Research Project

All SCM students will complete a research project.  

  • The project needs to be practical, relevant, and address a problem of great interest to industry or other entities with supply chain challenges.  These projects are performed with a sponsoring company, NGO, government agency, or trade association.   Projects usually require 9 months to complete which is why the SCMb students will need to do some work at home before they arrive.
  • Examples of past SCM research projects can be found here.
  • Examples of current Blended projects can be found here.

Because SCMb students will be on campus for only 5 months they must begin working on their project in advance.  Here is the sequence of work tasks:

  1. Before Applying
    1. Research Topic:  SCMb candidates should think about what kind of supply chain problem they want to work on.  They will need to create a convincing two page description of their proposed project.  They should think about what kind of an entity might wish to partner with them and what kind of data they will need to perform this project. 
  2. The Application (November to May) 
    1. All students will complete a research project as a component of the program. Projects may be offered by the academic program or proposed directly by applicants.  Projects proposed by applicants needs to be practical, relevant, data driven, and address a problem of great interest to industry or other entities with supply chain challenges. These projects are performed with a sponsoring company, NGO, government agency, or trade association.
    2. Applicants must submit a two page (1000 words) research project proposal.  Although preferred, this proposal does not require any commitment or discussion on the part of your sponsor.  If admitted to the program you will have the option to expand on your proposal to be considered toward the completion of your degree.
    3. You must impress upon the review committee with the importance of your project to supply chain management and convince them that you can complete the project in a timely manner.  Projects will require up to 4 months of remote pre-work prior to enrollment, plus additional time once enrolled in the on campus program.
    4. Your two-page description should include the following:
      1. Describe the problem including what challenges, industries, markets, products, geographies, processes, etc. are involved?
      2. What organization or kind of organization will you seek to partner with you on this research project?
      3. How do you propose to gain the cooperation of this kind of organization?
      4. What methodology would you use to study this problem?
      5. What types of data will you need to perform this project?
      6. How do you propose to obtain the data you need for this project?
      7. If accepted, what pre-work can you do before coming to campus? 
      8. Can you complete this project in a 9 month time frame, both remote and on campus?
  3. Once Admitted but Before Arrival on campus (August to December). 
    1. Selecting Projects / Forming Teams --- In early fall we will follow a process to move from appx. 40 project ideas to appx. 20 detailed project plans with 2 students assigned to each.   The following must then be approved:
      1. Expanded Project Proposal -- provide a more detailed description including research question, project scope, methodology, data required, and timing.
      2. Sources of Data – describe where the data will come from for your quantitative analysis.  Show proof that such data exists and that you can get access to it.
      3. Letter from Sponsor (if collaborating with an entity) – provide a note from any sponsoring entity demonstrating that they intend to provide data and work with you on this project.
    2. Complete the edX Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python course.
  4. Arrival at MIT (first week of January)
    1. SCMb students arrive a week ahead of the rest of the SCALE students for orientation
    2. Students work on their research project, attend career development workshops, writing classes, and leadership seminars.
  5. SCALE Connect (mid-January)
    1. SCM students are joined by students from across the Global SCALE network for a rigorous 3-week SCALE Conference.
  6. Spring Semester – February to June
    1. SCMb students will follow the same project schedule and due dates as the SCMr students