Home > Research > Funding > Fellowships > NOL Fellowship Programme

NOL Fellowship Programme

The NOL Fellowship (NOLF), an initiative by Neptune Orient Lines Ltd and NUS, aims to develop a first-rate research programme on important global transportation, cargo and supply chain & logistics issues.

Launched on 24 February 2006, the Programme supports research initiatives from universities in Singapore, collaborative efforts between them, and leading universities abroad. Funding will be available for research projects, lectures, conferences and short-term appointments of professors and research or industry fellows.

Past Awardees


Please click here for the past awardees.

NOL Fellowship Research Themes

  1. Logistics Information Technology
  2. Logistics Infrastructure and Systems
  3. Supply Chain Management

For more details on NOL Fellowship Research Themes, please refer below.

Schedule of Call and Activities


The call is usually in April of each year. The result is usually released in October 2009.


Date of Next Call

To be confirmed.

Application Guidelines

  • Funding support for research projects may be up to S$400,000, but excellent projects which require more funding may be considered.
  • Duration of projects should not exceed 2 years.
  • Researchers should contact the research office of their respective Universities for a copy of the Notes and Guidelines for Proposal and Budget Preparation before they start drafting their research proposals.
    Note: Guidelines differ for each University
  • The proposals should be submitted through the respective Head of Unit and/or Director of Research to the NOL Fellowship Secretariat by the stipulated deadline.
  • Proposals will be assessed based on academic merit, industry relevance and impact.
  • Researchers of shortlisted proposals will be required to make a 10-minutes presentation to the NOLF Governing Board. Presentations will be scheduled sometime between September-October.
  • The NOLF Governing Board will be the final adjudicators.

Please click here for the workflow which summarises the submission and review process.

Application Procedure


Please fill up the application form and attach CVs of the Principle Investigator and all collaborators. 
One hardcopy and one softcopy of all documents should be submitted to NUHS Research Office through the required channels specified by the applicant's host university.

Contact Person(s) for More Information

Ms Masrinie

Tel : 6516 5292

Email : medmmr@nus.edu.sg

Ms Clarin Ng

Tel : 6516 4090

Email : mednsy@nus.edu.sg

Ms Lay Hoon

Tel : 6516 8423

Email : lay_hoon_tan@nuhs.edu.sg

NOL Fellowship Research Themes


1.    Logistics Information Technology

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is the key enabler of processes and services in the logistics supply chain, enabling stakeholders to create and deliver value from a system and whole life-cycle perspective.  At the same time, ICT is crucial for the efficient operation and management of the assets comprising the infrastructure for logistics. Research in logistics ICT is motivated by the desire to use the technology to improve long-term effectiveness, competitiveness and the dynamics of the industry.  The nature of the research would necessarily adopt a systems perspective and include relevant disciplines for more impactful results.

The research focus might include: system architecture for logistics services; new technology in tracking (e.g., RFID), positioning and identification of assets (empties repositioning); asset management and workflow systems; IT-centric organizing and coordination strategies among stakeholders; applications of ICT to optimize revenue for the supply chain.

Analysis of cost-saving techniques in SCM-IT area can be undertaken. One can look at emerging trends in some locations to move more data onto the web and away from old technologies such as EDI. Other SCM functionality/applications could also make a similar migration. The thrust is to drive costs down and yet enhance productivity and accessibility.

2.    Logistics Infrastructure and Systems

Optimizing the use of logistics facilities/systems and aligning these assets/ processes to be consistent with the business/national goals are of practical importance. However, each channel optimizes its own assets/processes, the effect of double marginalization would set in where each channel would receive lower returns than it should. To reduce this effect, it requires some form of cooperation, partnership, or integration of facilities, technology and information between these channels and between firms that utilize these channels.

Examples of research projects that are within the scope of this focus area include:

  • Logistics network design that concerns the efficient allocation of assets to facilitate the material flow from different origins to many destination points to meet different service level agreements set by the customers.

