China Research Topics

Background and Purpose

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) desires to develop additional intellectual capital that serves the interest of the profession, public and the stakeholders on current and emerging actuarial topics in China. The SOA is issuing this Research Call for Proposals to encourage new research projects that will be helpful to provide a deeper understanding of local China market topics, or provide insights into new and expanding areas in the market.

Research Objective

To broaden and expand the knowledge in China market topics, the SOA is seeking researchers to submit one or more proposals. Sample topics below have been identified as focus areas by the SOA. The description of each of the topics has deliberately been written to be brief and open-ended in order to give researchers sufficient latitude in the development of their proposals. Researchers should not feel solely constrained by these topics, as many other relevant topics continuously emerge in actuarial practice and societal impact. Key considerations in the proposal review process by the SOA are the demonstration that the expected work will not be duplicative of existing material, will represent a significant expansion in the current knowledge on the topic, and will be of considerably strong impact and benefit to the SOA and its members and stakeholders.

Projects can range in size, breadth and duration. Output should include a project report and materials that can be used for member and stakeholder education; other project outputs that can enhance understanding of results (such as spreadsheets, pivot tables and models) are encouraged. Given the desire to advance knowledge on current subjects and provide timely results, preference will be given to projects that can be completed for publishing and for continuing education in under 6 - 12 months. Initial phases of multi-phase projects are preferred to be completed within 6 months.

Desired Topic Areas for Research:

  1. The Impact of Employer Wellness Engagement on Mortality and Morbidity
  2. The use of Predictive Analytics Tools and Models in the Life/Health Insurance Industry
  3. Trends in the Annuity/Pension market and the resulting Management of Longevity Risk by Annuity writers
  4. The Market for Long Term Care and other Older Age Healthcare Products
  5. The Development of Online Marketing and Distribution of Insurance Products

The SOA also encourages partnerships between academia and industry where the resulting work can be of mutual interest and enhance the breadth of the research work.

Proposal

Proposals may be made for any desired research. To facilitate the evaluation of proposals, the following information should be submitted: 

  1. Resumes of the researcher(s), including any graduate student(s) expected to participate, indicating how their background, education and experience bear on their qualifications to undertake the research. If more than one researcher is involved, a single individual should be designated as the lead researcher and primary contact. The person submitting the proposal must be authorized to speak on behalf of all the researchers as well as for the firm or institution on whose behalf the proposal is submitted.
  2. An outline of the approach to be used (e.g. literature search, model, etc.), emphasizing issues that require special consideration. Details should be given regarding the techniques to be used, collateral material to be consulted, and possible limitations of the analysis.
  3. A description of the expected deliverables and any supporting data, tools or other resources.
  4. Cost estimates for the research, including computer time, salaries, report preparation, material costs, etc. Such estimates can be in the form of hourly rates, but in such cases, time estimates should also be included. Any guarantees as to total cost should be given and will be considered in the evaluation of the proposal. While cost will be a factor in the evaluation of the proposal, it will not necessarily be the decisive factor.
  5. A schedule for completion of the research, identifying key dates or time frames for research completion and report submissions. The REC is interested in completing these project in a timely manner for maximum current impact. Suggestions in the proposal for ensuring timely deliver, such as fee adjustments, are encouraged.
  6. Other related factors that give evidence of a proposer's capabilities to perform in a superior fashion should be detailed.

Selection Process

The SOA will oversee the selection of projects.  Researchers are encouraged to review the “Criteria for Selection for Funding” associated with the SOA REX Pool  here as an example of common criteria that would be considered in order to ensure project proposals are consistent with the goals of the SOA. The SOA will review each proposal and will make a recommendation for the selection of the proposal(s) to be funded. Input from other knowledgeable individuals also may be sought, and the SOA will make all final decisions, subject to SOA leadership approval. SOA staff will provide staff actuarial support to develop and publish the projects.

Questions

Any questions regarding this RFP should be directed to R. Dale Hall, SOA Managing Director of Research (phone: +1-847-273-8835; email: dhall@soa.org )

Submission of Proposal

Final proposals for the project should be sent via e-mail to Erika Schulty at eschulty@soa.org.  

Proposals must be received no later than August 31, 2017. It is anticipated that proposers will be informed of the status of their proposal within 45 days of submission. 

Note: Proposals will be considered confidential, and in order to preserve the research intentions of the proposer will not be shared beyond SOA review teams.

Conditions

The selection of a proposal is conditioned upon and not considered final until a Letter of Agreement is executed by both the Society of Actuaries and the researcher.

The SOA reserves the right to not award contracts for this call for proposals. Reasons for not awarding a contract could include, but are not limited to, a lack of acceptable proposals or a finding that insufficient funds are available. The SOA also reserves the right to redirect the project to other committees or sections within the SOA as is deemed advisable. 

The SOA plans to hold the copyright to the research and to publish the results with appropriate credit given to the researcher(s). 

The SOA may choose to seek public exposure or media attention for the research.  By submitting a proposal, you agree to cooperate in publicizing or promoting the research and responding to media requests. 

The SOA may also choose to market and promote the research to members, candidates and other interested parties. You agree to perform promotional communication as reasonably requested, which may include, but is not limited to, leading a webcast on the research, presenting the research at continuing education meetings, and/or writing an article on the research for an organizational publication.