Interested in the chance of winning £400 and an internship? Enter the Undergraduate Operational Research Challenge!

Do you aspire to have a career that helps businesses in the transportation, energy or the healthcare sector? If you answered yes then participating in the Operational Research Challenge would be a great opportunity!

The School of Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh have created the Undergraduate Operational Research Challenge for students to design a solution for a practical problem using operational research. Operational research or OR is regularly used in the government and many companies to make better decisions. For example, OR was used during the pandemic to accelerate the development of vaccines. This is only a recent example but the ways that OR can be applied to different scenarios are endless! This challenge focuses on applying OR to a real, ongoing problem so it is a chance for you to display your knowledge and interests.

What do I need to do for the challenge?

Hymans Robertson and the School of Mathematics have worked in partnership for this challenge where you will have the role of being a financial advisor that works for Hymans. You will need to create a structured, efficient investment portfolio that ensures an optimal trade off between maximising the return of investment and minimising the risk within the portfolio.

The challenge has two key phases:

The first phrase is the development phase.

After you register for the challenge (which can be done alone or in groups of two), you will receive a description of the task requirements by email. A helpful resource that they provide is access to short videos that explain various mathematical concepts and tools which will help you when completing the challenge. The deadline to register for this competition is on Tuesday 23rd November 2021 at 23:59.

Once you have completed registration, you are required to send the following documents to :

  • A PDF document, with a maximum of 10 pages excluding appendices, that has an explanation of the approach you decided to use, the calculations you carried out and your thinking behind your recommendations. It should explain the limitations that your approach will have and state restrictions that could apply to results.
  • Then, a second one page PDF document will need to be completed which is a business report that the client will look at. Don’t worry, you won’t need to include any technical details in your report. The information just needs to be convincing enough for the client to pick your portfolio so make sure that it is punchy, intriguing and well researched.

The deadline for the development phase submissions is 28 February 2022.

The second phase is the presentation phase.

This is where the highest ranking submissions from phase one will be invited to give their presentation to a panel of decision makers which would be a great way to practice and gain confidence in presenting to other people.

What’s in it for me?

Each member of the winning team (whether you decide to work alone or with a partner) will receive a £400 prize and will be offered a paid summer internship at Hymans Robertson. If you are a runner up, you will receive a £300 prize.

Participation requirements

  • You have to be interested in applying numerical techniques to a problem solving scenario that will help decision makers implement better decisions, reducing risk
  • Work individually or in a group of two. Be wise when choosing whether to work alone or with this.. Does someone have areas of expertise that you don’t? Do you prefer working alone? What deadlines do you have around the time of the competition? Do you have time? This are important questions to ask when deciding whether you want to participate.
  • Be a Bachelor’s student enrolled in the last two years of the program at a UK University.

If this opportunity sounds exciting, click here to register your interest. You can also find more information on the University of Edinburgh website.

Closing date for registration: Tuesday 23rd November 2021 at 23.59


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