Winter School of OR in Public Health Emergencies


[check the news and updates at the end of the page]

The South-East Asia Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO-SEARO), the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), the Association of European Operational Research Societies (EURO and ORAHS), and the Association of Asia-Pacific Operational Research Societies (APORS) are glad to announce the Winter School of Operational Research in Public Health EmergencieS (ORPHES). ORPHES will take place online from January 10 to February 25, 2022, with the support of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies (IFORS).

Theme. Public Health Emergencies (PHE), due to their scale, timing, or unpredictability, can overwhelm routine local health capabilities. Operational Research (OR) has shown its capability to aid decision makers in the fields of health and disease management, patient flow and all aspects of optimal use of scarce resources. The goal of ORPHES is to illustrate how public health emergency preparedness and response can benefit from the application of OR methodologies to  prevent, protect against, quickly respond to, and recover from health emergencies.

Audience. ORPHES seeks to develop a community of people interested in the application of OR to PHEs, connecting public health practitioners with OR professionals. The ideal audience is a mix of public health officials, and OR experts (graduate and PhD students, and practitioners with an OR or Operations Management background). Participants from member states of the WHO South-East Asia Region and WHO Western Pacific Region will be given priority.

Registration. Participants can register to either only attend the lectures (hereafter attenders), i.e. general registration, or they can attend and also submit abstracts of current or future work (hereafter proposers). Abstracts must depict a PHE problem suitable to be solved through the application of OR approaches. Abstracts will be reviewed and some will be selected to be presented by the participant (during the debriefing part of the school agenda).
As the School intends to build a community of OR practice, faculty members will be available to work together with the participants whose abstracts were chosen towards the completion of the work. The more promising works (which may continue past the School), if suitable for publication may be supported by the School, i.e. covering article publishing charges.
All participants to the school will receive a certificate of attendance, after adequate completion of a post-event questionnaire

How to apply. Applicants should send their candidature online by filling out the form linked below. The form is intended to collect information about the participants (educational background, affiliations, previous experiences, ...), the motivation for attending the school, and eventually the abstract of current or future work (only for  proposers).

Organisation. Participation in the school for selected applicants is free of charge. School numbers are limited to 40. ORPHES will select the participants in order to guarantee a balance in terms of gender and country of origin. The lectures will take place in the time interval 12:00 - 16:00 CET and it will be recorded.

Important dates.

  • Deadline for applicantsDec 1, 2021, 17:00 CET
  • Selection of the participants: Dec 8, 2021, 17:00 CET
  • Winter School: from Jan 10 to Feb 25, 2022

Links for the online application form and further information.

Organising Committee.

  • Prof. Roberto Aringhieri, University of Turin, Italy (EURO contact person)
  • Dr. Victor Del Rio Vilas, WHO SEARO (GOARN contact person)
  • Dr Honora Smith, University of Southampton, UK
  • Prof. Stefan Nickel, IFORS Vice-President for EURO, KIT, Karlsruhe, Germany

News and updates.

  • March 4, 2022: ORPHES is over after 2 months of intensive activities: 43 participants, 14 speakers giving 20 hours of lectures. Further, speakers and junior researchers committed in three weeks of mentoring meetings to support the projects' ideas of 11 participants.
  • Jan 5, 2022: finally, the scientific program of the school is available online.
  • Dec 21, 2021: after collecting each single authorization, we published the list of the applicants admitted at the school; further, we published the list of the speakers and the schedule of their lectures.
  • Dec 2, 2021: we received 81 applications from many different countries. The list of selected applicants will be published on Dec 8, 2021, 17:00 CET. All the applicants will receive a communication by email.
  • Nov 26, 2021: the opening session is scheduled for January 10, 2022 at 12:00 CET. Representatives of WHO-SEARO, EURO, APORS, and IFORS will welcome the participants. Further, technical details will be given by the organisers.
  • Nov 26, 2021: for those interested in attending ORPHES but requiring an assessment for their PhDs, we are delighted to inform that we can provide such an assessment in addition to the a certificate of attendance.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 International License and the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).

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