Research support programme

We work with universities and students on research projects

What is our Research Support Programme?

Our research underpins everything we do, from drawing up policies to designing banknotes. 

We have launched our annual Research Support Programme this academic year to encourage greater collaboration with universities, and provide students with a chance to experience research at the UK’s central bank. The programme offers research projects for MSc dissertations, with students supported by our staff and academic supervisors.  

How the programme works

Each year we identify key research themes. Our current priorities include digital currencies, machine learning and payment systems. You’ll see the full list of our current research priorities further down the page. 

Universities interested in participating in the programme should contact us to express their interest, specifying the research themes (from our list) that interest them. More details about how to participate are available down the page.

How to apply and the programme calendar

The annual Research Support Programme has four stages.

  • November - December: 
    Universities register for the programme. They tell us which of our research priorities they want to work on. For this year’s programme, universities should email us at ResearchSupportProgramme@bankofengland.co.uk by 31 December to register.
  • December – January:
    We contact universities with suggested topics for MSc dissertations. We specify the skills required for each project. For example, we might say that coding skills are necessary for a project.
  • January – February:
    Universities share details of the research projects with students. Each university selects one student per topic and sends us profiles of these students and their work. For each topic, we review all student profiles and select one student to work on each project. We tell universities whether their students have been selected for the programme, or not. 
  • June – September:
    We work with students, alongside their academic supervisors, to shape their research project. We provide up to seven hours of support on each project.

Students submit their final dissertations in September. Each year, we may ask some of the students  who participated in the programme to present their work at a workshop. This usually happens in early September at our building in London.

This year’s research priorities 2020-2021

Each year we select key research themes. In 2020-2021, our research will focus on:

  • AI and digital economy
  • Asset price crash risk
  • Automation landscape
  • Climate change
  • Contagion mechanisms involving non-banks
  • Credit risk
  • Culture in remote working environment
  • Feedback and amplification mechanisms within the banking sector
  • Financial regulation and bank behaviour
  • Fintech, Digital currencies and future of payments
  • Forecasting world activity using financial variables
  • Housing and house prices
  • Impact of the MPC’s policy toolkit and the role of monetary and financial conditions
  • Investor sentiment
  • Market-based financing conditions  
  • Organisations’ digital twins
  • Planning in non-profit organisations
  • Robotic process automation
  • Stress testing
  • Systemic risk
This page was last updated 19 October 2020

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