Managing Scientific Research

The high quality of medical care in our society is built upon the creation of scientific knowledge through medical research.  While the impact of good management practices has been rigorously analyzed across industry sectors, little is known about the role of management in medical research. In this project, we adopted the World Management Survey to create a valid tool to measure meaningful data about the relationship of organizational structures and management practices with scientific output. In a large-scale, double-blind interview study, we collected data from over 130 medical research labs at the Harvard Medical School.

Analyzing this data, we strive to understand if management matters in medical research. What is the variation of existing management practices across different laboratories and what lab characteristics drive the quality of management? 

Our vision is to start an academic discourse in the field of medical research that has previously been silent, but that could have a great impact on the success of research endeavors. Can we understand how medical research projects can be managed most effectively? This could not only signify a higher return on public research funding and private investments but, most importantly, benefit patients with a higher quality of medical care in the long run.