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CRN Greater Manchester core team blog series: Corporate Project Manager and Governance

The role of Corporate Project Manager was created in 2021 and I took up the post in February 2022. It was a great opportunity for me to work in a newly created role and help shape the next phase of the Clinical Research Networks, particularly as we move towards the Research Delivery Network (RDN) structure.

There are a number of key strands to my work such as:

  • developing ways of helping us meet our contractual requirements, such as the national Performance and Operating Frameworks and the requirements detailed in the Contract Support Pages for the network as a whole
  • advancing the maintenance of key compliance requirements, such as the maintenance of a Risk Register or having a comprehensive, co-ordinated and high quality range of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that are managed effectively
  • supporting the governance functions of key groups such as our Partnership and Executive group and making sure they function to the highest standard and are also helpful for engagement and decision making. 

I have also become involved in specific projects and most recently I have been collaborating with our North West Coast (NWC) colleagues to help lay the path for our next steps. I currently visit the CRN NWC Liverpool office once a week working on merging our Risk Registers, aligning, where possible, our approaches to Business Continuity plans and developing SOPs that will be appropriate for our common structure.

Small things can make a big difference in my work and in my experience there is a lot of support to deliver a solution if you see a problem. One thing I noticed not long after I arrived was that we could benefit from an organisational chart and I knew that this would help me create the knowledge base for other projects I work on. I connected with colleagues in finance and the line managers' group to create this and it now supports other work I am progressing with our SOPs.

One of the great things about the CRN and this role is how my work allows me to get involved with all parts of the network. My role links in with so many functions, whether it is interacting with our Digital Team to develop visualisations to support decision making, our Workforce Team to consider how Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) fits with the work of our partnership board, or the Study Support Service and Delivery teams in improving our approaches to process and procedures.  

Robert Hughes

CRN Greater Manchester Corporate Project Manager 

August 2023

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.