Fast forward: Project management and personal productivity training for researchers

25 April 2022 - 08 June 2022
(1.5h + 7x1h + own project)

This event has already taken place.


This 7-week training, by Dr Nadine Sinclair (Mind Matters), is designed to help you implement an agile project and personal productivity system in your research projects. It will transform the way you work and help you achieve new levels of clarity, focus and momentum in your projects, while reducing your stress levels.

Learn from an experienced project manager and productivity expert just how powerful and transformative a simple and robust productivity system can be!

Specifically, you will learn how to:

  • set short- and long-term goals
  • define the scope, boundaries, and success criteria for your project
  • identify stakeholders and establish effective communication
  • structure a project to break it down into manageable pieces of work
  • define, size, and prioritize work packages
  • determine the most suitable project management approach
  • set up systems to track progress
  • structure your day for productivity
  • use different approaches to prioritize your tasks
  • plan, execute and review a sprint
  • implement a continuous improvement system

Additional information incl. interviews with past participants is available here.

There is an informal optional info meeting for those interested in participating in Fast Forward to ask any questions ahead of the final sign-up deadline on Apr 8 @14:00-14:30 CET/Berlin.

Training methods

  • weekly pre-recorded lectures to watch at your own pace (20-25 min a week)
  • weekly 1-hour live Q&A session via Zoom video conference to answer your questions
  • self-study workbooks and templates to help you implement the techniques in your projects with actionable feedback on weekly course assignments on a dedicated private community platform
  • private community that allows you to interact with peers and exchange additional resources
  • personal productivity score assessment at the beginning and end of the course

Most participants invest 3-4 hours a week to learn and apply the techniques (incl. lectures/live Q&A session). 30-60 min should be reserved in the week leading up to the workshop to complete the onboarding.

This training is for you if you can attend all live Q&A sessions, have a project that you can work on during the training, are ready to roll up your sleeves to work with the tools and techniques and willing to engage with the trainers and your peers on these topics.

This training is not for you if you are just looking for information on personal productivity and project management, cannot take the time to attend the live Q&A sessions and implement the techniques, or are unwilling to engage in discussions with others.

Learning outcomes

After having attended this training, you will ...

  • be able to set short- and long-term goals,
  • be able to define the scope, boundaries, and success criteria for your project,
  • be able to identify stakeholders and establish effective communication,
  • be able to structure a project to break it down into manageable pieces of work,
  • be able to define, size and prioritize work packages,
  • be able to determine the most suitable project management approach,
  • have greater insight into setting up systems to track progress, prioritize tasks,
  • be able to plan, execute and review a sprint,
  • know how to implement a continuous improvement system.


An important part of preparing for any further professional step is becoming (more) aware of the competences you have developed and/or want to develop. In the current workshop, the following competences from the UHasselt competency overview are actively dealt with:

  • task-orientedness:
    • project planning
    • organisation & coordination
    • progress monitoring
  • interpersonal competences:
    • stakeholder awareness
  • personal effectiveness:
    • autonomy
    • self-confidence


For whom?

  • PhD students and postdocs with an active project
    • Ideally the project should last at least 3 months from the beginning of the course and at minimum 8 weeks. Your project of choice should have a professional context - it can be a research project, writing a paper/thesis, literature search to define a project, job search or similar.
    • Priority will be given to PhD students.
  • 15 places per edition are reserved for UHasselt participants

When and where?

  • 1st edition:
    • optional info session: April 8, 2022 - 14:00-14:30
      • link to the Zoom session
        Zoom ID: 856 6363 4142
        passcode: 286918
        (sign-up for this meeting is not required - those interested can join)
    • obligatory kick-off: April 25, 2022 - 10:00-11:30
    • obligatory weekly live Q&A sessions: April 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25, June 1 & 8, 2022 - 17:00-18:00
      (an alternative session may be offered on Thursday at the same time, number of participants permitting)
    • online
  • time required:
    • approx. 3-4 hours each week (incl. live Q&A session) - time may vary slightly depending on the complexity of the project selected
    • please set aside 1 hour in the week before the course (week of April 18) to complete the onboarding process


  • 1st edition: Registration closed since April 10, 2022.
  • Please register only if you can attend all sessions.
  • As places are limited, registering does not automatically imply that you will be able to participate. You will be notified by email after the registration deadline has passed.
  • Please cancel your registration at least one week in advance in case you cannot make it (cf. cancellation & no-show policy).

Acknowledged as?

  • DS BSH: category 'research management & communication skills' - workshop on general research skills
  • DS HLS: category 'transferable skills' - compulsory elective course
  • DS ST: category 'research management' - course aimed at developing general research skills

Back to the Generic competences - course offer (2022) overview