Fundamentals of Project Management Program

Project Management is increasingly becoming a needed skill in both research and non-academic settings. The PDFO Fundamentals of Project Management Program (formerly known as the Summer Institute in Project Management) is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of topics in research project management, including an introduction to the principles, and key elements of scope, time, cost, quality, stakeholder and risk management for projects in research.

The Fundamentals of Project Management Program is comprised of:

  • 13 hours of class time delivered over 4 two-hour sessions and 2 two-and-a-half hour sessions
    • Classes will present material for each module and will involve class participation and discussion around prepared project case studies provided by the instructor.
  • Read and watch elements, and lists of supporting materials in the form of online readings and videos for each module.
    • The suggested readings and other materials will assist students in examining the concepts of project management, as well as project metrics, project close-out, and essentials of leadership.

Postdocs who complete all six sessions in full will receive a certificate of completion from the PDFO. The Certificate of Completion is sufficient to be used to demonstrate 13 hours of training or professional development units (PDUs) that can be reported to as part of pursuing or sustaining a PMP designation.

attendance requirements and program completion

The Fundamentals of Project Management Program is designed to build on content from week to week. For this reason, we require that participants attend all sessions in full in order to be eligible to attend the program. Participants are requested to confirm their commitment to attending all sessions in full upon acceptance to the program.

Program Completion and Certificate of Completion

Participants are required to attend all sessions in full, and so it is expected that everyone will attend all sessions on time and for the full session. Those who do not attend all sessions in full, which includes missing parts of program sessions or missing sessions in their entirety, will not be eligible to receive a certificate of completion for the program. Attendance is recorded at the beginning and at the end of each Summer Institute session and reviewed at the conclusion of the program before certificates are issued.

We understand that some schedule changes may be unexpected and/or unavoidable, and a brief grace period of no more than 30 minutes total missed across all sessions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.


  • All participants must be available to attend all sessions in full.
  • All applicants must hold a current UBC postdoctoral fellowship appointment at the time of application and for the duration of the program.
  • Postdocs who have repeatedly missed PDFO workshops without notice/cancellation may be considered ineligible to attend.


Pre-Program Video Module - Available End of April 2024

A video introduction to the program and the instructor, Robyn Roscoe.

Module #1: Key Principles of Project Management - Wednesday, May 1, 2024 - 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Key principles
  • Definition of a project
  • Project life cycle
  • Project initiation – strategic question, driving priority
  • Ten knowledge areas
  • Project planning – key definitions
Module #2: Stakeholders and Risk - Wednesday, May 8, 2024 - 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Stakeholders
    • Definition
    • Classification
    • Prioritization
    • Requirements
    • Expectations
  • Risk
    • Definition
    • Assessment
    • Planning
Module #3: Scope, Quality and Project Time Management - Wednesday, May 22, 2024 - 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM (note extended length)
  • Scope
    • Definition
    • Scope statement
    • Scope creep/seep
  • Quality
    • Definition
    • Characteristics
    • Criteria
  • Project time management
    • Activity relationships
    • Scheduling of project time
    • Schedule crashing
    • Measuring schedule performance and scope management
Module #4: Project Cost Management (Part 1) - Wednesday, May 29, 2024 - 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Expense categories
  • Budget development
  • Measuring budget performance
Module #5: Project Cost Management (Part 2) - Wednesday, June 5, 2024 - 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

This is a continuation of module #4.

  • Executing, controlling and monitoring, and closing – bringing it all together
    • Establishing metrics for managing the project.
  • Establishing control points/mechanisms in scope, time, cost, quality, risk, and team
    • Comparing plan to outputs
    • Confirming completion of stakeholder requirements and expectations
    • Audit considerations
Module #6: Project Team and Communications Management - Wednesday, June 12, 2024 - 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM (note extended length)
  • Project team management
    • Describe/identify project resources required
    • Organization chart/communication plan
    • Decision making approaches
    • Conflict resolution
  • Project communications management
    • Communication planning
    • Performance reporting
  • Final Q&A with instructor


Robyn Roscoe

Robyn Roscoe

Robyn Roscoe, a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 30 years of experience in scientific and technical project management, is the principal of Lyric Management. Her expertise spans management and leadership training, grant writing and facilitation, and coaching and mentorship. She has led the development and expansion of project teams in research, paving the way for project management as a career path for many professionals.

Robyn has been recognized for excellence in research project management with several awards from CARA. She is active in the local and national communities as a trainer, mentor, and champion of research project administration, management, and leadership.

Lyric Management delivers proposal development, grant writing, and project management services for success across scientific domains. We also provide training in project management and leadership. With decades of research management experience, we ensure excellence for individuals and companies seeking success through sound management and clear leadership.


Registration in this program is required, and is now open. Please note that seats are limited, and submitting a registration does not guarantee a seat in the program. Those successfully registered will receive an email in advance of the program start date.


If you have a disability, medical condition, or accessibility concern that may affect your full participation in the event, please email in advance of the event.


The PDFO has created a community agreement for our events in order to foster an inclusive, welcoming, and respectful environment in which all event attendees feel safe and supported.

By participating in a PDFO event, we commit ourselves to:

  • Treating one another with kindness, courtesy and respect in all interactions;
  • Engaging in gracious, active listening and valuing others’ opinions;
  • Not dominating discussions so that others can share during the session;
  • Ensuring that any potentially confidential or sensitive information shared as part of the session is not shared outside of the session;
  • Actively participating in the session; and
  • In online sessions, when possible and if comfortable sharing audio and/or video to create a greater sense of community and participation.


Due to the ongoing situation surrounding COVID-19, this program will be delivered online via Zoom. The following suggestions may help to improve the online experience:

  • Use headphones to reduce noise and avoid feedback between your mic and speaker.
  • Ensure that you are in a quiet location so that the audio does not get polluted with unwanted noise.
  • Keep your microphone on mute unless you are speaking during the session.
  • In case of technical problems, time for plugin downloads, etc., please attempt to log into the Zoom meeting 10-15 minutes before the start. You will be placed in the waiting room until the official start time.