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Thought leadership: actuarial science research and knowledge hub

Current research activities

The IFoA places the advancement of actuarial science at the heart of its activities by commissioning and funding research that:

  • advances actuarial science as a subject
  • supports industry practitioners
  • helps inform evidence-based public policy development

Cutting edge Actuarial Research Centre (ARC) research projects have produced interesting outputs addressing some of the key challenges in actuarial science.

Find out more on:

Future research activity

Over the next few years the IFoA has identified two additional areas it would like to research:

Behavioural finance

Extensive research has been carried out in behavioural finance – by industry, regulators and academics. However, much of this research has been focused on the behaviour of individuals, rather than how this collective behaviour manifests in institutional behaviour. Through the ARC, the IFoA is seeking to explore the decision-making of institutional investors, in particular insurers and pension schemes, and the biases that may affect their investment decisions. This may include, but not be limited to, emotional, psychological and political biases. 

More on behavioural finance

Economic modelling

Actuarial practitioners have traditionally utilised conventional economic theory to identify the approach to adopt in economic and financial issues. The experience of the 2008 economic and financial crisis challenged conventional economic tools, with other schools of economic thought brought into sharp focus.  In the first instance, a survey of current practice amongst actuarial practitioners has been commissioned, with a view to undertaking a wider research project later.

More on economic modelling

Further reading, videos and audio recordings:

IFoA eLibrary and new 'Actuarial Knowledge Hub'

An in-house resource which can assist with study, research and Lifelong Learning.

The eLibrary is available to members and affiliates registering for Athens access. Once registered, you will have access to an integrated research portal in the form of the Actuarial Knowledge Hub. The Hub brings together several distinct sources of research in actuarial science in one search:

  • the online journals and ebooks available to IFoA members
  • the valuable catalogue of over 20,000 abstracts and references from journals worldwide built up over many decades by library staff
  • the IFoA library catalogue and its 20,000 records of hard copy holdings
  • a complete index of Actuary magazine features
  • the catalogue of rare books collected by the Faculty and Institute since their formation. This is a unique archive of historical books and pamphlets devoted to the history and development of actuarial science
  • thousands of relevant references from research databases across the world

To support Lifelong Learning, remain a breadth of current actuarial work and its impact.

Increase your knowledge and awareness of current topics in these areas:

New event:

Actuarial Research Centre -  Webinar Series     

The Actuarial Research Centre (ARC) annual webinar series is taking place now.  Details of the webinars are available on the ARC webpage.  Recordings of the very successful webinar on “Use of Big Health and Actuarial Data for Understanding Longevity and Morbidity Risk” held on 17 September is available to view now and recordings of the others webinars in the series will follow.  You can view the recording on the IFoA’s on line resources web page for members and the ARC webpage for non-members.


Lifelong Learning and Continuing Professional Development

When this learning is relevant to your work or role and addresses a personal development area, this can also be used to meet your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements. 

Review the CPD Scheme requirements

Lifelong Learners are motivated to never stop learning

Take time to reflect and plan before you begin any new projects

Reflect: check the competencies against your current role and future ambitions

Plan: identify exactly what skills and knowledge you need and how best to acquire them

Do: take courses, read articles, find a mentor, look online, volunteer

Record: write down everything you do, how far it met your objectives, the impact on your work