PhD Program for Bridging AI, Business & Financial Markets

We are enthusiasts of the current and unprecedented era of rapidly growing data and computational power. We are an interdisciplinary team who love the challenge of Big Data, Analytics and Artificial Intelligence and embrace that business reality is complex, often ill-defined and subject to incomplete data of potentially questionable quality.  Our goal is to positively contribute to society and businesses to unlock value by actually crunching the numbers.  We know that there are tremendous business opportunities for innovators who combine data, modeling and smart decision making.

Businesses, start-ups, financial firms, among others, adopt technology at an increasing rate. Individuals and institutions that are able to combine data, modeling, programming and decision-making encounter tremendous opportunities to add value to themselves, their institutions and society at large.  Our group follows a data-driven decision-making approach. We pair artificial intelligence with data science and economic thinking to reduce uncertainty around future events and paths to offer decision makers a sharper view of what is likely to come. While our approach benefits all business models and industries, we particularly enjoy applying our research to the vast amount of data that financial markets and in particular option markets offer.


Embark on a Remarkable Ph.D. Journey with KABFI:

Join a community of scholars at KABFI (pronounced "cab-fee")—KIT’s AI, Business, and Financial Markets Insights PhD Research Training Group—eager to pioneer the synergy of artificial intelligence, financial markets, and avant-garde business applications. At KIT, we cater to a select group of individuals, those with a fervor for superior research training, foundational expertise in capital markets, and a vision to revolutionize the landscape of AI-driven business.


Program Overview:

  • Duration: The KABFI Ph.D. voyage is typically accomplished in 4-5 years. Most scholars are poised to submit their Ph.D. thesis within three years post the conclusion of their coursework.

  • Aim: Our ambition transcends traditional milestones. Not only do we envision our students (together with senior expert researchers) publishing seminal papers in prestigious international journals, spanning topics from financial economics and machine learning to AI and complex statistical methodologies, but our past Ph.D. scholars have also made their mark by publishing in internationally acclaimed journals such as the Review of Financial Studies and the Review of Derivatives Research.

  • Admission: Our doors are always open to talent. For those with a Master's degree, a background in a pertinent field with grades from 'good' (B) to 'very good' (A) will stand them in good stead. Bachelor degree holders are encouraged to apply, especially if they are in the top 5% echelon of their class. Send CV, motivation letter and grade reports to kabfi does-not-exist.fbv kit edu.

  • Course Work: Mandatory courses within the first two semesters in Financial Engineering, Deep Learning, Deep Finance, Advanced Machine Learning and Data Science. Elective courses tailored to students needs and wants.

  • Fast Track: Exclusively for KIT Master's students, who can take necessary course work (incl the master thesis) during their Masters studies. Complete PhD in 2-3 years after Master's graduation.

  • Financials: We offer a tuition-free education. Students are responsible for their living costs. We provide support for scholarships and part-time opportunities at KIT and industry.

  • Relocation: Whether you're rooted on-campus or connecting remotely, we ensure a holistic and fulfilling Ph.D. experience for every scholar.

  • Reach out: With CV, motivation letter and grade report (BSc and MSc): kabfi does-not-exist.fbv kit edu


Research and Facilities:

  • Support: At KABFI, we ensure our scholars are furnished with the best. From state-of-the-art computing clusters and extensive databases on both US and European finance data to personalized mentoring – we offer an unparalleled research environment.

  • Research Topics: Delve deep into multifaceted domains, spanning our specialized centers such as Computational Risk and Asset Management, AI in Capital Market Data Analytics, Predictions using Supervised Learning, Autonomous systems using Reinforcement Learning, and more. Expert researchers pick you up where you currently stand and help to lift you up to become an independent expert researcher in the near future.


Life After KABFI:

KABFI graduates aren't just Ph.D. holders; they're global change-makers. Their monumental achievements can be seen in their post-graduation trajectories: receiving multiple job offers, choosing between financial hubs globally or meaningful roles closer to home. The current KABFI community is truly international, boasting students from Vietnam, Iran, China, the USA, Germany, and more. These scholars often juggle their rigorous academic commitments with roles at esteemed institutions like KIT, international organizations, and various business sectors including asset and risk management, consultants, quants, computer scientists and AI-driven entrepreneurs.  



For Our Corporate Partners:


"Cultivate Tomorrow's Leaders Today":


Become a vital part of KABFI, pronounced "cab-fee", a unique PhD Research Training Program in AI for Business Applications at KIT.

This distinguished initiative offers visionary companies a unique opportunity to invest directly in the AI-driven business future and the leaders shaping it.

  • Sponsor Scholarships: Partner with KABFI to nurture the next wave of AI business researchers. Your sponsorship can drive deserving talent towards innovations that can redefine industry benchmarks. Receive frequent updates about research developments and their potential business impact as a mentor.

  • Send Your High Potentials: Think of KABFI as a talent forge. Entrust your top talent with us and witness them return with an enhanced skill set, encompassing both cutting-edge research acumen and in-depth industry knowledge.

  • Flexible Employment Models: In addition to our recommended 50% employment model for existing high potentials, we also encourage our corporate partners to consider offering part-time job opportunities to promising candidates identified by our program. This approach ensures that the candidate stays grounded in real-world applications as they delve into the academic depths of AI research, while also bridging the gap between academia and industry. It’s a win-win: our students gain practical experience and your organization benefits from fresh, innovative perspectives on contemporary business challenges.


With existing partnerships from leading firms and institutions, KABFI is poised to be a beacon in the world of AI business research. Join us in shaping the future.

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