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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Management Board takes action on research

Towards the end of 2009, the Management Board of the Profession agreed a range of initiatives on research activity for the coming year. A review has started to clearly define the objectives for research and to develop a long-term strategy (more on this in Ruth Loseby’s feature in this edition). The Management Board also decided that some immediate action was needed to stimulate the research environment to help reinvigorate external research and also support member-led research. The focus of these initiatives was on areas where there was a clear mandate from members so as not to prejudge the decisions on the long-term strategy. Three initiatives were agreed:

1. Targeted external research.
In the member survey 2009, two areas stood out as being of importance to members: risk management and mortality/longevity/ morbidity. In 2010 there will be calls for funded proposals in these areas.
2. Boosting member-led research.
Member-led research is still vigorously pursued in all practice areas through working parties, but the current economic climate has meant that the time of many volunteers is being squeezed. Some funds have been set aside to help projects that can show that some additional support (for instance, a paid researcher, enhanced administrative help) would help the project achieve its aims.
3. Thought leadership/speaking out. The 2009 survey showed that members want their Profession to speak out with authority and engage in thought leadership. This can sometimes need the commissioning of objective research and some funds have also been set aside to help in this area.

During 2010 members will hear more about the details of all these initiatives through the Profession’s e-newsletters and website. The Research area is also trying to build a list of those who specifically wish to be informed when there are announcements of research projects (from both within and outside of the Profession). Please contact ruth.loseby@actuaries.org.uk or maria.lyons@actuaries.org.uk if you would like to join the list or would like to nominate someone else.