Scholarships for Operations Research and Management

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Operations research and management is a sub-field of mathematics that uses advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. Techniques from mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, and mathematical optimization combine to aid operations researchers in determining optimal outcomes to complex problems.

With an emphasis on human-technology interaction and a focus on practical applications, operations research is an interdisciplinary field overlapping with industrial engineering, information, and operations management, and draws on organizational science and psychology. This finely honed degree will lead to careers in all types of industries and businesses, as well as the government and military. Here are some financial assistance possibilities:

research and management scholarships

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS)

INFORMS is the largest professional society in the world for professionals in the field of operations research, management science, and business analytics. It offers two doctoral-level scholarships named for longtime supporter Seth Bonder:

  • The Bonder Scholarship for Applied Operations Research in Health Sciences provides $4,000 for conducting research in this field, with an additional $1,000 to cover the recipient’s travel expenses for attending the annual INFORMS conference.
  • The Bonder Scholarship for Applied Operations Research in Military Applications provides $4,000 for conducting research in this field, with an additional $1,000 to cover the recipient’s travel expenses for attending the annual INFORMS conference.

SMART (Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation Defense Scholarship for Service) Program

U.S. citizens studying operations research are eligible to apply for the SMART Program, established by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The full cost of tuition and fees is covered for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral studies. A book allowance of $1,000 per year is provided. Depending on the recipient’s level of study, recipients receive $25,000 to $38,000. Applicants for the program will be considered based on academic performance, references supplied, and the contents of a personal statement. Applicants must be involved in a STEM area of study as defined by the DoD. (The program is not open to U.S. nationals.)

Upon graduation, SMART Program participants will become DoD civilian employees. One year of employment service will be required for each year the individual received scholarship assistance.

Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP), US Department of Defense (DoD)

Undergraduate juniors and graduate students studying operations research and management who have attained high grade point averages may be considered for this full-ride scholarship. Applicants must be referred by a National Centers of Academic Excellence program (located at various universities). Recipients are awarded  funding to cover the full cost of tuition at their school, student fees, textbooks, supplies and equipment. In addition, students receive a generous stipend.

While receiving scholarship funds, recipients will also participate in DoD internship programs. After graduation, these scholarship recipients will become full-time federal employees. One year of service is required for each year scholarship monies are received.

Indiana University (Bloomington), Operations and Decisions Technologies Department (ODT)

Students in the Kelley School of Business Operations & Decisions Technologies Department can apply for a number of awards for their undergraduate and graduate degrees. One is the Crowe Horwath Outstanding Operations & Decisions Technologies Student Scholarship, which goes to a senior with a 3.3 GPA or higher; the award amount varies. Another is the Linda L. Thiel Memorial Scholarship in Information Systems & Decision Science, $2,500, goes to a female senior in the department.


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