Early Career Researchers (ECR)

Operational Research is widespread within the UK university sector, with academics pushing developments in OR techniques and having impact by engaging with industry. The Early Career Researcher (ECR) Network was set up to nurture OR research, connect early career researchers, and support OR in research institutions.

The ECR Network is a friendly and accessible environment for anyone who:

  • is in the early stages of their career in academia
  • feels they would benefit from networking within their peer group
  • wants to form connections with others who are further ahead in their career

The network aims to provide for academics in Operational Research and its related fields, as well as for those who are returning to work or study following a career break, or those changing career path.

The network aims to further the personal and professional development of those in the early stages of their career, through:

  • disseminating relevant information about upcoming opportunities
  • discussion of research ideas, developments, innovations, opportunities and issues
  • networking and peer-to-peer support
  • facilitating knowledge transfer and support for career and professional development
  • opportunities for presenting your work to peers in a supportive environment
  • providing help and advice when applying for research grants and/or jobs
  • signposting relevant events and conferences

The network actively encourages suggestions on the types of events and resources you, as an early career researcher, would like to be offered so that the OR Society can work to provide this. Please get in touch via the email address below.

It is the society’s hope that the ECR Network will be productive, inviting and supportive for all early career researchers.

Join us at our next event


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Committee Members

Luke Rhodes-Leader Chair
Elizabeth Williams Secretary
Laura Boyle Committee Member - Social Media
Amalia Gjerloev Committee Member - Events
Siamak Naderi Committee Member - Events
Richlove Frimpong Committee Member - Events
Zehra Onen Dumlu Committee Member - Events
Carol McLaughlin Committee Member
Sophie Rouse Committee Member

ECR Event - The Academic Job Search

26 June 2024 14.00 - 15.30

Register HERE

This event offers comprehensive guidance on navigating the academic job search process. Attendees will gain invaluable insights from a diverse panel of speakers, including early-career researchers and experienced senior lecturers. The panel members have recent experience with the academic recruitment process, both from applying for positions and from recruiting candidates.

The event aims to equip participants with the knowledge and strategies necessary to successfully secure academic positions. Whether you are a still studying and are seeking your first academic appointment or are exploring new opportunities, this event promises to offer practical advice and insider perspectives to enhance your chances of success in the highly competitive academic job market.


Timing Schedule
14:00 Arrivals and Introductions
14:10 Talk from Zella King
14:25 Q&A with Zella King
14:30 Talk from Kerem Akartunali
14:45 Q&A with Kerem Akartunali
14:50 Talk with Omid Maghazei 
15:05 Q&A with Omid Maghazei 
15:10 Panel session
15:25 Closure

Meet the speakers

Zella King is a health data scientist in the Clinical Operational Research Unit at University College London.  She applies data analytics, machine learning, programming and organisational psychology as tools for better decision making in healthcare operations. Working at the interface between universities and the NHS, she collaborates with researchers, clinicians, and NHS leaders to address practical challenges in the delivery of healthcare. She is currently working as an embedded researcher at University College London Hospital (UCLH), helping tackle some of the hospital’s operational problems using operational research and data science, and doing capacity-building for NHS analysts.

With others, she developed a real-time application that is in daily use by the patient flow team at UCLH to predict demand for emergency beds, and is lead author on a paper about this work that has been published in Nature Digital Medicine. This application has been shortlisted for a HSJ Digital Award in Improving Urgent and Emergency Care.

Zella gained her PhD in Organisational Psychology from Birkbeck College. Her academic career began with 15 years in business schools. Her work on human resources, careers and networks has been published in top business journals. In 2016, concerned about healthcare in ageing societies, she changed fields to focus on health data research. She gained a distinction in UCL's MSc in Health Data Science and was recognised in the Dean’s List for outstanding students in 2020-21.

Zella King Speaking IWIB 2015 2 Cropped Min

Kerem Akartunali is Professor in the Department of Management Science at Strathclyde Business School, where he joined as John Anderson Research Lecturer (JARL) in Optimization in 2010, and also a Visiting Professor at Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science (ICMC-USP) of University of São Paulo since 2017.  After completing his Ph.D. in 2007 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a specialization in optimization, he worked on airline planning and scheduling problems as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Melbourne in collaboration with Constraint Technologies International, an Australian software company.  Kerem’s research expertise lies primarily in integer programming, robust and network optimization, and their applications, in particular in lot-sizing/production planning, transportation scheduling/planning, health applications such as radiation treatment planning and nurse rostering, and energy applications such as offshore windfarm installation.


Omid Maghazei is an Assistant Professor and Lecturer at the University of Bath School of Management. He holds a Doctoral Degree in Management, Technology, and Economics from ETH Zurich, Switzerland. He completed his doctoral study empirically researching drones in manufacturing industries in 2021. He studied the adoption of drones in companies like IKEA and Geberit, leading to publications in scientific journals such as Journal of Operations Management and practitioner-oriented outlets like MIT Sloan Management Review. Omid is the recipient of the 2023 Jack Meredith Best Paper Award of the Journal of Operations Management.

SOM Staff Portraits 5Th October 2023 311

Get in touch

We have set up a LinkedIn page to facilitate knowledge sharing and to keep you updated on future events. Please follow the link and click ‘join’ to become a member. We have also created the ECR Network email address [email protected] so that we can update you on the network’s activity, make you aware of possible mentoring opportunities and disseminate information about training, funding, careers advice and job opportunities that are relevant to you.

ECR LinkedIn