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John Grill Institute for Project Leadership

Shaping future projects and their outcomes
We advance breakthrough research into project leadership, deliver world-leading executive education and work with industry, government and communities to shape future projects and their outcomes.

The John Grill Institute for Project Leadership is a global leader in rigorous research that rethinks the many ways we conceive, lead, and benefit from projects. Founded through a generous donation by John Grill, we are recognised in Australia and internationally as a hub for research and research-led executive education on project leadership. 

Drawing on the strong research base at the University of Sydney, the John Grill Institute for Project Leadership is focused on building leadership capacity to transform the performance of projects, transcending industry boundaries to learn across different kinds of projects – such as organisational transformation, software and infrastructure projects. 

We are developing new insight on project leadership, sponsorship, governance and management, how it is distributed within and across organisations, how projects engage with stakeholders, and how emerging new forms of leadership create value for society.

Key objectives

We work with our alumni and our partners to create a trusted forum for communication and creating opportunities to learn from each other, and to come together and address the issues that stop our partners from gaining the full value from the projects in which they invest. We are:

  • building a new trajectory of research education to generate insights into the delivery of value through project organising,
  • delivering world-class executive education to project leaders and project sponsors and working with and supporting our growing network of alumni as they lead projects,
  • engaging with industry, government, policy and communities to co-create research agendas and to have an impact on project set-up and delivery in a changing world.

Our research and executive education

In a rapidly changing and uncertain world, projects are becoming the way that work is done. We see projects as interventions with far-reaching social and economic impacts. 

However, the rate of underperformance of projects is uncomfortably high, as is the flow-on effect of wasted time, money, and social capital invested.

Our research and executive education aims to explore the reasons behind these phenomena, many of which can largely be attributed to increasing project complexity, and a limited human capacity to make decisions under uncertainty. For our global benchmark, see this recent guide from the Association of Project Management.

Our people

Mr Michael Curtin

Professor Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld

Ms Silvia Damiano

Ms Jane Lowther

Tamara Kirby, School Manager

Ms Christine Colman, Project Officer

Ms Ana Skara, Administration Officer

Mr John Grill AO

Professor Stephen Garton

Dr Stuart McGill

Dr Ken Henry AC

Mr Kevin McCann AM

Professor Clinton Free

Professor Kim Rasmussen

Centre Director

Professor Jennifer Whyte
Professor Jennifer Whyte
Academic profile

John Grill AO

John Grill AO
Alumni, BSc(1966) BE(Civil)(1968)
"I will build new research and education capability in the realm of projects and leadership."

John Grill Institute for Project Leadership

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