN
The CRPMN is working to make Manchester a great place to be a project manager, providing a welcoming community that provides support and guidance to newcomers. The CRPMN is looking to address:
- the ethos of Team Science,
- the role of the PM in collaborative research teams, and
- the needs of PIs to ensure they recruit people into a professional support role that meets their needs.
CRPMN forum and subgroups
The CRPMN provides a members’ forum to ask questions and share best practice, drawing on the large pool of knowledge and experience of the network. Through several subgroups and project manager and principal investigator (PI) surveys, the CRPMN has created an action plan aligned with its objectives and is focusing on specific areas of interest and greatest need.
The action plan subgroups include:
- PM/PI survey,
- training and induction, and
- alignment of PM roles within organisations/across cancer research.
The CRPMN can support project manager job description writing, recruitment and induction for new starters. New PMs to the research departments of The Christie, the University of Manchester and MFT will automatically be added to the network and will benefit from all the support on offer.