What will I learn?

The research programme focuses on decision making relating to production, services and logistic operations within profit as well as nonprofit organizations. The decision making deals with modelling, analysis, design/improvement, development and planning & control at several levels. The cooperation between Operations Management and Operations Research will generate synergy in combining domain knowledge of OM and the decision support of OR. The setting is multidisciplinary and gives attention to the points of view of quality, timely delivery, costs, and organization. Behavioural aspects, HRM, and aspects of ICT are covered by cooperation with neighboring research groups.

OPERA distinguishes three research themes: Planning & Control, Coordination and Operations Research.

Planning & control

Within this theme, OPERA aims at developing decision making concepts in industries facing new opportunities and threats. The central paradigm in the research is to link characteristics of the production system to the design of planning & control. The research has a strong methodological basis in Operations Research, Industrial Engineering and Simulation. It designs and tests decision rules that can be used for planning and improving operations. The main application areas are discrete production, a sector facing high pressure to reduce throughput times and increase variety, and food processing industry, a sector facing an increasing demand for flexibility while having inflexible capacity.


The central issue in this research theme is to investigate the contingencies of coordination in operations and supply chains, i.e., internal and external coordination. Contingencies relate to the organisational setting and the context and characteristics of supply chains. Specific attention is paid to the role of the human factors involved in coordination. As a consequence, there is a focus on empirical research methods (case studies, surveys). Additionally, relevant concepts of related fields like HRM and ICT are incorporated. Subjects are the role of the actors involved in customer order and production order processing, the organizational setting of coordination, coordination of manufacturing and sales, buyer-focused operations and contextual factors of supply chain integration.

Operations Research

This theme focuses on areas that provide important mathematical foundations for Operations. First, quantitative logistics and combinatorial optimisation provide foundations for problems such as locating facilities, routing vehicles, and composing ideal teams from individuals. Within integer programming, planning problems from logistics and other areas are investigated, problems that cannot be tackled entirely by combinatorial methods, but are amendable to more general mathematical programming algorithms. The activities within stochastic programming provide the means to model and efficiently solve problems that involve stochastic uncertainty, for example with respect to stock- or currency prices or uncertainties planners face regarding demand forecasts.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Economics and Business

Study options

Full Time (3 - 4 years)

Tuition fees
Information not available

Please check with institution

Start date

3 February 2020, 1 September 2020


University of Groningen


9700, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Other English Language requirements: TOEFL computer based - 237; TOEFL paper based - 580.

For international students

General requirements for three-year positions (financed by the RUG)

  • Applicants must have a research Master degree or equivalent in Economics or Business.
  • Applicants with other research master degrees will be considered if sufficiently related to the research programme

General requirements for four-year positions (applicants with scholarships or own funding)

  • Applicants must have preferably a research master degree, but at least a master of science with a clear research profile.

About this uni

The University of Groningen is a top 100 university with students from over 120 countries.

  • Ranked 79th in THE World University Rankings
  • Offers 45 world-class bachelor’s programmes
  • Provides 160 highly-ranked master’s programmes
  • Groningen is chosen as one of the happiest cities in Europe