A National Taught Course Centre in Operational Research (NATCOR)

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Management Science


The OR community shares the concerns about (the breadth and depth of) UK PhD training expressed in the International Review of Mathematicsindeed, we would argue that they apply to OR with particular force. The 2004 Review of the Research Status of OR in the UK articulated additional concens about the small number of UK researchers in OR working on mathematical foundations and its potential impact on the UK's capacity to sustain a strong influence on the international research agenda. Consequential challenges were posed in the OR Review, both to the research councils (concerning, inter alia, the support of PhD training in OR) and to the OR community. This proposal concerns taught course provision for PhD students in the mathematics of OR. It has the support of the Smith Institute, with the OR Society as collaborating partner, and forms a strategic part of a co-ordinated set of responses to the Review's challenges from the OR community.The proposal aims to achieve a significant enhancement of the breadth, quality and attractiveness of the training available to all PhD students (and especially those funded by EPSRC) working in the mathematics of OR through taught course provision. Provision of the breadth and at the level envisaged is currently not available. Absence of critical mass at a local level means that excellence of provision across the subject together with viable student numbers can only be delivered through a national consortium. We believe that the planned provision will in addition contribute significantly to the strengthening of recruitment into PhD programmes in OR and to the building of a more strongly connected community of PhD students working on mathematical foundations, to the long term benefit of UK research.


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