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

What is it?

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 analytic, valuation, report writing, and presentation skills. They gain real-world experience as they assume the role of a research analys

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.

The Research Challenge provides all participants – both individuals and organizations – with incredible opportunities to get involved.

  • Students: Find out if your university participates by asking your professor, our Society, or checking the participating universities list.

  • Universities: Form your team and give students the opportunity to compete against their peers and gain real-world experience.

  • Employers: Become a judge, mentor, grader, speaker, or corporate sponsor.

The 2023 Research Challenge Subject Company: Houlihan Lokey

  • Houlihan Lokey (NYSE: HLI): Established in 1972, Houlihan Lokey is a leading global independent investment bank with expertise in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, financial restructurings and financial and valuation advisory. With offices the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region, the Company serves a diverse set of clients including corporations, financial sponsors and government agencies worldwide. Houlihan Lokey’s financial professionals deliver meaningful and differentiated advice to clients on strategy and financial decisions employing a rigorous analytical approach coupled with deep product and industry expertise. The Company serves clients in three primary business practices: 1) Corporate Finance, encompassing M&A and capital markets advisory, 2) Financial Restructuring: both out-of-court and in formal bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings, and 3) Financial and Valuation Advisory, including financial opinions and a variety of valuation and financial consulting services.

    Fulltime Employees: 2,200+
    CEO: Scott L. Beiser
    CFO: J. Lindsey Alley

Learn more about the Research Challenge with our 2023 Kickoff Documentation

Click here to download the official rules for the 2023 season.

Research Challenge Events

​September 30, 2022 ​Kick-off
​October 14, 2022 ​Register with CFA Institute
​November 4, 2022 ​Company Presentation
​Voluntary  ​1st draft Due to Mentor
​January 27, 2023  ​Final Written Report Due
​Interim ​Report Grading
​February 17th, 2023 ​Local Final Presentations 

Sub-Regional Dates

​Sub-Regional Kickoff Meetings ​7 March 2023
​Local Champions Recieve Sub-Regional Instructions ​7 March 2023
​Teams Submit Sub-Regional Presentations ​19 March 2023 (by 3pm ET)
​Sub-Regional Announcements ​5 April 2023

Regional and Global Final Dates
​EMEA Semifinals ​13 April 2023, 3pm CEST (9am ET)
​Americas Semifinals ​12 April 2023, 2pm ET
​Asia Pacific Semifinals ​14 April 2023, 11am HKT (11pm ET - Thursday)
​Regional Finals* ​27-28 April 2023 (virtually) or 22 May 2023 (in-person) Format will be confirmed at a later date.
​Global Final ​22 May 2023
Dates and times are subject to change at the discretion of CFA Institute. When possible, advanced notice will be provided.
To join the Research Challenge or for more information, contact us at: