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Project Management for Heritage

This page provides our advice on managing pure research and research and development (R&D) projects in the heritage sector.

If you want to apply for Historic England funding for your research or R&D, you will need to follow this advice.

This page includes:

  • Our free guide to 'Management of Projects in the Historic Environment’ (MoRPHE).
  • Further help for specialist project types.
  • How to make your project ‘MoRPHE compliant’
  • How to order a free self-help course on project management.

The MoRPHE Project Managers' Guide

This detailed guide sets out our general approach to project management. We have developed it for use in both pure research and applied research and development (or ‘R&D’) projects.

It is based on good practice for project management in industries as varied as construction and information technology, so can be applied to most project types.

The key points are:

  • Plan carefully and consulting on your plans early.
  • Get a project started with a well-written proposal and project design. These will help obtain funding, and agreement with partners
  • State who is doing what, and what will be produced.
  • Take a staged approach to running the project, so that progress can be checked and plans changed if needed.
  • Finish well, with all results published as agreed, the project archive completed, and lesson for future projects recorded and shared.

Management of Research Projects in the Historic Environment: The MoRPHE Project Managers' Guide

Management of Research Projects in the Historic Environment: The MoRPHE Project Managers' Guide

Published 30 April 2015

This guide will help you plan and run an effective project. It is written for those planning research and research and development (R&D) projects in the historic environment.

Project Planning Notes

If your project is one of the following specialist areas, these additional notes will help you develop your project plan and manage your project.

MoRPHE compliant projects

If you are asking us to fund your research or R&D project, you will need to make your project ‘MoRPHE Compliant’.

This means:

  • Using in all communications with us the terminology for project roles, project stages and project documents covered in the MoRPHE Project Managers' Guide and any relevant project planning notes.
  • Providing the key documents in the format set out in Appendix 2 of the Project Managers' Guide, with an accompanying document control grid and contact details.
  • Following the supplementary guidance for particular project types set out in the accompanying series of Project Planning Notes
  • Following the specific guidance for funding applicants.

For all other researchers and R&D teams, our project management advice is provided as a service to help join up approaches to managing projects across the heritage sector.

Free distance-learning course 'Working in Projects Using MoRPHE'

A distance learning course is available to help you apply the MoRPHE project management approach to your projects. Distance learning means the course workbook is sent to you via email or by post. You can work through it at your own pace.

No previous experience is necessary. This introductory course will help you become familiar with the basics of managing a project using our approach. It covers the jargon used, the staged approach, the roles in a project and the key documents you will need to write. The distance learning course pack includes a free copy of the MoRPHE Project Managers' Guide. It is suitable for staff working in all types of projects in the heritage sector.

Once you have completed the course, you will have an opportunity to join an online community of those using the MoRPHE approach, to help you stay in touch with developments, ask questions and promote your work.

The course is open for registration twice each year. Registration for the second cohort of 2016 is open now.

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