This message is to inform you BOTH that NATCOR, the EPSRC-funded doctoral taught course centre in OR, has just launched its new website (http://www.natcor.ac.uk) , and that registration for the current academic year's courses is now open. Details are contained in the letter below.
Best wishes, Kevin Glazebrook
NATCOR: National Taught Course Centre in Operational Research (OR)
NATCOR, a national centre providing taught courses in Operational Research (OR) for PhD students, is one of a range of taught course centres in the mathematical sciences supported by EPSRC. These centres, which have been running since 2007, are now entering a new phase of operation, having all been reviewed by EPSRC and granted additional funding to continue for another five years. There will, however, be some changes. The first and most obvious is that the funding which all the centres now have is at a lower level than previously and so there will be an inevitable increase in charges. I am pleased to say that in NATCOR's case, these are very modest. We have also been charged by EPSRC with providing materials for participating departments to support them in formal assessment of our courses, should they choose to do that. I will say more of that later.
NATCOR runs a suite of residential courses on a two-year cycle which are primarily intended for students in their first two years of doctoral study (both those who are EPSRC funded and others). Feedback from students and supervisors has been extremely positive. A summary of the feedback we have received from students completing the programme is now available on our website at http://www.natcor.ac.uk.
One point we continue to emphasise is that this EPSRC-funded provision springs from an acknowledged need to both broaden and deepen doctoral provision in the mathematical sciences within the UK. Hence it is very much not the case that students should feel that they will only profit from material which is close to their research topic. NATCOR's courses are all designed for a broad mathematically orientated doctoral audience, not just those taking PhD's in OR.
NATCOR residential weeks for 2011-12
There will be two one-week (Monday to Friday) residential courses. Web-based materials will be made available to participants in advance to assist with preparation. The courses are as follows:
Heuristics and Approximation Algorithms
University of Nottingham
16th - 20th April 2012
2nd - 6th July 2012
Detailed course outlines may be found on the website.
Costs for the residential weeks
The cost associated with each residential course attendance has two elements. The first is a registration fee and is payable for all participants. The second is an accommodation fee. The latter is NOT payable for EPSRC funded students (nor for those who do not require accommodation). The details are as follows:
Registration Fee (payable for all students)
£100 registration fee per course
A reduced registration fee of £160 is offered if both residential weeks are booked
Accommodation (bed & breakfast for four nights), if required
Non EPSRC funded students - £155 per course
EPSRC funded students - no charge
A course dinner and one other social event will be held at each course, the costs of which are included in the registration fee. Breakfast is provided when accommodation is booked. Other meal costs will be met by the student.
One day workshop
In addition to NATCOR's core curriculum delivered during the residential weeks, we also hold occasional workshops on themes of major current interest. These are open to all currently registered doctoral students. There will be a workshop immediately following the Convex Optimisation course as follows:
Data Envelopment Analysis
7th July 2012
There will be a registration fee of £30 for the workshop and accommodation (bed & breakfast) at Brunel can be reserved for the night of Friday 6th July. Details are on the NATCOR website.
Registration and payment
Registration for NATCOR's programme for the 2011-12 session is now open via our website http://www.natcor.ac.uk. We expect demand for the courses to continue to be strong and encourage early registration. Once registration is complete, an invoice will be raised for the amount payable and sent direct to the department/institution. Payment details will accompany the invoice.
Funds are also available to assist in the defraying of the costs incurred by EPSRC funded students in travelling to and from the residential courses. Details may be found on the website.
Formal Assessment of NATCOR courses
In response to a requirement from EPSRC, participating departments will be provided with materials (including model solutions where appropriate) to use in their own formal assessment of students taking NATCOR courses, should they choose to. In addition, we plan to offer departments the option of their students' participation in an element of formal assessment built into the courses themselves. Details of these arrangements will be provided in due course.
Please consult our website in the first instance for any questions you have about NATCOR's provision. If questions remain, please get in touch with either Lindsay Newby or myself with any queries. Contact details are to be found below. I would be very grateful if you could encourage your PhD students to look at the website.
Distinguished Professor of Operational Research, Lancaster University,
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