Student Information

This page provides information on how students can participate in research engagement opportunities with the Center for Supply Chain Research.

The Center for Supply Chain Research®️(CSCR®️) provides Penn State students a unique opportunity to earn academic credit while working with the center’s patrons on collaborative research projects. All student research projects are done for credit on the students’ transcript and for a formal letter grade. Student projects are advised by full-time faculty members from the Smeal College of Business.

Note: Students cannot take this course if it brings their total credit hours to more than 19 hours.

Ways to Participate

Supply Chain Management 496
Junior and senior undergraduates will work independently with their advisor to complete a semester-long project. This option is available as an individual project (3 credits).

Sigma Chi Mu Tau (SCMT)
Members or prospective members of SCMT, a national supply chain honors society, will complete a supply chain research project. You must be vetted by SCMT leadership to participate in this group research option (1.5 credits per participant). Please contact to be considered or for more information about SCMT.

Project Timeline

  • Weeks 1-3: Projects begin; meet with faculty advisor and supporting organization contact
  • Weeks 3-5: Receive in-class instruction on project management and research
  • Weeks 4-11: Continue working with faculty advisor and supporting organization contact on project
  • Weeks 12-14: Projects end; prepare and present final reports and presentations to supporting organization

Types of Projects

Best-In-Class Practices
This type of research project addresses best-in-class practices for a particular process. The methodology usually focuses on research already publicly available, and students will synthesize the existing literature to identify the best practices in a particular area or they may interview executives in other companies to determine how they are performing a particular process. An example might be what other companies are doing with corporate social responsibility practices.

Company Specific – Data Intensive
This type of research project is focused on a specific problem experienced by a company and requires the company to provide data to the student for analysis. An example of this type of project might be an analysis to determine optimal shipping policies to a firm’s customers.

Company Specific – Process Intensive
This type of project is focused on a specific problem experienced by a company but is process, not data, specific. An example might be an analysis of how to eliminate congestion on the receiving dock of a distribution center.

Company Specific – Data and Process Intensive
This type of project requires an in-depth analysis by the student since it incorporates both data and process aspects. An example might be redesigning the picking area of a distribution center based on order profiles and shipping schedules.

Current Topics
These projects cover all of the remaining types of projects that might be submitted. Generally, these types of projects can involve publicly accessible data or publicly available best practices.

Interested in Participating? 

If you are interested in participating in a CSCR Student Research Project, please email Tracie Shannon or Steve Tracey for more information on how to get involved.