Research Seminar FM


Course Objective

The objective of this course is to conduct an academic research project
in groups of three students.
After completion of the course the student:
- is able to critically reflect on academic research (Academic Skills).
- can formulate precise research questions and hypotheses in a specific
field based on the academic literature (Academic Skills).
- can gather empirical data from financial databases, and implement the
appropriate methodology using the statistical software package STATA
(Academic Skills).
- can identify the relevant academic literature for their area of
research and critically evaluate it (Academic Skills).
- can summarize data, analyse models, interpret estimation results
(Academic Skills).
- can report the results of his/her analysis clearly according to
academic standards (Academic Skills).
- will be encouraged to gather information from various sources,
including from practitioners in the industry (Bridging Theory and
- is able to cooperate in a team to increase team output on a research
project under time pressure (Professional Social Skills).
- can clearly communicate their research set-up and findings, both
orally and in writing (Professional Social Skills).
- can carefully plan a demanding project on a tight time-line
- can assess and discuss other’s and his/her own findings (Academic

Course Content

Students must conduct an academic research project, which includes all
the steps of research (literature review, research question definition,
data gathering, data analyses, reporting (presentations and in
Before the end of Period 2, students will be requested to form groups
and make a choice from a provided list of topics. This will be
communicated via Canvas and VU-email. The projects will cover various
areas in financial management, financial markets, corporate finance and
financial accounting. Starting references from the relevant academic
literature will be provided, but students should actively look for
additional relevant literature as well. Between the end of Period 2 and
the beginning of this course in January (period 3), students will
prepare an initial set-up for their project and carry out a preliminary
literature review on their subject. They will present this set-up to the
other students in class during the start of period 3. The actual
research can then go ahead at full speed during the actual four weeks of
period 3. During this initial preparation period, as well as during
period 3, individual meetings with the lecturer can be organized. During
period 3, each group will be required to:
- make a concise initial, kick-off presentation
- make a final presentation to all other groups
- write up a research paper (usually around 40 pages), written as a
scientific paper, presenting their research, which includes the
literature overview and the empirical findings. Writing style and layout
should follow those of one of the major academic Finance journals
(Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial
Students are encouraged to strengthen their applied research outcomes by
input from practitioners from the financial industry.

Teaching Methods

Form of tuition includes;
- Independent group work on research paper
- Individual meetings of groups with supervisor
- 2 plenary sessions with student presentations (mandatory - 6 hrs)

Method of Assessment

The final grade consists of two components:
- a joint grade per group for the final draft of your paper (75%);
- an individual grade for presentation (25%); the presentation grade
covers your individual presentation as well as your contribution to
plenary discussions.


Students must find academic papers themselves.

Recommended background knowledge

Financial Data Decision Analysis.

General Information

Course Code E_BA_RSFIMA
Credits 6 EC
Period P3
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator dr. G. Tumer Alkan
Examiner dr. G. Tumer Alkan
Teaching Staff dr. A. Opschoor
prof. dr. M.J. van den Assem

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture, Study Group
Target audiences

This course is also available as: