PhD Summer School on Operations and Supply Chain Management

Join our free PhD Summer School to learn how to apply different research methodologies in the Operations and Supply Chain Management context.

Registration fee: free (including free coffee, tea and lunch)

Available places: 25

Application deadline: 31 March 2023

Dates: 19-22 June 2023

Place: Seminar Room 3, Rendall Building, Bedford Street South, Liverpool, L69 7WW, UK


Organised by the Management School's Department of Operations and Supply Chain Management (OSCM) and the Centre for Supply Chain Research (CSCR), the PhD Summer School on OSCM provides a platform for postgraduate research students to learn different methodologies and how to apply them in the OSCM context.

The Summer School will consists of several sessions delivered by expert faculty on the most relevant approaches to study OSCM, including logistics and transportation modelling, as well as tips on how to design impactful research and develop your career as an OSCM researcher.

During the Summer School you will also have an opportunity to present your research as part of a 3-minute research presentation competition, seek advice from relevant faculty members, and network with other students and academics to explore future research collaborations.

Who is the PhD Summer School on OSCM for?

The PhD Summer School on OSCH is open to any PhD students who are interested in learning OSCM-related research methodologies.

PhD students from non-OSCM fields are also welcome.

How to apply

If you are currently a PhD student, and would like to attend PhD Summer School on OSCM, please email the following documents to Professor Hugo Lam ( by 31 March 2023:

  • A cover letter explaining your motivation and commitment to attend the PhD Summer School on OSCM
  • A copy of your most up-to-date CV
  • A support letter from your PhD supervisor
  • An abstract (within 300 words) summarising the research you aim to present in the PhD Summer School on OSCM

You will be notified about your application outcome by 14 April 2023.


The PhD Summer School on OSCM will consist of eight sessions across the 4 days, from 19-22 June 2023. 

Seven sessions will be delivered by expert faculty from the Department of OSCM and the CSCR, whilst the final session on 22 June will focus on student research presentations. You need to attend at least seven of the eight sessions in order to receive an attendance certificate.

Attendance certificates and winner certificates for the 3-minute research presentation competition will be given in the last session of the PhD Summer School.

Free coffee, tea and lunch will be provided on each day.

19 June 2023

09:00-10:00 All

Opening session

  • Programme introduction
  • Speaker introduction
  • Student introduction
10:00-12:00 Professor Paul Cousins

Developing your academic career – hints and tips 

This two-hour session will focus on how you can develop a ‘successful’ academic career.

There are some measures of success that are obvious such as publishing papers and teaching, however others are less obvious.

I don’t have all the answers, but I will share with you my experiences having worked in industry, corporate consulting and academia. I will discuss some of the mistakes I have made during my career and (usually by luck) some of the successes I have achieved.

Hopefully you will find the session practical and useful and, you never know, it may help you reach some of the goals and aspirations you have for yourself. 

12:00-14:00 LUNCH BREAK (free coffee, tea and lunch provided)
14:00-17:00  Professor Andy Lyons

Researching Complex Phenomena Using Case Studies

Case studies can provide the means for researchers to explore and analyse knotty, multi-faceted, business and management phenomena.

This session concerns the use of case studies as tools to conduct empirical investigations of contemporary, real-world, Operations Management research problems.

In addition to practical guidance for choosing case studies for PhD research and for conducting such studies effectively, we will look at recent examples from a range of industry collaborators and research projects, to demonstrate the operationalisation of case study research, as well as its strengths and weaknesses as a research methodology. 

20 June 2023

09:00-12:00 Professor Jo Meehan

Designing impactful SCM research

In this session, you will learn about the importance of ‘impact’ in academic research, and be given practical advice of how your research can contribute to changing business practice, government legislation, professional standards, and influence attitudes towards responsible supply chain management.

The session will be interactive and centred around developing an impact plan for your own research.

12:00-14:00 LUNCH BREAK (free coffee, tea and lunch provided)
14:00-17:00 Professor Hugo Lam

Conducting Event Studies in OSCM

The event study methodology has been increasingly adopted by researchers to investigate how stock markets react to various OSCM-related events, such as product recalls and supply chain disruptions.

This session will introduce you to event study methodology and its applications in the OSCM context. In adition, we will discuss some important methodological issues in conducting event studies and some possible future research directions.

You will also have the chance to have hands-on practice of the methodology based on real event data.

21 June 2023

09:00-12:00 Professor Jason Choi

The Six-Step Methodology for Analytical Modeling Research in Operations Management

In Operations Management (OM), through building the analytical model, researchers try to capture the critical elements of the problem under exploration.

The analytical model should neither be too complex nor too simple, and the analysis should demonstrate a high-level of research rigor and the derived managerial insights should be robust. As a result, conducting a good OM study using the analytical modeling approach requires the support of a solid methodology.

In this session, we will examine a six-step methodology for conducting analytical modeling research in OM, by discussing each step in detail and sharing useful tips.

12:00-14:00 LUNCH BREAK (free coffee, tea and lunch provided)
14:00-17:00 Professor Tolga Bektas

Logistics and Transportation Modelling in Supply Chains

This session will cover various conceptual models of logistics and transportation often employed within supply chains, ranging from vehicle routing, facility and hub location, network design, and last-mile logistics.

The session will also describe a range of optimisation problems that these models give rise to, and introduce two main types of analytical methodologies developed to address these problems, namely exact and heuristic solution techniques.

