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 Student in Finance? This is the award for you!

Are you currently registered for a Masters degree? 
Enter the QuantAwards competition, keep an eye on our website for details of next year's competition.

2019 QUANTAWARDS WINNERS - Congratulations!

1st PRIZE Winner: 

Sophie Emerson, University College Cork, Ireland

"Investor regime analysis using self-organising maps and hierarchical clustering"

PRIZE: €2,000 + CFA Program Exam registration 

2nd PRIZE Winner: 

Ruairí Kennedy, University College Cork, Ireland 

"Dynamic regime-based asset allocation using international equity flow data"

PRIZE: €1,000 + CFA Program Exam registration 

3rd PRIZE Winners: (Joint 3rd Prize)

Robert Sketch, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland

"A deep learning approach to predicting UK stock returns"


David Luke O'Shea, University College Cork, Ireland

"Using artificial neural networks to predict returns one period ahead with market flow data"

PRIZE: €500 + ​CFA Program Exam registration

The 2019 QuantAwards were the 9th edition of QuantAwards, and the 5th European edition with the participation of CFA Society France, CFA Society Ireland and CFA Society Netherlands.

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 Schedule 2020

  • ​Registration deadline:  tba
  • Final dissertation must be submitted by: tba
  • Results will be announced end of Mid Oct
  • Award Ceremony will take place in January 2021


  • ​Dissertations should focus on a portfolio management issue.  The subject covered must include a strong practical element that has relevance to finance practitioners as well as academics
  • Marking criteria are: Presentation, Accuracy and Completeness, Applicability and Relevance, and Innovation.
  • Submissions must be between 5 and 7 pages and be written in English
  • The dissertation can be accompanied by appendices that the candidate considers appropriate
  • Entry is free​

 In partnership with


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 Global Sponsor



 Useful Links

Rules and Guidelines ​​​






"The awards provide a platform for students to develop and combine quantitative, technical and theoretical skills to solve a practical problem. Students gain an understanding of the relevance of their academic research to industry practice. The skills developed working on the project provide an entry point to a career in finance, where quantitative skills are highly sought after."



Don’t try to summarize an entire thesis in five pages.

Understand what is important and focus on that.

Don’t overload the report with results.

Put the research in context – why is it useful?

It’s not just about the quant. Language, readability and format count. If you can’t explain to the judges what you have done, then they can’t award a high mark

John O'Brien, Quantitative Investment Expert, Lecturer in Finance, Director MSc Finance, Cork University Business School

University College Cork. Winner of the University Prize, 2019

"The CFA quant awards are a fantastic experience that motivates high calibre students to engage in contemporary quantitative research in finance.  The pay-off is four-fold 
  1. Understanding the practical reality of apply esoteric finance theory to noisy real-world data.
  2. Supercharging your CV and employability
  3. Enhancing your chances of a high-quality masters qualification.
  4. Engaging with industry professionals who can boost career prospects.
I have been lucky enough to supervise two winners in the past two years and would my tips for a future contestant would be:
  • Focus on the latest empirical techniques, but ensure you understand the methods and their limitations.
  • Embed any empirical design in solid theoretical foundations to provide meaningful industry insights. 
  • Pick a topic you have a passion for and would like a future career in."
Barry Quinn, Lecturer in Finance and Director MSc Quantitative Finance, Queens University Belfast
Winner of the University Prize, 2018

"The CFA Quant Awards were a great opportunity to distill down the practical aspects of my masters' thesis and focus on the main results. I found that this was a great help when discussing my research during job interviews.

Winning a prize in the Quant Awards was a great confidence boost for me as I finished my thesis, as it was great positive feedback on the work I was submitting. Similarly, being able to say that I had received an award from CFA Society Ireland was a great help as I entered a career in quantitative finance, as the CFA name has such high recognition within the industry.

Overall I enjoyed my experience with the Quant Awards and would recommend anyone thinking of entering the competition to do so. Aside from winning prizes, having to distill the key practical insights of your research into a short report is a good challenge to undertake"

Ruairi O'Cinneide, Prizewinner, CFA Quant Awards 2019