2018 CAE Grants Competition Announcement


The Society of Actuaries (SOA) is pleased to announce the 2018 CAE Grants Competition to support the advancement of knowledge in actuarial science. For 2018, only research grants will be awarded. 

Who May Apply

Attaining Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE) status makes the institution eligible for grants in education and research. Only universities that are Centers of Actuarial Excellence and remain in good standing will be able to compete for grants. These grants will allow universities to make significant investments in their programs, research and the profession.

Note: CAE universities which have received a CAE grant and are still within the contractual time frame of the grant are ineligible to apply for another grant in the same subject area (education or research). However, to be clear, CAE schools can have both an education and a research grant.

Only one research grant application will be accepted for consideration per CAE institution.   While only one application for research will be accepted from each school, each school may submit more than one letter of intent for a research grant for consideration.

Submission Process

This is a two-step process in which interested schools submit a letter of intent for research grant consideration as the first step by outlining project objectives, cost, and benefits to the submitting school and the actuarial profession. Letters of intent will be reviewed by the CAE Grants Committee. For the second step, the CAE Grants Committee invites only those schools in which there is interest in funding the projects to submit an application. Letters of intent involving multiple faculty and student collaborations are encouraged as this is not an individual researcher grant competition.

Selection Criteria

The CAE Grants Committee has established five criteria for evaluating the letters of intent and applications submitted for funding consideration. For each letter or application, a total score will be determined based on the following criteria and scoring weights:

  1. Impact (50% of total score): Reviewers will consider how the proposed research impacts the actuarial profession or addresses a critical gap in research. As impact is a function of both significance and innovation, reviewers will also consider the likelihood that the proposed project will achieve its desired outcome.
  2. Cost-Benefit (20% of total score): Reviewers will examine the amount of funding requested against the desired outcomes and deliverables.
  3. Uniqueness (10% of total score): Reviewers will assess the uniqueness of the proposed research and its likelihood for success.
  4. Viability (10% of the total score): Reviewers will analyze the viability of the research concept and methodology, as well as any previous experience the CAE school’s faculty may have had with the SOA.
  5. Quality (10% of total score): Reviewers will judge the proposed research for how carefully the research process and methodology have been considered and described, in order to  have a greater assurance of providing high-quality research.

Topics of Interest

For 2018, the CAE Grants Committee is interested in seeing research proposals related to the topics below.

  • Society of Actuaries Strategic Research Program on Aging and Retirement:
    • Aging issues such as end of life care; long term care; risks of increased longevity; and cost impact of palliative care
    • Retirement issues such as housing options and use of home equity; retirement timing; efficient decumulation strategies; work as part of retirement; the evolution of retirement security and financial security in light of the growing gig economy; the changing relationships between employees and employers; the impact of family structure dynamics on retirement funding such as blended families and other situations; and overall system changes
  • Society of Actuaries Strategic Research Program on Actuarial Innovation and Technology:
    • Technology including peer to peer and sharing economies; improvement of health and innovation in health care; genetic testing; machine learning; driverless vehicles; cyber security; and wearables
    • Predictive Analytics focused on areas of business-decision making and related applications
    • Infrastructure issues including transportation and roads; supply chain management; and new building trends
    • Energy considerations such as transition to new forms of energy; and cost and pricing models
  • Society of Actuaries Strategic Research Program on Catastrophes and Climate:
    • Climate trends and impact of extreme weather catastrophes including modeling of flood and other extreme climate risks; evolution of social and private insurance programs; impact of population and/or construction trends on extreme weather risks.
    • Environmental issues including sustainability; water resource changes; valuation of environmental liabilities; financial evaluation of mitigation techniques; and climate change. Proposals addressing these issues should avoid conclusions of scientific causality and other statements beyond actuarial competencies
  • Society of Actuaries Strategic Research Program on Health Care Cost Trends:
    • Health Care System Reform including innovative health care and insurance products; health care cost reduction approaches; and refined health care markets
    • Public Health issues such as the impact of economic disparity of care; cost of pandemics or diseases; and reform efforts relating to Medicare and Medicaid
  • Society of Actuaries Strategic Research Program on Mortality and Longevity:
    • Demographics including considerations of family structure changes; impact of immigration and emigration in an actuarial context; generational trends; and population growth
    • Drivers of Mortality including socioeconomic factors such as income, education and geography; technology trends; and predictive mortality models.

The CAE Grants Committee has provided the above research topic areas as suggestions. In reviewing the letters of intent and applications, preference will be given to the suggested topics. However, proposals in other topic areas will be accepted and considered.

Regardless of topic area, CAE schools are encouraged to submit proposals that demonstrate benefits to the actuarial profession as well as showing benefits to an individual school’s actuarial program.

Research Contracts

The selected school will enter into a formal contractual arrangement. If awarded, the SOA intends to closely monitor the project’s progress, including annual financial and progress reports, as well as informal reports. Award amounts and durations can range between $25,000 and $100,000 per annum over a period of up to three years. Applications for both multi- and single-year grants will be accepted.

Research grants can be used for all research expenditures, including research stipends for graduate students. The SOA will not pay for overhead expenditures in excess of 10% of direct costs, as defined in a typical government-funded grant.

Intent to Propose

Interested parties must submit a brief letter of intent of no more than 3 pages outlining the nature of the research, a rough estimate of the funding requirements, the benefits to the proposing CAE school actuarial program, the actuarial profession and SOA members, the anticipated distribution/publication of results and the qualifications of the applicant(s). Letters should be submitted to CAEGRANTS@soa.org by August 31, 2018

While only one application for research will be accepted per school, a CAE school may submit more than one letter of intent for a research grant for consideration.  

Application Form

Letters of intent will be reviewed and application forms for promising projects will be distributed by September 24, 2018 to researchers being invited to submit proposals for funding consideration. Completed application forms are due by October 26, 2018.


Recipients of grant awards will be notified by December 17, 2018. The CAE Grants Committee will generally award up to three proposals per cycle.

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