In a nutshell: We’ve argued that research focused on solving pressing problems, or on working out which problems are most pressing, can be very high impact. Research managers can multiply the impact of researchers by prioritising projects within an institution, coordinating research, fundraising, and producing communications that make research institutions more impactful.
Sometimes recommended — personal fit dependent
This career will be some people’s highest-impact option if their personal fit is especially good.
Based on a shallow investigation
Why might research management be high impact?
In general, we think that helping others have a greater positive impact than they would have had otherwise is sometimes underappreciated, and that it’s an important and valid way to do good. Indeed, that’s our strategy here at 80,000 Hours!
Research managers enhance the impact of others’ work by prioritising projects within an institution, coordinating research, fundraising, and producing communications to make the institution more impactful. In some cases, research managers also help set strategy for an organisation — though this is usually in cases where they have previously been researchers themselves.
Being a research manager seems valuable for many of the same reasons working in operations management does — these coordinating roles are crucial for enabling researchers and others to have the biggest positive impact possible.
Want one-on-one advice on pursuing this path?
If you think this path might be a great option for you, but you need help deciding or thinking about what to do next, our team might be able to help.
We can help you compare options, make connections, and possibly even help you find jobs or funding opportunities.
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Want to consider more paths? See our list of the highest-impact career paths according to our research.
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