FIN 911 - Current Research Topics in Finance

General Information

This is an irregularly offered  course for students who are currently doctoral students at the University of Mannheim. It is intended for beginning as well as advanced doctoral students up to the stage where they might already plan their academic career. This course counts as an Elective.


The Finance Area of the University of Mannheim organizes a faculty seminar with an impressive list of international speakers. This course offers the opportunity to benefit even more from this seminar series by giving students the possibility to discuss the paper beforehand and meet the speakers in an informal atmosphere. The ultimate goal of this course is to get in touch with the newest research from different fields of finance and to ideally generate new research ideas based on the discussion of the speaker’s papers and the direct interaction with our guests.

Person in Charge

Prof. Dr. Stefan Ruenzi

Prof. Dr. Stefan Ruenzi

Chair Holder
Chair of International Finance


    Additional Information

  • Logistics

    Kickoff Meeting:  TBD

    Class Meetings:  TBD

    Cookies with the Speaker:  TBD

    ECTS Points: 8

    Please note, that this course will not be offered in the spring term.

  • Language

    The course is taught in English. All material as well as the final exam will be in English.



  • Grading

    The grade in this course is determined based on the following rule:

    • Presentation of Paper: 30%
    • Discussion of Paper: 25%
    • Referee Report: 25%
    • Oral Participation: 20%

    Students are required to participate in the morning classes and the “Cookies with Speaker” sessions. Regular participation is necessary to fulfill the course requirements. If you cannot come to the meetings for some justified reason, you have to let me know in advance. Additionally, if you miss meetings on more than two days, you will not pass the course. While not part of this course, participation in the faculty seminar is of course also mandatory for all finance PhD students. Your active participation is encouraged.

  • Course Description

    This course focuses on recent research topics in finance. In the course, we will discuss the papers presented by the seminar speakers in the University of Mannheim Finance faculty seminar. The class will take place on selected Mondays during the semester when seminar presentation by an external speaker are given.

    For updates on the schedule, please regularly consult this website.

    The format of the course consists of two main parts. In the morning of seminar days we will meet and one student will present the paper that will be presented in the afternoon in the official faculty seminar by an external speaker. The presentation should be about 30 minutes. Another student will then discuss the paper (like a formal extended conference discussion, max 15-20min). Based on that, we will then discuss the paper and its contribution to the literature in the forum. Thus, each student is required to carefully read all papers prior to class. Each student will present and discuss at least once during the semester. Topics will be assigned during the introductory meeting. Furthermore, each participant is required to write a short (1-2 pages max) referee report on the paper that he or she is discussing. The second part is an informal meeting with the speaker prior to the seminar (if the speaker’s schedule allows). In this meeting, neither I nor other senior faculty members will be present and students are free to talk about the paper or whatever other topic that is relevant for finance researchers and in which students and the speaker share a common interest (“Cookies with the Speaker”). Regular participation in the morning sessions as well as in the meetings with the speakers are a necessary condition to fulfill the course requirements. Frequency of the meetings will depend on the number of course participants. We plan to have about 6 to 8 course meetings.

  • Learning Outcomes

    During this course, students learn to understand and discuss research topics, potentially including topics from fields in which they might not be experts. This will allow them to profit better from the official seminar presentations and develop new research ideas. Furthermore, they will learn how to develop and structure a discussion of a research paper. This will be useful for future conference participations (as you are probably aware of, presenters at conferences are typically asked to discuss another presenter’s paper, too). Finally, the meetings with the speaker will give students the possibility to speak to the presenters in an informal atmosphere and discuss their own or the speaker’s research or talk about other issues like career development, exchange visits, or the international job market process.

  • Material

    The course is based on the papers presented during the faculty seminar. The respective papers will be posted on the seminar webpage.