Business Skills for Core Directors, Managers and Administrators
June 20 - 22, 2018

In conjunction with the MAD SSCi Annual Conference June 18th – June 20th, 2018
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore Maryland

Workshop dates: 2 PM Wednesday, June 20 – 12:30 PM Friday, June 22, 2018
Conference ends 1:30 PM on Wednesday

Pricing: Business Skills Workshop $650.00 (includes free conference registration)

ACT QUICKLY! Workshop limited to first 60 registrants only!!

Workshop registration includes:

  • Business Skills Networking Reception Wednesday evening
  • Lunch Wednesday & Thursday
  • Breakfast Thursday & Friday
  • Study materials
  • Certificate of Completion
  • MAD SSCi 2018 Annual Conference registration & associated events

If only attending the Workshop but not the MAD SSCi meeting, the following are included:

  • Business Skills Networking Reception Wednesday evening
  • Lunch Wednesday & Thursday
  • Breakfast Thursday & Friday
  • Study materials
  • Certificate of Completion


Mary Margaret Frank, PhD, Associate Professor of Business Administration; Director, Institute for Business in Society; Darden School of Business, University of Virginia

Rajkumar Venkatesan, PhD, Bank of America Research Professor of Business Administration, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia


Research Core Facilities for the most part operate as small businesses, with either a fee-for-service or cost center business model. They have many of the same challenges and operational requirements as small businesses but operate in a unique infrastructure of an academic institution, government research enterprise, or a non-profit/profit research institution. Most core directors and staff have obtained their positions based on their knowledge and technical expertise in the field of the scientific discipline of the specialized services they offer and often lack the business skills for managing the strategic, financial, operational, and customer service complexities of their businesses. As a result, their effectiveness can be impacted as well as the potential success and future growth of their operation. Core personnel would benefit from a sharper strategic perspective, deeper business acumen, and stronger business skills. This, in turn, could raise financial and/or operational performance.


In this current economic climate of shrinking research dollars, core facilities are increasingly under pressure to operate in a more cost effective way while maintaining the same quality and remaining technologically competitive with peer institutions. In order to achieve this, core personnel need to have a better understanding of the factors that impact their facility’s performance. While there are many different business courses one can take to build this expertise, none are designed specifically for the uniqueness of their operation and often require timely commitments of attending classes for 6-8 weeks; neither of which serves their needs. The faculty of the Darden Executive Education program has the experience and expertise to custom tailor a training course to specifically address the needs of research core facilities. Having worked with the core facility at the University of Virginia as well as participating in a number of core facility conferences, the Darden faculty has developed a curriculum that can directly benefit core directors/managers in their effectiveness in building an effective research shared resource.

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Two Day Workshop Curriculum

The Darden Executive Education faculty has developed a two-day workshop that would provide the necessary basic business skills for core personnel to effectively improve their core’s operation. This workshop will be divided into multiple components with the intent of providing participants with a comprehensive overview of the topics. The program will be custom tailored to the desired needs of the potential participants.

Financial Acumen

  • Deepen essential business and financial acumen.
  • Sharpen ability to use financial data in business decision-making.
  • Establishing service pricing
  • Understanding financial statements
  • Cost accounting
  • Forecasting and budgeting
  • Funding models
  • Pricing/ rate setting

Strategic Decision Making & Marketing

  • Understand sources of value for customers, stakeholders and employees, whether in terms of operational, technical or financial performance, and identify strategies to increase value
  • Identify and articulate core capabilities of the core facility, with the intent of crafting them into an array of service delivery capabilities.
  • Create a high performing and customer oriented core facility.
  • Strategic thinking and analysis
  • Multiple stakeholder analysis
  • Understanding customer needs
  • Customer value creation
  • Effectively marketing a core facility
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