22 June 2023

09:00-12:00 Professor Dongping Song

Stochastic dynamic programming and parameterised policy optimisation

Manufacturing production systems and supply chain systems are often characterised by dynamic operations and uncertainty. This implies that we are required to make sequential decisions over time in anticipation of the impact of future unpredictable factors.

Treating the uncertainty as stochasticity using random variables over time, the optimal sequential decision-making problems can be tackled by stochastic dynamic programming approach.

In this session, I will introduce the stochastic dynamic programming technique, including the basic knowledge and various application examples. We will discuss the solution methods and the structural properties of the optimal policy, and a range of techniques to optimise parameterised policy will also be introduced.

12:00-14:00 LUNCH BREAK (free coffee, tea and lunch provided)
14:00-17:00 All

3-minute research presentation competition

  • Speaker sharing
  • Student sharing
  • Certificate giving
  • Closing


Professor Tolga Bektas is Professor of Logistics Management at the University of Liverpool Management School. He has a PhD in Industrial Engineering (2005) from Bilkent University and held academic posts at the University of Montreal and the University of Southampton. His research interests are in the planning and optimisation of operations arising within freight logistics and distribution, including vehicle routing and scheduling, railway timetable optimisation, maintenance planning in sea vessels and last-mile distribution in cities, with an emphasis on reducing environmental externalities from transport. 

Professor Jason Choi is currently Chair in Operations and Supply Chain Management (OSCM), and Director of the Centre for Supply Chain Research at University of Liverpool Management School (ULMS). He has published extensively in leading journals in OSCM. He is currently serving the profession as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Transportation Research Part E, a Senior Editor of Production and Operations Management, and Decision Support Systems, a Department Editor of IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, and an Associate Editor of Decision Sciences (DSJ), and IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics - Systems. He is listed as a highly cited researcher by Web of Science.

Professor Paul Cousins began his career in aerospace and then worked in corporate consulting before settling into a career in academia. He has worked in the US and Australia and is currently a visiting professor at the University of Manchester, Manchester Business School and the University of Oklahoma in the USA. Paul has published in various academic journals including: Management Science, Journal of Operations Management and Production and Operations Management. He has published several books and is currently working on a new sole authored book focussing on sustainable supply networks for publication in 2024. 

Professor Hugo Lam is Chair in Operations Management and Director of Research in the Department of Operations and Supply Chain Management at the University of Liverpool Management School. He obtained his PhD in Operations Management from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Hugo’s research focuses on operational implications of emerging technology adoption and sustainable supply chain management, with relevant papers published or forthcoming in Journal of Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, and International Journal of Operations & Production Management, among others. He is serving as an Associate Editor for International Journal of Operations & Production Management, and an Editorial Review Board Member for Journal of Operations Management, International Journal of Production Economics, and Decision Sciences. 

Professor Andy Lyons is Professor of Operations & Supply Chain Management and Head of the Operations & Supply Chain Management Department at the University of Liverpool Management School. He has significant and varied experiences in research, teaching, leadership and knowledge exchange and has published over sixty journal articles and one book. He has been awarded over £4M of direct research and knowledge exchange funding. He is a member of the School Management Committee and University Senate and was a former Interim Head of the Marketing Department and Head of the Marketing & Operations Department at the University. His expertise and research interests are broadly in the area operations and supply chain management and design. This includes supply strategy and the design of supply chain performance measurement systems, the scrutiny of supply chain practices through innovative mapping and modelling techniques, the examination of the effectiveness of lean practices, digital strategy development and analytics to support growth in SMEs, and the examination of mass customisation and variety management challenges. His current, externally-funded, and most-prominent research concerns an EC Interreg-funded project looking to reduce the environmental footprint of seafood supply chains, a NERC-funded project on the business model and sustainability implications of improving the circularity of plastic packaging, and an ERDF-funded project on the introduction of industry 4.0 technologies to SMEs. Professor Lyons has supervised over 25 PhD students.

Professor Jo Meehan is a Professor of Responsible Procurement and the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Business at the University of Liverpool Management School. Jo’s research centres on modern slavery in supply chains, social value in public procurement, and corporate power. Her work explores the commercial practices that allow social inequalities and environmental harm to persist, and crucially, what might be done to enable systemic change. Her work has won numerous international awards and she has been described in the business press as “one of the UK’s most influential procurement academics”. She is a regular public speaker on responsible business and has extensively published in world-leading academic journals and in the professional press. Jo’s research has been referenced by the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Environment Programme, the UK’s National Health System, the UK Government’s Crown Commercial Service, and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, as well as numerous corporate organisations. Jo is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management and champions the journal’s ’business-not-asusual’ research.

Professor Dongping Song is a Chair of Supply Chain Management in the University of Liverpool Management School. He obtained his PhD at Newcastle University and was a Professor of International Logistics at Plymouth University Business School. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and a member of CILT. Currently he is acting as an Associate Editor for Transportation Research Part E and for International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics. His research interests include applying mathematical modelling, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and simulation-based tools to various supply chain, maritime transport and logistics systems, especially in the presence of uncertainty and risk, with the goal of advancing the knowledge and assisting industries to improve operational efficiency and reduce emissions. He has managed a number of research projects funded by EPSRC, Royal Society, British Council, European Commission, and Chinese Research Councils. He has published five monographs in the areas of supply chain, transport and logistics including “Optimal Control and Optimization in Stochastic Supply Chain Systems” by Springer in 2013 and “Container Logistics and Maritime Transport” by Routledge in 2021.

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