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 2021-2022

Each year we select key research themes. In 2021-2022, our research will focus on:

  • Assessing the importance of non-bank credit supply to the real economy
  • Climate change
  • Credit risk
  • Dynamics in banks’ cost of equity and return on equity
  • Financial regulation and bank behaviour
  • Financial stability risks from crypto currency and digital money 
  • Forecasting the economy post Covid/Brexit
  • Housing and house prices
  • Indicators of asset over/under-valuation and asset bubbles
  • Interactions between monetary and macroprudential policies
  • International comparison of COVID era lending facilities
  • Investment bank resilience and financial conditions 
  • Machine learning (specifically in the field of error/outlier detection).
  • Measuring and understanding the cyclicality of securities investment by non-banks  
  • Measuring and understanding the drivers of market liquidity
  • Risks of disintermediation and competition from challenger banks / non-banks
  • Systemic risk, contagion and stress testing
  • The monetary policy toolkit
  • The systemic impact of clustered failures of small banks 
This page was last updated 28 October 2021

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