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Cambridge Endowment for Research in Finance (CERF)


CERF invites applications from recently graduated students at the University of Cambridge who are seeking funding for a concentrated research project for up to 8 months in any area of finance.


Short term CERF Researcher/Associate

The Rationale

The Short term CERF Researchers Scheme is a programme designed to support newly graduated PhD scholars at the University of Cambridge in all aspects of finance, financial institutions and financial markets, and their relationship with economic behaviour and performance. The scheme will give newly qualified scholars the opportunity to carry out a new concentrated piece of research or to bring an existing piece of research to the publication stage, as they prepare for the job market.

CERF grants support research and study into all aspects of finance, financial institutions, and financial markets, and their relationship with the performance of the economy.

The scheme offers a productive bridge between the submission of the PhD dissertation and the start of a job.

There is no specific application deadline as the scheme is on-going and open for applications at any time. The scheme may be unavailable depending on current appointments with related funds.

Eligibility Criteria

The scheme is designed to support newly graduated PhDs at the University of Cambridge in any area of finance, before they secure other employment. The applicants must demonstrate they meet the following criteria:

  • I am awaiting a viva or have recently been awarded (within the last 8 months) a doctoral degree at the University of Cambridge.
  • The applicant has visa eligibility from the UK Border Agency for the entire period of their proposed postdoctoral research (the scheme is not able to sponsor visa applications)
  • The applicant has identified, contacted and secured the support of mentor of the project. The mentor must hold a faculty or college position at any academic level.
  • The applicant can show that a particular area of finance is central to the research project.
  • The applicant must have prior training in Finance or closely related subject.

Duration of Award

The scheme will support researchers to carry out their proposed research for a minimum of one month and a maximum of eight.

Application Process

Applicants must have submitted the PhD dissertation. Applicants must have the support from a staff member of the University of Cambridge or one of its colleges.  Applicants must prepare a research proposal, and complete an application form. Applications will be processed on a continuous basis. We hope to turn around applications within a few weeks, depending on referee schedules.

The role of the mentor

No application can be processed without support from a mentor. A mentor will hold a faculty or college post at any level at the University of Cambridge. The mentor will nominate and provide support and guidance to the Postdoctoral Scholar for the duration of the project. We expect the mentor to clearly state their input into any final outputs (for example the creation of data sets, papers or new areas of research). Finally the mentor will commit to providing a brief report to the CERF Board Managers at the end of the support period.

Implementation of the Scheme

Successful applicants will be paid by the University Payment System (UPS) and paid on a monthly basis. While a member of the CERF scheme, they will be allocated office space (subject to availability), and fully integrated into the activities of CERF. UPS will provide the necessary employment infrastructure to support the candidates.

We cannot offer visa sponsorship as part of the scheme and therefore can only select candidates who propose the research in the time period given by the UK Border Agency.

Expectations of the scheme

Successful candidates will be expected to participate in ongoing CERF activities including attending the Cambridge Finance Seminar series and participate in conferences or events organised by CERF.


Application forms are available here