While the dissertations of our students span a wide variety of applied and theoretical topics, the doctoral programme in Management Science and Operations involves a field research experience of at least one month. This programme component is designed to provide:
- an exposure to the practical context relevant to each student's research interests;
- a venue for confronting academic and theoretical concepts with reality.
Examples of students' field research
Amrita Kundu - Uganda
My current research project together with Professor Kamalini Ramdas (London Business School) and Dr. Stephen Anderson-Macdonald (Stanford Graduate School of Business) is focused on operational risks and resilience of micro-entrepreneurs in emerging markets.
My field research involves the collection of detailed primary data across 650 micro-entrepreneurs in Kampala, with the help of a non-profit organisation (Innovations for Poverty Action Uganda), and financial support from the LBS Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (DIIE) and the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED). I would say my visits to Uganda have been the highlight of both my research work and travel experience. They have helped me understand development issues faced by the country, while observing first-hand the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in their operating environment.
As part of this first field research experience, I enjoyed learning how to design and conduct field research and collect survey data. Furthermore, interacting with micro-entrepreneurs and hearing their stories and answers to the questionnaires was fascinating. I am excited to go back to Kampala to collect our new set of surveys, meet my local friends and eat my favourite matooke!
Read more about Amrita Kundu on her PhD profile.
Jónas Jónasson - Ghana
As part of my work on Community Health Worker (CHW) deployment in sub-Saharan Africa I visited Ghana with my supervisor Dr Jérémie Gallien and with co-authors from the Earth Institute and Columbia Graduate School of Business. We observed CHWs conducting household visits in rural Ghanaian communities and conducted interviews with operational managers and policy makers. The field experience was vital for better understanding the context and to inform our analysis of the nine-country dataset we are using to develop and test model-based policy recommendations for CHW deployment.
Read more about Jónas Jónasson on his recent graduates profile.
Nazli Sonmez - India
As a part of my current project with Professor Kamalini Ramdas on the effectiveness of Shared Medical Appointments for glaucoma patients as an alternative to One-on-One doctor visits, I visited Aravind Eye Hospital at Pondicherry, India.
During my field trips, I had a chance to observe the Aravind Eye Care System which is the world’s largest eye care provider, serving over a million patients a year. The focus of my last field research was monitoring the collection of the data corresponding to conducted Shared Medical Appointments and One-on-One Appointments as parts of our Randomized Control Trial.
After my first field research experience, I recognized that I really liked working on real data and problems of practical relevance. Furthermore, interacting with different kinds of patients with different stories, working with people from different cultures, being a part of the world’s largest eye care provider was very exciting and motivating.