CFA Institute Research Challenge
May 03, 2023

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis and professional ethics. Each student will be tested on their analytical, valuation, report writing, and presentation skills. They gain real-world experience as they assume the role of a research analyst.

In the first eight years of this annual competition, 15,000+ students from more than 1,000 universities around the world participated with the help of thousands of dedicated volunteers.

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is a competition between university-sponsored teams that research a designated publicly traded company, prepare a written report on that selected company, and then present their findings to a panel of judges. The competition has three levels: local, regional, and global. Winners at the local level advance to compete against teams within their geographic region at the regional level. Winning teams at the regional level advance to compete at the global level. One team is designated the ultimate winning team, or champion, at the global level.

University teams begin their activities in the fall, with local competitions occurring throughout the world at various times early in the calendar year. Sub-regional, regional competitions and the global final are held in March and April.

For the 2021 competition year, all CFA Institute hosted Research Challenge events will be held virtually.
How it works
Local level competitions are organized and judged by CFA Institute society members and volunteers who function as local hosts.
The winning university team from each local competition advances to one of the three regional competitions.

The regional and global competitions are hosted by CFA Institute in the Americas; the Asia Pacific; and the Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions. The winning teams from each regional competition advance to the Global Final, where one team emerges as the global champion.

Up to two teams may represent a University. Each university team may consist of a combination of undergraduate and graduate students. A team must consist of no fewer than three and no more than five members.

Judging Criteria
- Financial Analysis: How thorough was their analysis of the industry, company, and competitors?
- Valuation: Were the valuation methodologies appropriate and detailed?
- Presentation: How effective / convincing was their presentation? Was it logical and did the facts support the recommendation?
- Question & Answer: Were they able to answer the questions effectively and with confidence?
- Team Involvement: Team involvement in the presentation / questions and answers
- Materials: Quality of the slides