The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


Project X: A major new infrastructure research collaboration aims to improve UK project delivery

12 April 2019

The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management is part of a major collaborative project between nine UK universities, the Cabinet Office and Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA).

Project X

The School is part of Project X, a major infrastructure research collaboration that launched in December 2018. The project aims to enhance the capability and reputation of the UK government in the execution of major programmes and projects through the promotion of world-class research and evidence based thinking.

Project X is a three-year £1.1m ESRC-funded research collaboration between nine UK universities, the Cabinet Office and Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA). The project is divided into six themes and Prof Andrew Davies, Professor in the Management of Projects and Director of Research at the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, is co-leading on Theme E, alongside Prof Tim Brady, Professor in Innovation at the University of Brighton

Theme E explores the development of appropriate project capability - an umbrella term encompassing project management, programme management and portfolio management - which is key to improving project delivery performance. The theme examines the capabilities needed to deliver successful public sector projects and programmes, how they are built and distributed.

Prof Davies commented:

"We are delighted to be involved in this large ESRC project which has been awarded to undertake research into improving the delivery of major government infrastructure and transformational projects. Working with the Cabinet Office, Infrastructure and Projects Authority and eight other leading UK universities, we will explore why projects are so often late, over budget and fail to deliver their expected benefits and identify ways of improving project performance. The School has been at the forefront of developing new thinking about how to improve the delivery of megaprojects and this research will help us to build early career research capacity in this area."

Theme B will be co-led by Bartlett Real Estate Institute Director Prof Andrew Edkins, with the support of Dr Vedran Zerjav, Lecturer in Infrastructure Project Management at the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management. Theme B, Front- and back-end management practices and thier influence on project performance, explores the challenges encountered during the (very) early phases of major projects. 

Project X aims to make a significant contribution to the achievement of excellent project and programme management and to achieve this, it will:

  • Create and support a research environment that influences key stakeholders including national government, policy makers, research councils and professional bodies
  • Use transparent, rigorous and fair approaches to the identification, selection and execution of research projects
  • Work in unison with stakeholders to strengthen the capability and reputation of the UK government in major programme and project delivery
  • Maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity underpinned by a culture of support to the development of researchers and IPA staff
  • Demonstrate the highest standards of data security and data management

We will be sharing updates on project outcomes on our website over the next three years. 

More information