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

Local Research Challenge

The University of Pittsburgh won the CFA Society Pittsburgh 2023/2024 local Investment Research Challenge (IRC). They will now advance to the semi-regional competition.

Student team members Anna Vincent, Noah Bushlow, Lane Miller, and Dhanumjaya Reddy Somasani were joined by faculty advisor Dr. Akin Sayrak and industry mentor Steve Garbon.

Penn State University Park placed second while West Virginia University took third. Also competing were Grove City College, Robert Morris University, and Duquesne University. The 2023/2024 local IRC competition saw team count double from the prior year, which led to an almost-full room at the Rivers Club, where students presented their research in late February. Student teams competed over the course of six months by researching subject company Koppers, Inc., learning about the business from Quynh McGuire (IR), Monica Snyder (IR), and Tracie McCormick (Treasurer), and finally writing a comprehensive investment report accompanied by a live presentation. Three ‘Buy’ recommendations, two ‘Hold’ recommendation, and one ‘Sell’ rating were issued by the six teams on Koppers’ stock.

Friends of the IRC include: 

Faculty advisors: Dr. Frank DeGeorge, Dr. Christoph Hinkelmann, Dr. Phil Baird, Dr. Owen Zhang, and Dr. Riza Emekter

Industry mentor volunteers: Cale Grove, Nick Conti, Shawna Aufman, Bill Angino, and Joe Artuso

Report grader volunteers: Rob Behling, Corey Mergenthal, and Nick Findley

Presentation judge volunteers: Chris Sidoni, Jason Pettner, and Geoffrey Ensby

If you’d like to participate as a volunteer next year, please let incoming local IRC host Jason Pettner know. If you’re a student-level member of CFASP or a faculty member of a nearby university and would like to get your school involved, contact Jason for more information. Best of luck at sub-regionals, University of Pittsburgh!

~Eric Fencil (2023-2024 Local IRC host)

Logo for the 2023-2024 IRC subject company

University of Pittsburgh won the CFA Society Pittsburgh 2023/2024 local Investment Research Challenge