The BEST Award for Student Research

Department of Statistical Science
Duke University
BEST Foundation
New Jersey

Awarded by the Department of Statistical Science, the BEST Award was established by the BEST Foundation to promote and recognise student research in Bayesian statistical modeling related to time series and other methods in financial applications. The prize is generously funded on an annual basis, and awarded to a student or group of students on the basis of submitted projects.

BEST Award future, present & past

The BEST Award is dated for the academic year of the competition.

The BEST Award simultaneously recognises the importance and impact of Bayesian methodology in modern finance and investment management, and the importance of active applied research experiences in undergraduate and graduate student education.

The BEST Foundation is a New Jersey nonprofit corporation whose primary mission is to make gifts, grants and contributions to educational, scientific and charitable institutions or organizations. The major contributor to the BEST Foundation is BEST (Bayesian Efficient Strategic Trading, LLC -, a company that develops, licenses and trades Bayesian based investment strategies. Dr J.M. Quintana, Chairman of BEST, LLC and Trustee of BEST Foundation, has a long-term interest in Bayesian forecasting and optimal decision making and its applications in the investment management field. BEST LLC also  has a long-term research association with Duke students and alumni working with faculty and collaborators on research in Bayesian modelling and statistical computation related to time series and/or financial applications.

The BEST Award, established in 2007 and awarded for the first time in 2008, is administered and awarded subject to a charter agreed between the BEST Foundation and Duke University.

The BEST Award: Further Details

Award frequency: Each year based on review of student projects by the BEST Award Selection Committee.

Award level: The annual award will be a monetary prize of $4,000. It is expected that the award will be made to one project of a student or collaborating group of students, although two equal awards of $2,000 may be made if there are judged to be two equally competitive submissions.

Review and Selection of Awardees: The BEST Award Selection Committee publicizes the award, promotes student interest and runs the review and selection process. Before the beginning of each academic year, the Selection Committee will announce the competition for that academic year and include in that announcement the deadline for submission.

Eligibility: Duke Undergraduates registered for the Major or Minor in Statistical Science, and Duke Students registered for the PhD or MS in Statistical Science. Projects of single students or students working as a group are eligible. A formal, written project report is required and must be submitted to the Selection Committee prior to the announced deadline.

Students that are family members of the officers of the BEST Foundation, or of a member of the faculty of the Department of Statistical Science, or of any member of the BEST Award and Selection Committees are ineligible.

Criteria: Research projects will be reviewed for their contributions to the application of Bayesian statistical ideas and methods to problems in any area of time series of relevance to financial applications, and other areas of Bayesian statistics in finance. Preference will be given to innovative methodological developments, and research contributions must include computational developments and implementations.

Award Presentation: The award will be presented at Duke University at an appropriate date and venue decided annually by the BEST Award and Selection committees.

Conditions of award: The prize recipient(s) may use the award for any purpose.