FSI-PRI Scholarship for Best Research on Responsible Investment


The Finance Sustainability Initiative and the Quebec Members’ Network of Principles for Responsible Investment recognize the efforts of researchers in the field of responsible investment. Launched in the fall of 2014, the FSI-PRI Scholarship aims to reward Quebec’s best research in responsible investment.

Each fall, a prize is awarded to the student submitting the best research report at the graduate level (Masters or PhD) and, for the first time in 2018, a second prize will be awarded to the best academic article on the subject.

The prizes:

  • Best research paper (Masters or PhD): $6,000
  • Best academic article: $4,000

About the Scholarship


The FSI-PRI Scholarship for Best Research on Responsible Investment targets graduate-level university research papers (masters or doctorate) or academic articles. The selection is conducted by a jury of finance professionals and university research experts. The jury uses four categories of selection criteria:

  • research quality,
  • pertinence of the subject matter to finance practitioners,
  • relevance of issues addressed, and
  • impact, especially in terms of possible solutions to an ESG (environmental, social, and governance) challenge.

Awards and recognition

The recipient of the FSI-PRI Scholarship for Best Research on Responsible Investment receives a scholarship worth several thousands of dollars ($5,000 in 2015 and 2016, but $6,000 in 2017). In addition, the FSI will help promote the visibility and recognition of the winning research paper or academic article by holding an award ceremony.

Steering committee

The FSI-PRI Scholarship for Best Research on Responsible Investment is governed by a steering committee composed of members of the FSI and the PRI Quebec Network.

Download the FSI-PRI Scholarship brochure to get all the details in the PDF format.


Eligibility conditions

Research paper:

  • The primary author, or one of the members of the collective, must be enrolled at a Quebec university or have proof of graduation.
  • The research paper must be at the master’s or doctorate level.
  • The research paper must have been completed after January 1st, 2016.
  • The research paper must be written in French or English.

Academic article

  • At least one of the authors must be an affiliate of, enrolled at or graduated from a Quebec university.
  • The article must have been published after January 1st, 2016.
  • The research paper must be written in French or English.

Persons wishing to apply for the FSI-PRI Scholarship for Best Research on Responsible Investing must submit a duly completed application form and the required complementary documents. The research paper or academic article must then be submitted by June 30, 2018.

Submission deadline

The deadline for submitting an application is June 30, 2018. The recipient is announced at an award ceremony held in the fall.

If you have any questions, contact us at recherche-research@ifd-fsi.org.

Submitting an application

Download the application form for the research paper or the academic article.

To complete your application, you must also submit the following additional documents:

  • a short biography of the authors of the research paper or academic article,
  • your research or academic article,
  • proof of affiliation, registration or degree from a Quebec university,
  • summary of the presented document, which should highlight its contribution to responsible investment (500 words maximum).

Please send your application form and the required additional documents to recherche-research@ifd-fsi.org. You will receive confirmation that your application has been received and is complete and an ID number that you must use in all communications with the FSI.


Winner of the 2017 edition of the FSI-PRI Scholarship

The winner of the 2017 FSI-PRI Scholarship for Best Research on Responsible Investment is Maxime Brochu from the University of Sherbrooke. He was awarded a $6,000 scholarship for his research paper on evaluating the impact of reputation (defined with ESG factors) on share price performance and on company risk for US listed companies (Vertueux vs. opportuniste, Analyse de l’effet réputation sur la performance des entreprises américaines version abbrégée).

The results confirm a correlation with reputation based on the performance of US listed companies between 2004 and 2014, where financial asset evaluation models that incorporated reputational risk factors showed superior performance.

From left to right: Milla Craig, Marie-Claude Provost, Philippe Bélanger, Maxime Brochu, Daniel Simard, Solène Hanquier, Frank Coggins (Supervisor, University of Sherbrooke), Ioana Circo (Jury Member, Université de Montréal)

Award Ceremony

The scholarship award ceremony took place on October 24, 2017 at Montreal’s Centre for Sustainable Development during Responsible Investment Week.

The Co-leader of the Scholarship Steering Committee, Solène Hanquier, FSI Board Member and Sustainable Development Advisor at Groupe Desjardins opened the ceremony, welcoming the attendees and thanking the Scholarship sponsors.

Milla Craig, President and Co-Founder of FSI, and President and Co-Founder of Millani, set the table by presenting the latest statistics and trends in responsible investment. Daniel Simard, President of PRI Quebec Network and CEO of Bâtirente, highlighted the important contribution of university research to shared knowledge among professionals, followed by comments from Marie-Claude Provost of the Caisse de Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, an important sponsor of the Scholarship, who also thanked students for submitting their candidate research.

