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The University of Southampton
Centre for Risk Research

Centre Announces New EPSRC Doctoral Studentship (CASE award)

Published: 24 June 2015
New EPSRC Doctoral Studentship

Do you want a prestigious work opportunity with a top finance firm in the City of London? Do you want to obtain a PhD degree in 3 years with fully paid tuition fees and a generous annual stipend? If so, then our EPSRC Doctorial Studentship (CASE award) in "Risk Factor Model Portfolios for Retail Investors" may be ideal for you.


The project is hosted by Centre for Risk Research, Southampton Business School. Our world-leading academics combine rigour with relevance, solving real-world problems affecting businesses, organisations and governments in today’s economy and society The aim of the EPSRC CASE (Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council: Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering) conversion awards is to provide PhD students with a first-rate, challenging research training experience, within the context of a mutually beneficial research collaboration between academic and partner organisations e.g. industry and policy making bodies. CASE provides outstanding students access to training, facilities and expertise not available in an academic setting alone. Students have an opportunity to develop a range of valuable skills and significantly enhance their future employability; many will become research leaders of the future.



Project Description

The aims of the project are to: (i) employ a state-of-the-art multi-factor risk model to assess risk profiles of financial assets and mutual funds; (ii) develop an innovative technique for identifying the least-cost means of creating asset portfolios which match investors’ risk –appetite and (iii) create a novel optimizer for combining macro-level forecasts for asset classes, geographic regions and investment styles within a risk-controlled framework.


Supervisors and Start Date

Prof. Frank McGroarty, Prof. Johnnie Johnson, Prof. Ming-Chien Sung & Dr. Tiejun Ma

Expected Start Date: 30th September 2015


Funding and Entry Requirements

The award from this PhD studentship will cover three years of fees and generous stipend at the UK rate for students who are eligible.

The normal minimum entrance requirement is:

  • A good Master degree from a leading UK university or equivalent overseas/professional qualification in an appropriate subject or a First Class honours BSc in exceptional cases.

Please refer to the following link for details:


Background/Skills Required

Detailed understanding and knowledge of at least two of the following:

  • Behavioral Finance, Portfolios Optimization, Statistics, Assets Risk Analysis,
  • Mathematical/Statistical analysis, Management of large databases, Statistical packages.


How to Apply

Please submit your application via the following link:

Make it clear on the application form that you are applying for the EPSRC (CASE) studentship and indicate Prof Frank McGroarty as your selected supervisor. Closing date for applications: 21st August 2015.

If you have any questions about the studentship or application process or enquiries about the project itself, please email: Prof. Frank McGroarty ( ), Prof. Johnnie Johnson (, Prof. Ming-Chien Sung (, Dr. Tiejun Ma (



Southampton Business School, University of Southampton

University of Southampton, one of the top research-driven universities in the UK and in the top one per cent of global universities. Results of the REF show that 84% per cent of Southampton’s research activity is considered of internationally excellent or world-leading quality, placing the University once again amidst the top 20 leading research institutions in the country.Southampton has also performed well in specific Units of Assessment in the REF with 75% of research activity at Southampton Business School specifically rated as internationally excellent or of world-leading quality. Business School provides a transformational experience, connecting people and organisations to deliver groundbreaking social and economic impact. Our world-leading academics combine rigour with relevance, solving real-world problems affecting businesses, organisations and governments in today’s economy and society. We bring together experts from a diverse range of fields, from management and leadership, design and digital marketing to healthcare and engineering. The heart of this network is driven by innovation and enterprise.


Centre for Risk Research

The Centre for Risk Research (CRR) is a multi-disciplinary team of 30+academics and research fellows and 50+ PhD students and is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading centres of risk research. CRR’s aim is to encourage a deeper appreciation of the nature of risk, to develop approaches to its analysis and to assist organisations to improve the quality of decision-making in the face of risk and uncertainty. CRR has an international reputation for excellence for work in financial market behaviour and for our multi-disciplinary work in risk analysis, decision making, risk management and risk taking research. As a result, the Centre attracted £3.8M+ in research funds in 2013 from research councils and commercial sponsors. The Centre provides a forum within which ideas are pooled and information is shared through regular workshop sessions. CRR actively engages with industry and commerce and regularly invites representatives of organisations involved in the analysis and management of risk to collaborative seminars and workshops. CRR encourages alumni to work alongside those in the Centre and to share/exchange their successful business experience with post-graduate students. The CRR’s important competitive advantage comes from its distinctive, inter-disciplinary approach to the analysis and management of risk, enabled by the wide spread of disciplines represented in the Centre, including, finance, management science, psychology, statistics, computer science, project management, accounting, organisational behaviour, information systems and reputation management. CRR is the only risk-related research centre that is embedded in a leading Russell group university, which has been established for nearly 20 years, and which offers the combination of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ risk skills for which the CRR has an established reputation.


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