  • Creating an economic supply-chain model that captures landed costs/transfer costs between a diverse group of supply-chain partners, so as to facilitate cross-organizational sharing of assets, improve utilization and ultimately increase end-user/customer satisfaction.

  • Container terminal operations which looks into ways of cutting down idle time, bottlenecks and streamlining operations to continuously improve terminal productivity and of upgrading assets so as to serve customers better.

  • Optimisation and simulation approaches for providing a better system-level solution for various decision problems arisen from container terminals and multimodal transportation networks.

  • Macro studies on how logistics infrastructure planning/actions impact a region or country to be more effective and efficient overall in relation to different supply chain designs adopted by different companies.

  • Developing a deep domain understanding of relevant infrastructure assets as part of a system that enables business processes, and of the linkages between technical engineering processes and business processes.

  • Developing models to study environmental impacts of intermodal transport operations, with the aim to help understand current conventional practices and considerations in facilities design and operations management (equipment type and use) in relation to environmental issues, and to analyze how operators/service providers would respond to and treat such environment-related issues.

3.    Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management (SCM) is the integration of cooperative enterprises, processes and albeit information, materials, financial and other activities into a coherent and innovative services value chain for sustainable, certain and competitive advantage of the respective enterprise and all the merged interests of upstream and downstream partner organisations operating in a defined trading landscape.

Areas of novel research interest in SCM include:

Supply Chain Continuity: deals with process improvement and scenario planning to reduce uncertainty. Four topics of interest are: Integrated Design and Planning (to have the supply chain designed and planned optimally and robustly), Execution Management (to execute the supply chain functions responsively and efficiently from end-to-end using emerging technologies), Risk Management (to adopt lean and agile practices, with risk mitigation and systems recovery strategies in place), and Altering and Alternative Physical Supply Chain Networks (to deal with altering physical supply chain networks as part of a risk-mitigation strategy as customers are increasingly employing alternative supply-chain infrastructures in an effort to by-pass choke points).

Supply Chain Measurement: Metrics and CPI (or continuous process improvement) provide core-efficiency measures for assessing effectiveness of SCM implementations and improvements. Topics of interest may include 6-sigma, LEAN, Dimaic etc. Both internal and 3PL-managed supply chain organizations are increasingly moving to defined scoreboards for measuring SCM effectiveness and then to CPI for revising/correcting same.

Trade Facilitation and Studies of Logistics Flows: More often than not, the conduit for logistics is made possible only after trade links have been established. With increasing FTAs being signed between governments, areas for research may include the influence of trade facilitation on logistics flows. The analyses for such studies would either be from a game theoretic approach, empirical (as in primary and archival surveys), or even policy perspectives.

Innovative Models in Supply Chain Management Services: There has been a number of thought breaking ideas in the realm of service innovation. Among the current suite of innovation practices adopted and in vogue by industry include those of supply chain consulting, BPO, BPM, etc. With the introduction of innovation into the logistics industry, there is the need for studies in the innovation of current logistics services offerings.

Mergers and Acquisitions in LSPs:  The marketplace has witnessed a wave of consolidation. However, there are also opposing views which claim that about 80 odd percent of mergers do not meet up to expectations of overwhelming synergy in the combined business entity. In the logistics sector, the same scenario is being re-enacted. Hence, research areas may focus on the study of value of M&A for LSPs to provide explanatory models to help regional LSPs operating in Asia identify industry opportunities in the mergers and acquisitions landscape.

Environmental Concerns in Supply Chain Industry: The global supply chain needs to develop and adopt environmentally sustainable technology and practice, in order to balance environmental impacts with quality, cost and service requirements. Research may develop appropriate tools to measure and manage supply carbon footprint at process and industry levels, incorporating cost and operational considerations; or examine the practices in more eco friendly countries and customer organizations, and study how they can be replicated in Asia economies, and how such eco friendly costs can be allocated to supply chain constituents.