Oilfund support for academic excellence

28 March 2019

In the last eight years, externally financed research has topped NOK 60 million at the department of Finance at BI Norwegian Business School. Over half of this has been provided by Norway’s sovereign wealth fund (NBIM) through the Norwegian Finance initiative (NFI) to promote research and publications in only the very best international journals (ABS 4*).

The main objective of the NFI is to strengthen financial economic research and education in Norway. In addition, the NFI facilitates academic research relevant for the long-term management of the fund.

“We manage the fund on behalf of current and future generations. We believe that the fund will benefit from having a strong academic environment in Norway “says Lise Lindbäck, Global Head of Investment Advice in NBIM.

She adds that the program can provide valuable insights and help strengthen the academic discourse on fund management

“In addition, a mature research-based education within finance will ultimately lead to a larger pool of high-quality candidates, not only for us, but for the entire financial industry. In this respect, the Norwegian Finance Initiative can be considered our most long-term investment strategy.”

The external research funding from the NFI allows BI to be competitive in the international job market and attract world class faculty.


“This allows our students to engage with world leading faculty who bring knowledge and skills to the classroom that are unique in finance in Norway. NFI’s high standards for research quality have helped the department to improve research and teaching quality” says professor Richard Priestley, Head of the Department of Finance at BI Norwegian Business School.

In addition to supporting recruitment on the international job market, the NFI program rewards outstanding research contributions by faculty employees in Norway through a publication bonus up to NOK 400 000 per author in the absolute highest ranked journals.


“We are pleased that BI`s finance faculty and its members are keen users of the incentives offered by the NFI. We would particularly highlight BI`s ability to recruit new faculty members at the international job market, which is highly competitive, and that the faculty members succeed so well in getting their research papers accepted by top-ranked peer-reviewed journals”, Lindbäck says.

Top ten in Europe

According to the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) rankings of business schools, BI is amongst the best departments of finance in Europe. BI is Europe's ninth best department of finance, in front of top ranked international schools such as Imperial College, Bocconi and Stockholm School of Economics. The ranking is based on publications in the three ABS 4* journals in finance (2016-2019). No other Norwegian schools are on the list.

Priestley, Richard 2

“The ability to recruit and retain top faculty in such a competitive market is a confirmation of the department’s success and a result of hard work and dedication to academic excellence through research and teaching. The NFI program is an important contributing factor to achieve this,” says Priestley.

The UT Dallas’ Naveen Jindal School of Management has created a database to track publications in 24 leading business journals. It contains titles and author affiliations of papers published in these journals since 1990 and is used to provide the top 100 business school rankings based on the total contributions of faculty.

BI’s ranking is based on the number of publications within the three leading financial journals "journal of finance", "journal of financial economics" and "the review of financial studies".

Globally, BI is ranked 68 by the same criteria.

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