PhD Summer Academy for PhD students (2 weeks)

The PhD Summer Academy for PhD students is a 2 weeks intense period of learning for PhD students, debating, and discovering the fundamental concepts and recent trends in supply chain management, in addition to meeting future colleagues and having a great time in Zaragoza, Spain. Learn more!







Professors from past editions of the PhD Summer Academy added the following:


"I was asked to join the PhD summer academy at ZLC and offer a course on Competition and Cooperation in Supply Chains. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to interact with such a diverse group of students, coming from very different countries and very different backgrounds. My favorite part was doing an in-person experiment, where the students had a chance to interact with each other and got to know their colleagues better, while at the same time learning about cooperation, negotiation, and stable outcomes. The class was full of positive energy"

Greys Sošić
Morgan Stanley Chair in Business Administration
Department Chair and Professor, DSO Department
Marshall School of Business
University of Southern California

The aim of the summer academy school is to create a strong knowledge discussion forum to boost research results and advances in supply chain management. Learn more!


Courses taught in the 13th edition of the PhD Summer Academy:

Professor: Wedad Elmaghraby, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland School
Dates: 13,14,15 June
Course Description: The emergence of Internet-enabled platforms, such as Airbnb and Lyft, has highlighted that online marketplaces greatly reduce frictions that previously prevented buyers and sellers from connecting, thereby increasing the volume of trade in a number of markets. In this seminar, we will cover a range of papers that address online market design both at the business-to-consumer interface (B2C), as well as the business-to-business (B2B) interface. A key theme of this seminar will be the highlighted role of product returns in online marketplace settings. We will explore research in market design to better understand (i) how to stymie/reduce the flow of return merchandise back to retailers and (ii) how to most profitably resell the returned (and unsold) merchandise in B2B secondary markets.

Pricing Policies to help Reduce Return Rates in B2C Markets: Online shopping has resulted in a dramatic increase in the volume of merchandise returned to retailers. While many of the returned items can be resold in the primary market, the costs of handling the product as well as the opportunity cost associated with the time it takes for products to flow to and back from a customer are quite significant and often overlooked. We will explore key identified drivers of product returns and, specifically, the role of (i) shipping policies (contingent free shipping policies as well as the convenience of handling returns) and (ii) price promotions on inflating/deflating return rates.

Design of B2B Auctions for Returned Merchandise: Given the inevitable return of some merchandise, it is important that retailers be able to (re-sell) these products so as to clear warehouse space and make room for new merchandise. In this market, speed and recovery rates are of equal importance; as a result, many returned (and overstocked) items are sold via B2B auctions. We will explore the design of these online B2B markets, and key drivers of their price and supply dynamics. Papers will approach the problem of market design from a variety of methodological perspectives, including behavioral, empirical and optimization.

Professor: Greys Sošić, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California.
Dates: 15, 16, 17 June
Course Description:
There are many instances in different business areas where firms compete in their primary markets, while they still cooperate in some of their activities to achieve economies of scale and/or scope. For instance, independent retailers can jointly place their orders to reduce their fixed ordering costs; manufacturers can jointly organize recycling of their products if EPR legislations are implemented; etc. This type of problems can be studied by combining elements from non-cooperative and cooperative game theory.

While cooperation among supply chain members should improve the overall performance of a supply chain, individual goals can induce one or more parties to make decisions that negatively impact the 9 performance of the system as a whole. In cooperative settings, overall performance is usually maximized when all parties act together (that is, form the grand coalition). However, some methods for allocation of profits/costs among collaborating parties can lead to situations in which individuals or groups can benefit by defecting and acting on their own, hence coalition stability is an important question in cooperative game theory. Stability of collaborative alliances is most commonly analyzed through the concept of the core. The core consists of allocation rules that yield a stable grand coalition (alliance of all players), as no set of players have an immediate incentive to defect from the grand coalition when gains are apportioned according to a core allocation. At the same time, the core suffers from myopia: it precludes the possibility that players and coalitions may consider the option that once they act (say, by forming a coalition), another coalition may react, and a third coalition might in turn react, and so on. It is not uncommon to observe defections and regrouping in markets before some stability is attained. One of the interesting features of dynamic stability is that it can identify stable structures even when static concepts conclude that there can be no stable outcomes. On the other hand, dynamic analysis can rule out the grand coalition as a candidate for stability even if the game has a nonempty core. When we forgo static concepts and assume a more realistic setting, in which the players consider possible consequences of their actions, we can obtain dramatically different results as to what are the likely stable structures, which can help companies in determining their operational strategies and in deciding whether to join an alliance or not.

In this course, we will cover the concepts from non-cooperative and cooperative game theory with application to problems in operations management. The readings will draw from peer-reviewed articles in the operations management literature.

