Session: Effective Project Leadership: Perspectives on Managing Grants and Research Teams (Society for Social Work and Research 28th Annual Conference - Recentering & Democratizing Knowledge: The Next 30 Years of Social Work Science)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Eastern Standard Time Zone (EST).

SSWR 2024 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Marquis BR Salon 6, ML 2. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 11. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

149 Effective Project Leadership: Perspectives on Managing Grants and Research Teams

Friday, January 12, 2024: 3:45 PM-5:15 PM
Marquis BR Salon 9, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Nicole Ruggiano, PhD, University of Alabama
Nicole Ruggiano, PhD, University of Alabama, David J. Brennan, PhD, University of Toronto, Jodi Frey, PhD, University of Maryland at Baltimore, Amanda Mosby, MA, University of Maryland at Baltimore and Richard Smith, PhD, Wayne State University
While project management and leadership are vital for the success of any investigation, few social work researchers receive formal training on managing research projects and research teams. Hence, while many investigators feel confident in undertaking the methodological aspects of their studies, they may feel less prepared to take on managerial-type tasks, such as managing grant budgets, leading and organizing team members effectively, identifying and utilizing needed resources, and pivoting when logistical challenges arise in their work. Researchers often elicit excitement over having their grant successfully funded, though this excitement can quickly fade as they feel increasingly overwhelmed at overseeing the nuts and bolts of project management and can quickly feel overburdened by administrative grant planning and implementation work.

Underdeveloped leadership and management skills can result in a number of negative outcomes for novice and seasoned investigators. For principal investigators, the stress and overwhelmingness of project management can have a negative impact on mental and physical health. This can worsen when coupled with impostor syndrome, which may decrease their willingness to reach out to others for guidance and support, thereby increasing isolation and negative emotional well-being. A lack in leadership and organizational management skills may also have a negative impact on research team members and community partners, such as feeling that they are underutilized or unsure of their roles and responsibilities on projects. In worst case scenarios, this can result in compliance problems that can jeopardize the sustainability of the project, potential for continued funding, and for the success of the project. All of these outcomes can impact the quality of the science that is at the center of the project goals.

In this roundtable, participants will hear perspectives on research leadership and management best practices from associate deans of research and a senior research project manager. Numerous topics in grant project leadership and management will be discussed, including: best practices in team science, effective leadership in university-community collaborations for community-engaged research, enhancing productivity with graduate assistants, and managing project finances. Time will be allotted for audience questions and discussion.

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