Becoming a Research Project Manager: Training, Opportunities, Salary…

A follower of innovations and challenges of all kinds? You should like the profession of the head of scientific projects! You will be the conductor of an innovative project, from its conception to implementation, from the definition of specifications to the final rendering on time.

The main activity of a research project manager is the development of a research project, whether it is introducing an innovation or responding to a customer request to develop a new product or improve an existing product. To do this, he will have to write a specification in accordance with the deadlines and the allocated budget.

The head of a scientific project can develop in areas of activity that are very different from each other: chemistry, pharmacy, biology, toxicology, biomedical imaging, biochemistry, energy, environment … Each position will have its own specifics associated with its field of activity. However, the main tasks will remain the same. Thus, the leader of a scientific project will be able to conduct scientific experiments, develop protocols for their implementation, determine human and material resources, etc. He will also have to take into account possible hazards during the project, defining constraints and formalizing expected goals. . The research project leader may also, as part of his or her duties, seek to establish research partnerships outside the company.

How to become a research project manager?

The science project manager profession is available with a bachelor’s degree +5 minimum. Bac + 8 may be needed depending on the specialization:

  • Engineering degree: e.g. Sup’Biotech and his specialty “Research and Development”;
  • Master 2 in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, Biotechnology, Pharmacology…;
  • doctoral studies with specialization in a specific field of activity.

Essential Skills and Qualities You Need to Possess

The profession of scientific project manager requires universality:

  • overall project management;
  • possession of methods and tools of project management;
  • drawing up specifications;
  • knowledge of the professions of your project;
  • budget management and meeting deadlines;
  • good communicator;
  • diplomacy and listening to the needs of clients;
  • very good interpersonal skills;
  • experience in organizing meetings;
  • rigor and a sense of priority;
  • ability to adapt;
  • Conflict Management ;
  • taste for teamwork;
  • Team management;
  • good stress management;
  • Knowledge of English.

Working conditions

The head of a scientific project works in a project mode both on behalf of the client company and within his own company. His working hours are classic working hours that can be extended, especially at the end of a project, to deliver on time.

Scientific project manager salary

An aspiring research project manager earns between 2,000 and 2,900 gross euros per month, depending on his level of study and field of activity. After several years of experience, his salary can range from 2900 to 3750 euros per month gross. A senior research project leader may be eligible for a salary of between EUR 4,000 and EUR 6,000 gross per month, again depending on his area of ​​work and specialty.

Prospects for the development of the head of a scientific project

The Science Project Manager may move to the position of Research and Development Program Director or Research Team Leader.

Companies employing science project managers

  • Consulting firm;
  • private or public companies;
  • ESN;
  • research organization.

3 questions to Juliette Dine, Project Manager at Phytorestore in Paris

Biotechnology is increasingly being used in all fields of activity. What are the implications for the development and creation of scientific projects? Can we initiate more projects and therefore more innovation through the use of biotechnology?
Biotechnology is a wonderful asset for science. They allow us to open the field of opportunity in many sectors, solve scientific problems and constantly innovate to treat, improve processes, offer more sustainable and efficient alternatives… Just like a project manager, it allows us to initiate or improve many scientific projects. In terms of project management, technical difficulties can arise, often hot topics complicate the functional implementation of the project. It often takes time, the need to expand its ecosystem and the support of experts. Good adaptability, stimulated by more than promising results, is necessary for the practical application of innovations.

Universities are increasingly partnering with companies to help students learn about current expectations and tomorrow’s challenges. How has your training at Sup’Biotech helped you in your professional career?

First of all, the training is punctuated by internships that allow us to understand the different areas in which we can apply our training. Therefore, we have the opportunity to have this dual theoretical and practical approach before choosing our specialty. This was very helpful on my part as I was naturally curious and needed to immerse myself in the professional world to help me make my choice. Sup’Biotech also has a very active professional career service. We are accompanied and advised on internship/first job searches, corporate/student forums are held, and we are able to connect with former students, which allows us to have all the cards in hand to move forward in our professional career. In addition, we do many group projects throughout the course to put the teachings into practice. Projects can be carried out in partnership with companies, for example, I have worked with employees of AFM-Téléthon, as well as in all sectors applicable to biotechnology, which allows us to realize our areas of passion.
Finally, for my part, I found Fitorestor, the company I currently work for, through Sup’Biotech. Many students have interned there, and Fitorestor really liked their profile and the knowledge gained in our course. Therefore, I can say that the trust of many companies in Sup’Biotech training has helped me to integrate into the working life.

What do you think will be the biggest innovations of tomorrow and in what field?

Working in ecology, I hope it will be in this sector! There are so many things to do, whether it be in terms of reducing our carbon footprint, cleaning up the environment, managing waste, researching new biodegradable materials… I think the issues of global warming and the ecological transition in general are driving a lot of research and talking about most of us. I dare to hope that great innovations in this sector will soon see the light of day.

Article written in collaboration with Ionis Group

My work explained to my mother

Juliette Dine, Project Manager at Phytorestore in Paris:

We don’t always know this, but some plants have the superpower to naturally purify water, air, or soil through their roots. It’s eco-friendly and beautiful! As a project manager, I support companies, often several at the same time, in configuring these technology solutions from A to Z. In order to fulfill this mission, it is necessary to understand customer expectations and analyze their needs. I then pilot the project in its entirety and have a great team of designers, landscapers and engineers assisting me. Simply put, we make gardens that can make our planet cleaner!

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