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Institute Research Challenge
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CFA Institute Research Challenge 

The CFA Institute Research Challenge (IRC) is an annual global competition that provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis. Students who participate in the Challenge gain real-world experience as they assume the role of a research analyst and are tested on their ability to value a stock, write an initiation-of-coverage report, and present their recommendations in-person to a panel of senior industry professionals. Students work in teams with other students (usually 3 to 5 people), representing their university in the global competition, to research and analyze a publicly traded stock, sometimes even meeting face-to-face with company management.

This IRC is coordinated at the local level by CFA societies, like CFA Society San Francisco. CFA Society San Francisco sponsors the winning team of the Northern California Regional Challenge to travel and compete at the Research Challenge Americas Regional.

Get Involved

This event is not only open to students; there are many ways that our members can help make each year’s IRC cycle a success. We need mentors for each IRC group at local universities and college campuses. We also offer the opportunity to judge IRC reports before the challenge date and to judge the presentations on the challenge date in late Winter.

Please contact David Kaczorowski ( to participate as a student, finance club, mentor, or volunteer.

2020 Northern California
CFA Institute Research Challenge Winners

Cal Poly State University - Team Envision

(Pictured from left to right: Michael Lefkowitz, Elena Perry, Professor Cyrus Ramezani, Youssef Eissa, Alex Lustig and Jackson Yate)

The 2020 CFA Institute Research Challenge was held on Saturday, February 29, 2020 at St. Mary’s College of California. Eleven teams from ten Northern California & Nevada universities competed in the challenge. Teams of between three and five students wrote equity research reports on Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) and presented their recommendations to a panel of judges.

Cal Poly State University's Team Envision will compete in the Americas Regional final, to be held in April.

Due to current and potential effects of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak the CFA Institute has decided to cancel all in-person Research Challenge Regionals and Global Final. The annual Research Challenge is an important component of our commitments to professionalism within our industry through talent development, and to our CFA Society® network and markets. In recognition of this importance, CFA Institute will host virtual competitions in lieu of these in-person events.

2020 CFA Institute Research Challenge Timeline


  • IRC Coordinator works with finance clubs across Northern California college & university campuses to recruit teams, mentors, and faculty sponsors

November 14, 2019

  •  Kickoff meeting at University of San Francisco downtown campus, room 155, 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm

December 3, 2019

  • Team sign up deadline (see your team’s faculty advisor)

January 2020

  • Conference call with head of investor relations with subject company

February 15, 2020

  • Written reports due

February 29, 2020

  • IRC presentation day at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, CA
  • Public Portion (In main auditorium at Soda Center):
    • 1:30 PM - Finalist Announced & Final Presentations
    • 2:30 PM - Winners announced & Conclusion

April 20-21, 2020

  • Winning team presents at the Americas Regional Challenge

235 Montgomery Street, Suite 725 | San Francisco, CA 94104 | P: 415.814.7900 | E:

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