Student experience


At STOR-i we are committed to providing a challenging and rewarding student experience based on:

  • strong support from a supervisory team; 
  • an excellent range of projects with many involving substantial industrial impact;
  • a comprehensive and exciting programme developed by leading academics in STOR and our industrial partners;
  • a novel and wide variety of student-led activities for personal and career development;
  • collaborative group work whenever appropriate; and
  • students being given the responsibility and resources for influencing their training programme.


Supervision and projects

The primary source of support and direction for each student is a supervisory team. Cross-disciplinary work is intrinsic to the operation of STOR-i and all students will be supervised by a team representing at least two of STOR-i’s four constituencies (statistics, OR and industry, international partners).

Students will select their project from a wide range of options

  • statistics with industry
  • statistics with an international partner,
  • operational research with industry,
  • operational research with an international partner,
  • statistics and operational research.

Projects will be presented to the students in written form and via a series of talks at a Project Market. The students then have the opportunity to engage in in-depth discussions with the supervisors towards the end of the second term, taking advice from current PhD students as well. Over Easter students are given time to investigate areas of interest and contemplate which projects are best suited to them. The final project allocation will be made by the Executive Committee after meeting individually with the students to discuss their preferences and motivation.

The three month PhD Research Proposal project which concludes the MRes gives an opportunity for assessing the fit of students to projects/supervisory teams.


How do we support the student experience?

At STOR-i we are dedicated to providing a diverse programme which supports exciting and challenging student experiences and encourages personal and career development.

In addition to the training in all four years we offer:

  • Team building - Initial development of a group identity is supported by a team building away day prior to the start of the first year MRes.
  • Group activities - Group activities are key throughout all training components in all four years.
  • Annual away day - This away day involves all STOR-i students in structured development activities. 
  • Mentoring - To help students settle quickly into STOR-i, everyone is assigned a student mentor from the year above.
  • Social interaction - To maintain social interaction we hold a weekly coffee meeting for all STOR-i staff and students.
  • Monitoring - Twice-yearly meetings with the STOR-i director will monitor progress, solicit feedback on the student’s experience of STOR-i and focus on career and professional development.
  • Dissemination - Each student will present once per year at the STOR-i seminar series. The seminar series will be informal, with plenty of time for active and constructive discussion. Students will also have the opportunity to present either a talk or poster at the annual STOR-i Industrial Workshop.
  • Networking with Industry - Our wide range of industrial partners will be involved in a variety of activities providing substantial opportunities for networking.
  • Research career development - through extensive funding made available to students through the STOR-i Research Fund and STOR-i Impact Fellowships.

Student-led experiences:

STOR-i students are expected to assume a high degree of ownership of their research. They are also given wide-ranging opportunities to practice and develop the skills they learn by participating in various activities. Examples include:

  • Applying for and managing grants - Competitive written proposals can be submitted to the STOR-i Research Fund. These bids request resources over and above standard research support. Grants made from the fund could, for example, support short research visits or longer placements in the UK or abroad or for visitors from outside Lancaster. Successful applicants will be responsible for the management of the award and for the related reporting of outcomes.
  • Supervision - The development of a short project for summer research interns with joint supervisory responsibility for the intern.
  • Mentoring - Students develop mentoring experience through being a mentor to an individual STOR-i student and leading groups of STOR-i MRes students, such as in the Industrial Problem Solving Days.
  • Marketing - STOR-i students have opportunities to participate in recruitment and dissemination events, including open days and roadshows.
  • Dissemination - Development and regular updating of a personal web-page with material accessible to both specialists and non-specialists.
  • Training - Where appropriate, the presentation of problems from a student's research is incorporated as a contribution to the scientific modelling/research overview content of the MRes programme.
  • Influencing - Students are given the responsibility and resources for influencing many aspects of their training programme.
  • Management - Students are involved in nominating, inviting and organising visiting researchers for STOR-i Masterclasses and the organisation of the annual STOR-i Industrial Workshop.
  • Impact Fellowships - On PhD completion, STOR-i students will be eligible to apply for a 1 year post-doctoral Impact Fellowship in STOR-i, on average one will be awarded each year. Applications will be assessed against PhD performance and a written research proposal describing how the fellowship will be used to further develop research ideas and achieve impact.