Postgraduate Studentship: Global Financial Markets as a Complex System

Applications are invited for a D.Phil. studentship, funded by HSBC, to work on the above topic under the supervision of Dr Mason Porter and Professor Sam Howison. The D.Phil studentship will start on 1 October 2013, and will be based at the Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. The studentship includes a standard stipend (currently £13,590 per annum) and College and University fees at home/EU and overseas rate. The studentship is attached to Somerville College.

The turmoil seen since the start of the financial crisis resulted in a distinct and persistent change in markets dynamics. This is one of the most pressing issues in finance and presents a significant challenge for investors, central banks, regulators, and risk managers, who are struggling to adapt. Financial markets across disparate asset classes and geographies appear to respond to a new, common risk factor, but the details, mechanism and consequences are poorly understood. This project will use techniques from network theory and complex systems research to analyse this new market structure, with a particular emphasis on possible implications for the investment process and financial stability. The project will involve analysis of high-quality data from a wide range of asset classes and data frequencies – all provided by HSBC. In addition to applying existing techniques to this problem, it is expected that the student will develop new techniques which will be generally applicable to the analysis of the stability of complex systems.

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HSBC and the Oxford Mathematical Institute have maintained a strong collaboration over the last ten years, investigating challenging mathematical problems in the financial industry. HSBC takes an active role, providing data and crucial industry expertise. The student will be based in Oxford but will regularly visit the HSBC trading operation in London to gain first-hand experience.

Application Information:

Please visit the program website:

Applications must arrive by noon on Thursday 18th April 2013.

Please quote the correct reference BK/13/001 in your covering letter. References can also be sent directly to Sandy Patel (email by the closing date.

For further details of the projects, including the application process, please contact


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