Ph.D. Pre-Seminar Workshop

The Ph.D. Pre-Seminar Workshop meets approximately every other week during the fall and spring semesters. In most of these workshops, Ph.D. students present and discuss two background papers for the finance seminar for that week, but occasionally Ph.D. students will present their own work.

Overview and Objectives

The outside-speaker seminar series is an important part of the Finance Department’s intellectual life. The Pre-Seminar Workshop provides doctoral students with the opportunity to present and discuss background papers for the Finance Seminar Series, or alternatively to talk about their own research. The Workshop aims to (1) help students prepare for the upcoming seminar, (2) encourage them to read high-impact papers in finance, (3) allow them to improve their presentation skills, and (4) help students learn about fellow students’ work.

Expectations and Responsibilities

Absent an emergency, it is expected that all Ph.D. students attend the Seminar Workshop. Since students are at different stages of the program, they will benefit in different ways from the Workshop. Whether familiarizing yourself with different areas of finance (for students in their first year of studies), learning more about an area that you are already interested in (for second and third-year students), or fine-tuning your presentation skills and keeping up with what is new in research (for students on the job market), the workshop should be useful for everyone. If you find that these seminars are becoming a waste of your time, please inform the faculty coordinator so that we can consider changes. We are doing this to help students, not burden them.

The Student Coordinator is responsible for scheduling, assigning papers to presenters, and tracking attendance. The Seminar Workshop Presenter(s) is (are) responsible for presenting the background papers and tying them to the Seminar Series paper. In addition, at the beginning of the fall semester, doctoral students working on their second-year paper or dissertation will be expected to present their own research. The workshop will last about 75 minutes, so please be mindful of the time when preparing and delivering presentations.

Those attending the Seminar Workshop are responsible for reading at least the introduction of the papers to be presented and providing meaningful contribution to the papers’ discussion.


Seminar Workshop presenters will be selected on a volunteer basis. Unfortunately, it is often the case that background and seminar series papers are not available until the week of the Seminar Workshop, which sometimes makes it impossible to assign papers with significant advanced notice. Please let the Workshop Student Coordinator know if there are any research areas that you are particularly interested in presenting. If there are no volunteers, the Student Coordinator will assign papers to students that have missed workshops and those that have not recently presented (in this order). If you miss Seminar Workshops, you will be asked to do more work!

Discussion with Finance Seminar Series Presenter

Following the Finance Seminar Series presentation, doctoral students are expected to attend a meeting with the visiting scholar. A Discussion Leader is assigned beforehand whose tasks include reviewing the presenter’s vita and current research, and preparing a set of pertinent and interesting questions to ask during the meeting. The Discussion Leader should meet briefly with the Faculty Coordinator to review relevant points of discussion and interesting topics. While the main responsibility for running the discussion lies with the Discussion Leader, everyone is expected to contribute as well. It is important to make a positive impression on our visitors while benefiting as much as possible from these meetings.