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Cambridge Endowment for Research in Finance (CERF)


CERF Predoc Scheme

The Cambridge Endowment for Research in Finance (CERF) is delighted to advertise a scheme to support newly graduated researchers in the area of Finance at the University of Cambridge.

The temporary research worker scheme is designed to help Cambridge graduates bridge time between finishing the master's degree and the start of a PhD at the University of Cambridge. The scheme will enable them to conduct a concentrated piece of research in a finance area of their choice.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the CERF Scheme, applicants have to meet all of the following criteria.

  • Must have completed a master's degree at the University of Cambridge within the last calendar year. The candidate must have obtained a grade on the master's degree that meets the hurdle for entry into a PhD programme at the University of Cambridge that can support research in finance.
  • The candidate must have a bachelors or a master's degree in an area relevant to finance. The research proposal can be in any area of Finance.
  • Already has visa clearance to carry out the proposed research for the complete duration of the project.
  • Has obtained a mentor for the period of study.
  • Can realistically complete a project in the time proposed.

Projects can be supported for up to eight months.

The scheme is open to candidates with a degree from the University of Cambridge only. Applicants should only apply if they can propose a project in the timeframe that is supported by the UK Border Agency visa requirements.



Research Proposal

We welcome applications from University of Cambridge graduates to:

  • Carry out new research
  • Carry out a pilot project in a specific area of Finance


Applicants are invited to complete the application form entitled “Short term CERF Research Assistant (Pre-doc scheme)”, which requires you to submit a research proposal outlining the following:

(a) title of the project

(b) research question(s) to be addressed,

(c) any work which has led up to the project, or prior expertise in the area

(d) plan of research,

(e) methodology to be used,

 (g) brief timetable and milestones,

(h) sources to be consulted


Selected applicants will then be invited to submit a short biography, photograph for the CERF Website and 100 words about their project suitable for the general public to read.

Remuneration & Payment

Selected applicants will be employed on a Grade 5.

Selected applicants will be paid via the University Payment System and will be subject to income tax and national insurance contributions. Holiday pay will be accrued in the hourly salary rate.

Download CERF Pre-doc Application Form (Cambridge University members only)



Previous Pre-Docs:

Charlie Woodman, Cambridge Judge Business School, 2020/21

Title of research: Empirical Asset Pricing and Machine Learning

To research the existing literature relating to machine learning in the context of empirical asset pricing and stock price predictability. Specifically, I am interested in the application of computational methods to understand the cross section and time-series of asset returns, and the formation and collapse of so called “bubbles,” which are best described as periods of explosiveness in asset prices. The motivation for this project is to develop a research proposal for admission to the PhD in Finance in October 2021.



Andreas Charisiadis, Cambridge Judge Business School 2021/22

Finance, Climate Change, and Optimal Contracting

This project studies the interplay between corporate organizational structure and financial outcomes, and explores the optimal design of decision-making processes as well as how intra-firm competition interacts with capital budgeting choices. In this context, the question of how different institutional frameworks necessitate different types of compensation schedules to optimally align employee incentives with shareholder value is analyzed.
The project also explores how financial markets and corporate finance are affected by climate change. In particular, I aim to study the role that existing incentive structures play in contributing to climate change as well as evaluate the design of mitigation mechanisms, such as tradable financial assets intended to internalize the external costs of environmentally harmful activities. Within this framework, key considerations surround the structuring and pricing of such financial assets.