SOA Hickman Scholar Program

Purpose

The Society of Actuaries James C. HickmanScholar program was established to increase the number of academicactuaries who hold a PhD and an actuarial designation, and whointend to pursue academic careers in the United States or Canada.The program is designed to provide stipends to doctoral studentswho will, through their studies, address research and educationneeds of the profession, including both the theoretical andpractical aspects.

The program was named to honor James C. Hickman (deceased), FSA, MAAA, ACAS, and former deanof the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business. During a40-year academic career Hickman made numerous contributions toteaching, research and scholarship, including co-authorship of theActuarial Mathematics textbook. He also served the profession,including as a member of the SOA Board of Governors and trustee ofthe Actuarial Foundation.

Eligibility

Individuals who meet the following requirementsmay apply:

  • Enrolled fulltime, have recently been admitted or are currentlyapplying to a qualifying doctoral program in the United States orCanada.
    • A qualifying doctoral program is one in actuarial science or afield related to actuarial science (e.g. business, demography,economics, financial economics, insurance, mathematics, riskmanagement, statistics).
    • Applicants may apply at the same time they are applying for adoctoral program; if selected these applicants will be awarded thestipend conditional upon enrollment in a qualifying doctoralprogram.
  • Hold a Fellowship-level actuarial credential or are pursuingAssociateship or Fellowship membership of an accrediting actuarialorganization (i.e. CAS, CIA, FA, IA, IAA, SOA).
    • Applicants who are already Associate members (including thoseawarded the CERA designation) will be expected to pursue aFellowship credential.
  • All applicants must have at least two actuarial examspassed.

Application Process

Applicants must submit an application andsupporting documentation that includes the following:

  • Applicants currently applying to doctoral programs must providethe names of the schools/programs to which they have applied, andthe intended field of study in each school/program. (If a stipendis awarded, it will be conditional on enrollment in the specifiedprogram and for the field of study proposed in theapplication.)
  • Applicants already enrolled in a doctoral program will indicatehow many years they have been studying, and approximately how manymore years they believe they need to complete their doctorate. Theywill also provide a statement from their supervisor or programdirector attesting to progress in their doctoral program.
  • Applicant must submit a Statement of Interest. This may be thesame statement submitted for the doctoral program, but additionallanguage should be added for this application to clearly explaintheir goals regarding teaching, research and contributions to theactuarial profession.

Selection

An SOA Hickman Scholar is named on the basis ofindividual merit. Consideration will be given to:

  • Applicant's doctoral program status. Current doctoral studentsmay apply; however, preference will be given to students enteringor in the first year of a doctoral program.
  • Applicant's attainment of, or progress toward, an actuarialcredential.
  • Applicant's Statement of Interest. A goal of the program is toprovide stipends to those individuals who will address research andeducation needs of the profession, including both the theoreticaland practical aspects. Statements of Interest will be evaluated todetermine level of commitment to the profession.
  • Likelihood that applicant will seek employment with a U.S. orCanadian university. While U.S. or Canadian citizenship is notexpressly required, the applicant will attest to citizenship statuson the application. An applicant's citizenship status may be usedto evaluate the likelihood that the applicant will pursue anacademic career in the United States or Canada.

Amount of Stipend

Each stipend is generally $20,000 per academicyear, renewable up to four times as set forth below. The stipendmay be used at the discretion of the doctoral student for expensesthat will aid in the completion of the PhD and the actuarialcredential if not yet attained.

Applicants should be aware that stipend fundsare provided for qualified expenses (tuition, books, fees, etc.).Qualified expenses do not include room and board. Stipend funds notused for qualified expenses may be taxable. Please consult your taxadvisor if you have any questions.

Stipends are awarded at the sole discretion ofthe SOA and all decisions are final. Failure to meet eligibilityrequirements on a continuing basis may subject recipients to lossof stipend.

Renewals

An SOA Hickman Scholar program's doctoralstipend is awarded to a doctoral student just entering a doctoralprogram will be renewable up to four times, subject to successfulprogress on both the doctorate and actuarial credential, continuingsatisfaction of any other SOA Hickman Scholar criteria set forth bythe SOA, and the availability of adequate funding.

  • The recipient may request suspension of the stipend forpersonal reasons (e.g. leave of absence from doctoral studies forchildbirth).
  • The renewal period for an applicant already in a doctoralprogram would be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Continued participation in the SOA HickmanScholar program is not guaranteed.

Renewal Process

SOA Hickman Scholars seeking a renewal of theirstipend are required to submit a renewal application that includesthe following:

  • For non-Fellows, successful progress on actuarial exams must beshown (e.g. scores of 4 or better on exams and completion ofmodules). Non-Fellows must also provide a statement as to howcontinued progress in pursuit of fellowship will be made.
  • A statement from applicant's Supervisor or Program Directormust be provided attesting to progress in his/her doctoralstudies.

Application Deadlines

The completed application (initial or renewal)and required documentation must be received at the SOA no laterthan February 15, 2011. Additional details regarding the requireddocumentation can be found on the application. Stipend recipientswill be announced April 15, 2011. Recipients must notify the SOA ofacceptance of the stipend by May 15, 2011.

  • Antonia Coffelt
  • Academic Administrator
  • Society of Actuaries
  • 475 N. Martingale Road, Suite 600
  • Schaumburg, IL 60173-2226 U.S.A.
  • ph: 847.706.3509
  • f: 847.273.8605
  • e-mail: acoffelt@soa.org
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  • 2011-12 Application