SOA REX Pool Entity Guidelines

Guidelines for Requesting Funding from the SOA’s “Research Expanding Boundaries” Pool (“REX Pool”) - Entity

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) Board of Directors has established a pool of special funding called the “Research Expanding Boundaries Pool”, or “REX Pool”, to support a research strategy that includes a focus on increasing the amount of impactful research produced by the SOA. The REX Pool has been budgeted at $320,000.  The goal of this special funding is to encourage the development of more multi-year, multi-phase projects that advance the profession through expansion of practice across traditional practice-area boundaries, addressing issues relating to public policy, and/or addressing actuarial issues of broad societal interest.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 Applications for funding to the REX pool are available only to SOA entities (research committees, sections, etc.), that do not otherwise have access to funds through one of the Strategic Research Programs. Strategic Research Program Committees should first seek funding through program channels prior to contemplating an application to the REX Pool.

The following entities are eligible to submit an application to the Research Executive Committee (REC) for REX Pool funding consideration:

  • Established SOA Research committees not under a Strategic Research Program
  • SOA Sections
  • Committees or Task Forces of the SOA Board of Directors
  • REC-formed ad hoc committees

 

Procedure for Submitting Applications

 Entities meeting the eligibility requirements may submit an application according to the following guidelines.

  • Requests for funding will be accepted at any point throughout the research idea and project development process (e.g. before an RFP is issued, after an RFP is issued, or after proposals are received).
  • To make a request for funding, entities meeting the eligibility requirements must complete the Application Form.
  • Entities may submit more than one application at a time. Entities submitting more than one application must complete a separate form for each individual idea or project.
  • Applications may be submitted at any time throughout the year and will be reviewed during established monthly REX Pool meetings.
  • There is no minimum funding requirement for a project/research idea to be considered by the REC for funding.
  • There is no maximum funding limit for applications; however, funding is subject to available resources.
  • Multi-phase and/or multi-year projects are encouraged. The REC may require intermediate approvals for multiple phases of a given project. 
  • Applications are not required to have co-funding for the REC to consider the idea for funding consideration.
  • Entities are expected to appoint a spokesperson who may be asked to present the idea to the REC and be available for questions.
  • Entities who are declined funding from the REX Pool may seek funding from alternate sources including SOA sections and committees. Declined applications may be resubmitted in the future after addressing REC feedback.
  • Prior to submission of an application, entities may seek guidance for the REC on the suitability of an application during the monthly REX Pool Calls.
  • Questions about the application form or process may be addressed to REC@soa.org.

 

Procedures for Reviewing Applications

 Application forms received will be subject to the following selection process.

  • Applications will be reviewed and approved by the REC during monthly REX Pool meetings.
  • Applications will normally be evaluated and a response provided within 50 days of submission, unless further time is needed to gather more information or for discussion.
  • During an evaluation, additional information may be requested or project spokespersons may be invited to present the proposed research idea to the REC.
  • The REC has established five criteria for evaluating the applications for REX Pool funding. For each application, a total score will be determined based on the following criteria and scoring weights:
    1. Impact (50% of total score): In scoring an application for this criterion, reviewers will consider how the proposed research makes an impact for the actuarial profession or addresses a critical gap in research. Since impact is a function of both significance and innovation, reviewers will also consider the likelihood that the proposed research will achieve its desired outcome.
    2. Cost-Benefit (20% of total score): In scoring an application for this criterion, the reviewers will examine the amount of funding requested against the desired outcomes and deliverables.
    3. Uniqueness (10% of total score): In scoring an application for this criterion, the reviewers will assess the uniqueness of the proposed research application and its likelihood for success.
    4. Viability (10% of the total score): In scoring an application for this criterion, the reviewers will analyze the viability of the research concept and methodology, as well as any past SOA experience working with the researcher(s).
    5. Quality (10% of total score): In scoring an application for this criterion, the reviewers will judge the proposed research for how carefully the research process and methodology have been considered and described in the application, in order to have a greater assurance of providing high-quality research.