Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Baccarini, D., & Melville, T. (April, 2011). Risk management of research projects in a University context- an exploratory study. Paper presented at 36th Annual Conference for Australian University Building Educators, Bond University, Gold Coast.


All projects have risks. In particular the typical uncertainty of goals and methods in research projects demands robust project risk management. This paper reports the results of a small exploratory study into the risk management of research projects undertaken within a university context, as a basis for future detailed research. One surprising discovery was the paucity of scholarly publications in the area of project risk management in research projects. The exploratory study consisted of a web-based survey completed by 11 research academics at one Australian university. Some key findings from this preliminary research were that formal risk management is rarely or never applied to research projects; that the critical risks related to the quality and availability of researchers; and that ethical risks are not ranked as significant risks. This exploratory study indicates that further research into the risk management of research projects is warranted in order to add to the existing limited body of knowledge in this area, to provide deeper understanding of the nature of the risks, and to identify how these risks are managed.



This document has been peer reviewed.