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We have 33 Operational Research PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships






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Operational Research PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

We have 33 Operational Research PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships

Operational Research involves the application of mathematical methods to solve a problem at hand. If you’re thinking of doing a PhD in Operational Research, you’ll be working on solving numerical versions of problems in sectors like healthcare, public health, finance and transportation among many others.

What’s it like to do a PhD in Operational Research?

A PhD in Operational Research will require you to put to use scientific methods and study complex organisational problems and use your existing knowledge of mathematical models to help in decision-making.

Most Operational Research PhD topics have a large mathematical component. Some of the most popular topics in Operational Research are:

  • Mathematical optimisation
  • Queuing systems
  • Healthcare modelling
  • Environmental modelling
  • Data analytics
  • Finance and risk

By the end of your PhD, you’ll have produced an in-depth thesis that makes a unique and significant contribution to your field of study. You will have to submit a final thesis of about 80,000 words to be defended in a oral viva examination to complete your PhD.

Operational Research doctoral programmes are sometimes offered with a research objective attached. However, some universities might also ask you to propose your own research idea as part of your application.

In the UK, most Operational Research PhD students first register to an MPhil. You can upgrade to a PhD, after a review at the end of your first year, if your supervisor feels your work meets certain standards.

Entry requirements

Most Operational Research PhDs require you to have a strong mathematical background so a honours degree and a Masters degree in a relevant subject is often necessary.

Depending on where you apply, you might also have to give a language test showing you are fluent in the language of instruction at your university.

PhD in Operational Research funding options

In the UK, a PhD in Operational Research is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). They offer fully funded studentships along with a monthly stipend. If you are applying for an advertised PhD with the funding attached, you’ll get the funding if you’re successful in your application. However, if you are proposing your own research project, you’ll have to first be accepted by a university and then apply for funding separately.

PhD in Operational Research careers

A PhD will equip you with the skills required to excel in academia. Most Operational Research students work as postdoctoral research fellows, research impact officers or lecturers. You could also work for governments or financial firms.

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Foundations of deep learning for scalable computational imaging

The Biomedical and Astronomical Signal Processing (BASP) laboratory at Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh (HWU), headed by Professor Yves Wiaux is recruiting a PhD student for research on foundational deep learning methodology for computational imaging in astronomy and/or medicine. Read more

The University of Manchester - Department of Mathematics

The Department of Mathematics at Manchester is one of the largest Mathematics Departments in the UK and has been home to some of the brightest postgraduate and academic mathematicians. Read more

INSEAD PhD in Management

INSEAD PHD POSITIONS IN MANAGEMENT (FULL-TIME STUDIES, WITH SCHOLARSHIPS) for the mid-August 2025 intake. INSEAD, one of the world's leading and largest business schools, is looking for 16–18 bright potentials to join its premier PhD in Management programme in the following areas. Read more

UCL SECReT: The International Training Centre for Security and Crime Research Degrees

UCL's Security Science Doctoral Research Training Centre (UCL SECReT) was founded in 2009 with support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESRC) and an array of public and private sector organisations working in crime reduction security and law enforcement. Read more

Multimodal Control of Prosthetic Limbs/Paralysed Muscles

This project aims to enhance the quality of life of patients with amputees, spinal cord injury, stroke and brain injury by developing advanced control strategies for artificial limbs. Read more

Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Non-Cooperative Game Theoretic Models for Cyber Security

Cyber security is the assessment of, responding to and monitoring of the security of the cyberspace. It is difficult to pin down to one single scientific discipline, but rather relates to a number of domains and fields such as physical security, network security, security assessment frameworks and the human element. Read more

Artificial Intelligence for Professional Excellence in Built Environment

This project aims to foster new multidisciplinary research into specific challenging issues in the subject field of built environment with regard to the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for excellence in professional practices. Read more

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