Research Challenge


CFA Institute Research Challenge

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual global competition that connects university students with investment professionals from within the CFA Society® network. The competition provides students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis and ethics and tests participants' analytical, valuation, reporting writing, and presentation skills.

Members of our society, along with a faculty advisor and an industry mentor, work with teams of students to value a stock, write a research report, and present their recommendations. Teams then compete with peers from other schools at local-level competitions organized and judged by CFA Society members and volunteers. The winning university team(s) from each local competition then advances to see who will become the sub-regional, regional, and global champions. 

Learn more and read FAQs See the schedule and get involved

CFA Institute Research Challenge hosted by CFA Society Minnesota

The CFA Institute Research Challenge is an annual, global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis. Students work in teams to research and analyze a publicly-traded company and then write a research report on their assigned company with a buy, sell, or hold recommendation. 

Each Research Challenge season leverages the efforts of over 150+ CFA member societies, 3,500+ member volunteers, and more than 5,000 students from over 1,000 universities.

The Challenge gathers students, investment industry professionals, publicly traded companies, and corporate sponsors together locally, regionally, and globally for a real-world competition. Additionally, all participants are introduced to and held to the standards of the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.


2023-2024 Participating Universities:

  • Bethel University
  • College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University
  • Concordia College
  • North Dakota State University
  • South Dakota State University
  • St Cloud State University
  • University of MN Duluth
  • University of MN Twin Cities
  • University of North Dakota


2023-2024 Subject Company: Polaris (PII)

Past CFA Society MN Subject Companies & Winners

2010/2011 – Donaldson (University of Minnesota)

2011/2012 – Lawson Software, Inc. (University of Minnesota)

2012/2013 – Polaris Industries, Inc. (University of Minnesota)

2013/2014 – Stratasys Ltd. (University of Minnesota)

2014/2015 – Graco (UMD)

2015/2016 – MTS Systems (NDSU)

2016/2017 – Vascular Solutions (UMD)

2017/2018 – Fastenal (UMD)

2018/2019 – Bio-Techne (UMD)

2019/2020 – Tennant Company (NDSU)

2020/2021 – Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (UMD)

2021/2022 – Ecolab (UMD)

2022/2023 – General Mills (UMD)

2023/2024 – Polaris Industries, Inc. (UMD)

Schedule of Events

University Teams Form

9/18/2023, 10:00 AM
Kick-off Meeting

Subject Company Analyst Day

Written Reports Due

Advancing Teams Announced

February 22, 2024 at MacNamara Alumni Center
Local Finals

March 2024
Teams Submit Sub-Regional Presentations

April 2024
Regional Semi-Finals

May 2024
Regional & Global Finals (Warsaw, Poland)

2024 Official Rules

Learn more at CFA Institute

Resources & Examples


To view videos of past local presentation rounds, view our YouTube channel.










2024 Research Challenge Local Finals Champions

University of Minnesota - Duluth, Team 1

​Thank you to our 2023-2024 Local Level Sponsors


Are you interested in becoming a Research Challenge Sponsor?

Contact Us.

Questions + Volunteer Opportunities

Industry Mentor: hands-on work with university students

Report Grader: review and grade student research reports

Presentation Judge: listen to and critique student stock recommendations

Contact Us