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Project Coordinator vs. Research Project Manager
Network:132



I have recently been offered a position as a Research Project Manager level 2 (an upgrade from my current level 1 position). My new supervisor informed me that my desk title could be Project Coordinator if I felt like that would warrant more authority than research project manager. He envisions the position as having a birds-eye view of managing research projects and coordination of various research team members.

What do folks think? Should I go with Project Coordinator? Does one title have more value when pursuing executive leadership positions or consultation work (future goals).

Update: Thank you for the feedback so far. For clarification the new supervisor has told me that I can choose a title that I feel may best fit the position and provide authority in the role. He mentioned that there is a path to Assistant Director in the next 2-4 years depending on trust built, performance, etc.
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Network:514



I suggest you stick with 'Research Project Manager'. It will serve you better when it comes to future advancement. I did a quick search using the two job titles on Indeed.com, and 'Project Manager' earns about 50% more than 'Project Coordinator'.
The title 'Project Coordinator' makes me think you're a Project Manager's low-level gofer; you set up meetings and might do some work on the project schedule, but you don't lead meetings and have no power to assign resources or otherwise make important decisions regarding a project. In contrast, 'Research Project Manager' makes me think you're a "real" Project Manager who works on scientific projects such as pharmaceutical clinical trials.
Network:514



Now you've got me thinking... since your supervisor is open to giving you a new title, I wonder if you could come up with a title that would benefit your future job aspirations even more than 'Research Project Manager.'
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1 reply by Ashley Stauffer
Nov 30, 2017 11:53 AM
Ashley Stauffer
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Any suggestions of what that might look like if the path is to take on leadership responsibilities/consulting work?
Network:1059



Ashley -

For the greatest versatility, I would suggest just sticking with "Project Manager". By tacking Research on it, it might reduce some potential future opportunities. I'd definitely echo Eric's feedback to avoid the Coordinator title as that is usually viewed as being the "sidekick" of a PM.

Kiron
Network:1967



Agree with the sentiments above. Use a title that is simple and that will help when it comes to potential future advancements.
Network:1629



This is the situation exists. They advertise Project Manager but in practice they need project coordinator. It depends on your expectation. The title is very important for your career. You should be very careful about it
Network:132



Nov 30, 2017 10:34 AM
Replying to Eric Simms
...
Now you've got me thinking... since your supervisor is open to giving you a new title, I wonder if you could come up with a title that would benefit your future job aspirations even more than 'Research Project Manager.'
Any suggestions of what that might look like if the path is to take on leadership responsibilities/consulting work?
...
1 reply by Eric Simms
Nov 30, 2017 1:27 PM
Eric Simms
...
I visited your Linkedin profile to see the type of research you're doing, for the title ‘Clinical Project Manager’ is particularly sought after in the consulting world, and would be beneficial to add to a resume if it applied.
Kiron is right; for now just use the title ‘Project Manager’. After you’ve been a Project Manager for at least five years (or whenever you feel you have the experience to back your claim) you can adopt the title ‘Senior Project Manager’. This will work well for you as a consultant or a permanent employee.
To move into the executive ranks, your best bet will probably be to join a PMO that has considerable influence within an organization. You can advance upward through the PMO, and then outward into an executive position. Working with a PMO can give you exposure to Senior Executives and Managers across all areas of an organization, particularly if you get yourself assigned to high-profile projects. Consider your performance on these projects as a live-audition for the executive job you want, for people will remember every detail of your comportment and professionalism when it comes time to fill a high-level vacancy. During this time get used to thinking of yourself as an executive, so people come to visualize you in that role. Also, you should dress like an executive (as opposed to a rank-and-file employee); it significantly influences how people regard you.
Network:1550



I agree Kiron just Project Manager but definitely not Project Coordinator
Network:514



Nov 30, 2017 11:53 AM
Replying to Ashley Stauffer
...
Any suggestions of what that might look like if the path is to take on leadership responsibilities/consulting work?
I visited your Linkedin profile to see the type of research you're doing, for the title ‘Clinical Project Manager’ is particularly sought after in the consulting world, and would be beneficial to add to a resume if it applied.
Kiron is right; for now just use the title ‘Project Manager’. After you’ve been a Project Manager for at least five years (or whenever you feel you have the experience to back your claim) you can adopt the title ‘Senior Project Manager’. This will work well for you as a consultant or a permanent employee.
To move into the executive ranks, your best bet will probably be to join a PMO that has considerable influence within an organization. You can advance upward through the PMO, and then outward into an executive position. Working with a PMO can give you exposure to Senior Executives and Managers across all areas of an organization, particularly if you get yourself assigned to high-profile projects. Consider your performance on these projects as a live-audition for the executive job you want, for people will remember every detail of your comportment and professionalism when it comes time to fill a high-level vacancy. During this time get used to thinking of yourself as an executive, so people come to visualize you in that role. Also, you should dress like an executive (as opposed to a rank-and-file employee); it significantly influences how people regard you.
...
1 reply by Ashley Stauffer
Nov 30, 2017 1:41 PM
Ashley Stauffer
...
Hi Eric,

Thank you for your very thoughtful response, and for even checking out my linkedIn profile! The new position is not 100% confirmed yet,so it is not currently posted there. Your feedback is very helpful, and I will consider it as I continue on my career path.
Network:0



First Ashley, congratulations on your upgrade/promotion. I agree with all of the above regarding sticking to the core of being identified as a Project Manager. Perhaps you might consider the level 2 job as a Senior Research Project Manager. Better yet, I think Senior Project Manager indicates you are a practitioner with more than a research focus (if that's what you want to convey). Whichever way you decide to go, all the best to you, and keep the faith!
Network:132



Nov 30, 2017 1:27 PM
Replying to Eric Simms
...
I visited your Linkedin profile to see the type of research you're doing, for the title ‘Clinical Project Manager’ is particularly sought after in the consulting world, and would be beneficial to add to a resume if it applied.
Kiron is right; for now just use the title ‘Project Manager’. After you’ve been a Project Manager for at least five years (or whenever you feel you have the experience to back your claim) you can adopt the title ‘Senior Project Manager’. This will work well for you as a consultant or a permanent employee.
To move into the executive ranks, your best bet will probably be to join a PMO that has considerable influence within an organization. You can advance upward through the PMO, and then outward into an executive position. Working with a PMO can give you exposure to Senior Executives and Managers across all areas of an organization, particularly if you get yourself assigned to high-profile projects. Consider your performance on these projects as a live-audition for the executive job you want, for people will remember every detail of your comportment and professionalism when it comes time to fill a high-level vacancy. During this time get used to thinking of yourself as an executive, so people come to visualize you in that role. Also, you should dress like an executive (as opposed to a rank-and-file employee); it significantly influences how people regard you.
Hi Eric,

Thank you for your very thoughtful response, and for even checking out my linkedIn profile! The new position is not 100% confirmed yet,so it is not currently posted there. Your feedback is very helpful, and I will consider it as I continue on my career path.
...
1 reply by Eric Simms
Nov 30, 2017 2:20 PM
Eric Simms
...
My pleasure, Ashley. I hope everything works out as you desire.
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