The Oxford-Man Institute of Quantitative Finance (OMI) which aims to do academically outstanding research that addresses many of the challenges facing the finance sector. We do this by developing new and existing tools and methodologies that can give deeper insight into financial markets and their regulation: how they behave, their stability, how to extract value data at scale and how markets could be made to work better.
We are in the midst of an information revolution, where advances in science and technology, as well as the day-to-day operation of successful organisations and businesses, are increasingly reliant on the analyses of data. Driving these advances is a deluge of data, which is outstripping the increase in computational power available to process it. Research in data science is already transforming our ability to work with large amounts of complex financial information. Over the next few years these trends will revolutionise how we think about data, how we process and visualise it, and how we put it to use. The OMI aims to be at the crest of this wave, pushing back the boundaries of what can be achieved with financial data.
We achieve this through a unique combination of academic innovation and external engagement, attracting distinguished experts and brilliant young researchers to an environment that stimulates collaboration and communication. Students on the pathway will retain their links with their home departments, but will also have a dedicated desk at OMI with access to its excellent computing infrastructure, extensive data catalogue and have access to the computational tools and methodologies available. In addition we run a rich programme of seminars and workshops, specialist topic reading groups, and have regular interactions with practitioners and industry collaborators. Students can also access the breadth of OMI’s research activity via the OMI website and intranet, which includes member profiles, events and an extensive database of working and published papers.
The OMI hosts doctoral (+2, +3 and +4) students from a wide range of departments, including from the EPSRC CDTs at Oxford (Engineering, Mathematics and, Statistics) and fosters their independent research by providing them with additional methodological, quantitative and specialist research skills.
ESRC-funded students on this pathway will remain registered for doctorates in their 'home' departments and also become members of OMI. Students from departments in MPLS Division (Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences) e.g. Engineering, may also be admitted to a relevant MPLS CDT; this means they would follow the CDT's first-year training provision in parallel to their OMI/Pathway membership. All students will undertake a skills review to assess their particular training needs.
The OMI training pathway is unique in that many of the research projects emerge from dialogue between OMI and its industry collaborators, identifying current challenges that practitioners and financial regulators face. These challenges are then explored with academics across the University, to see how they can be turned into viable research themes or into specific projects.
Where projects have relevant Social Science outputs and ESRC funding is appropriate, students with an interest in these areas may be recruited for the Pathway. Students thus work on research projects that are relevant to real world challenges and are actively guided by supervisors who have been engaged in shaping the project and its methods.
All students on the pathway have an opportunity to develop their knowledge exchange skills through OMI’s seminar programme. These are attended by colleagues from other disciplines and as well as OMI’s co-located industry practitioners. Where students are working on specific collaborative industry projects, they will contribute to research project meetings between their supervisors and industry. OMI's industry collaborators provide input and advice on practical applications or methodologies, and how academics might “benchmark” their research.
The collaboration with the Man Group (one of the world’s largest independent alternative investment managers) and the co-location of their commercial Man Research Laboratory alongside the OMI, encourages day-to-day interactions, and allows practitioners and academics from a wide spectrum of disciplines to collaborate and learn from each other.