Professor: Tom van Woensel, Technische Universitet Eindhoven.
Dates: 21, 22, 23 June
Course Description:
This module describes the transport and logistics industry and the development of advanced decision support systems. Emphasis is put on modeling and solving logistics problems using state-of-the-art approaches. Transportation and distribution functions are studied in detail through lectures and case studies. We will Illustrate the key factors to consider in the planning and control of transport and distribution operations. Additionally, some mathematical models for transportation problems (Integer Linear Programming) will be discussed.

Three broad topics will be discussed:
1. Transport network design: Strategic planning generally addresses long-term decisions with long-term impacts, dedicated to the system-design strategic decisions. We focus on some of the main methodologies proposed for the selection of facilities and their impact on the system performance.
2. Urban Logistics: This encompasses the movement of freight vehicles whose primary purpose is to carry goods into, out of, and within urban areas. These movements are part of the logistics activities performed in the city regarding, mainly, the transport, storage, and handling of goods, to answer the demand raised by most economic and social activities taking place in urban areas.
3. Artificial Intelligence in transport and logistics applications: The Internet of Things enables the instant exchange of data and information between machines, operators, and organizations. While there is quite some practical evidence of working AI-enabled environments, e.g. smart thermostats, home service robots, intelligent conversational chatbots, autonomous drones, or even self-driving cars, decision-making in transport and logistics is complex and different from decision-making in these areas. Digital twins make it possible to try these decisions in a virtual environment before applying them in real life.

Professor: Joseph Sarkis, The Business School at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Dates: 21, 22,23 June
Course Description: Sustainable supply chains are necessary for society to help stay within planetary boundaries.
There are many technological, organizational, and external environmental concerns that need to be managed in this environment. Digitalization can play an important role from all these perspectives. The course will consider the emergence and characteristics of these various digital technologies, especially those that can support multi-stakeholder environments that are prevalent when seeking to make supply chains more sustainable. We will especially focus on issues and the potential and promise of blockchain technology for inter-organizational sustainability and circularity management. We will also consider this digitalization relates and compares to the broader Industry 4.0 technologies. This course will consider methodologies and theories (or lack of theories) used in investigating and advancing these relationships. A number of readings will be provided to students. Students will be asked to present some of these papers and include a critical analysis for the class. The results of this discussion and critical analysis will also identify not only what is currently being studied but clear ideas and directions for future research.


In addition to being introduced to different topics in the field by a group of distinguished professors, it is a great opportunity to meet doctoral students from different institutions and exchange ideas. Although we expect applicants to come from different institutions, countries and backgrounds, the one common denominator is excellence. Applicants are selected to be part of a discussion forum made up of outstanding scholars in the area of logistics and supply chain management.


The PhD Summer Academy program is administered under the MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Program, one of the select MIT educational and research partnerships. Upon completion of all courses to which you have enrolled, you will be awarded a certificate stating that you have completed a PhD summer course under the MIT- Zaragoza Program.

Who should apply

Every summer, a group of selected students and scholars from different institutions, countries and backgrounds get together to participate in an intense period of learning, debating, and discovering the fundamental concepts and recent trends in supply chain management. Learn more!

When to apply

Zaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC) will host the 14th PhD Summer Academy in Summer 2023 in Zaragoza, Spain. More information will follow soon. Contact us to be kept informed!

Ready to apply?

To apply for the Summer Academy you must submit the following documents to [email protected]:

  • Current resume including academic degree, a brief list of the related courses taken so far (in the field of OR/IE/OM/Statistics), areas of research interest, specialization or competence, dissertation: the title and short description of your thesis, relevant work experience
  • One recommendation letter from people capable of judging applicant´s professional and/or academic promise (i.e., supervisor, professor)
  • Statement of interest for applying for the PhD Summer Academy. Please explain your specific area of academic interest (research topic you want to work on), how your education has prepared you to be successful in this program, what do you hope to achieve in this program. The statement should be no longer than 500 words

PhD Summer Academy Team

Dr. Yasel Costa

PhD Summer Academy Director
+34 976 077 606

Beatriz Vergara

PhD & Executive Education Coordinator
+34 976 077 268

Zaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC) will host the 14th PhD Summer Academy in Summer 2023 in Zaragoza, Spain. More information will follow soon. Contact us to be kept informed!

Tuition and Fees

Early bird registration (ends March 15): 875 €

  • Fee per Module: 300 €

Tuition Fee (after deadline early bird): 975 € (include 4 modules)

Special Fees

  • Alumni PhD Summer Academy: 700 €
  • Two students coming from the same university: 780 €

This program is co-funded by the European Social Fund.

Living Expenses

Participants will have to make their own arrangements for their accommodation, meals, visa and transportation and must provide evidence of health insurance coverage while in Spain. The organization will be happy to help applicants with the travel and paperwork requirements.


250-700 €/month


150-300 €/month


50 €/month


50 €/month


90-150 €/month


50 €/month

Do you require further information?

Please fill in the following form to send an info request. Our admissions team are happy to assist you and answer any queries you may have about our master’s programs or the application process.