The president of the jury, Jacques Lussier, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, Ipsol Capital, then presented the scholarship prize to Maxime who outlined his research methods and key results.

The award was further highlighted at the PRI Quebec Network’s Colloque sur l’investissement responsable on October 26, 2017, where Jacques Lussier interviewed Maxime about his research.

Previous Winners

2nd edition: Salma Ktat, as part of a collaboration between the University of the Antilles and Guyana and the Chair of Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development at UQAM’s École des sciences de la gestion (ESG).  She was awarded the scholarship for her research paper entitled CSR Within Morally Objectionable Businesses: Can What’s Done be Undone.

Samuel Chrétien, holder of a Master of Finance from Université de Sherbrooke, was also awarded  an honourable mention for his research paper on the environmental performance of companies and the likelihood of them experiencing harmful environmental events (La performance environnementale des entreprises et leur probabilité d’expérimenter des événements environnementaux néfastes).

1st edition: Édith Breault, holder of a Master of Finance from Université de Sherbrooke. She was awarded the scholarship for her research paper on the societal performance of companies and their probability of facing media events damaging to their reputation (La performance sociétale des entreprises et leur probabilité de faire face à des événements médiatiques entachant leur réputation).


The jury is composed equally of finance professionals and university research experts. The jury members for the 2018 edition of the competition are presented below.

Jacques Lussier

Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer, IPSOL Capital

Mr. Lussier founded IPSOL Capital in June 2013. Previously, he spent 18 years at Desjardins Global Asset Management where he was Chief Investment Strategist. He is a board member of the Régie des Rentes du Québec as well as a member of its investment and audit committees. He is the author of the book Successful Investing Is a Process published in December 2012. Mr. Lussier holds a Master of Finance from HEC Montreal and a Ph.D. in International Business from the University of South Carolina, as well as the CFA designation. Mr. Lussier is  currently President of CFA Montreal (2013-2015).

Bouchra M’Zali

Professor at the Department of Strategy, Social and Environmental Responsibility, UQÀM

Ms. M’Zali is also a researcher at the Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development Research Chair at ESG-UQAM and Director of Research at AICRI. With her students, she has published several book chapters and articles in academic journals and participated in a variety of international scientific conferences where her work received awards (Canadian Price: ASAC: 2005, 2006, 2011; SAB Trophy of sustainable finance: 2013). Ms. M’Zali has participated in many scientific review committees (CRSH, Canada; AERES, France; FIR-PRI; various academic journals). She has received a number of awards in recognition of her contribution to education and research in social corporate responsibility (Finance and Sustainability Initiative: 2012; Skema Prize: 2013). Ms. M’Zali holds a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Laval as well as the CFA designation.

Ioana Circo

Investment Advisor for the Université de Montréal pension plan and endowment fund

Ms. Circo has been with the University of Montreal since 2013. Previously, she worked for more than four years at the Commission administrative des régimes de retraite et d’assurances, where she fulfilled an advisory role for the investment committees of public and parapublic defined benefit pension plans. Ms. Circo began her career at Babes-Bolyai University, in Romania, as an undergraduate teaching assistant. From 2003 to 2006, she held positions in compliance, treasury and foreign exchange transactions settlement at the Raiffeisen Bank. Ms. Circo holds a Bachelor of Finance from Babes-Bolyai University, in Romania, a Master in Management from Université d’Auvergne Clermont-Ferrand I, in France and an MBA in Finance from Laval University. She also holds the CFA designation.

Stéphane Larsen

Portfolio Manager, Global Real Estate Securities, Presima

At Presima, Mr. Larson is responsible for analysis, financial modelling as well as being co-responsible for all investment decisions made within the North American region and for portfolio construction. Mr. Larsen has worked in the financial industry since 2000, namely at Socrate Wealth Management, where he covered various sectors including chemical, utility and pharmaceutical companies on a global basis. Mr. Larsen holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Finance) from HEC Montreal and a Master of Finance from the University of Sherbrooke, as well as the CFA designation.

Patrick Savaria

Associate Vice President, Research at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

Mr. Savaria leads a research group whose mandates include providing applied research solutions for portfolio design and strategic asset allocation, forecasting long-term risk and return different asset classes, and portfolio benchmarking. Before joining the Caisse in 2004, he was a finance professor at Université Laval for a number of years. Mr. Savaria holds a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of British Columbia and holds the CFA and ASA designations.

Luc Brès

Assistant Professeur, Université Laval

Luc Brès is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Administration Sciences, Université Laval Qc, where he co-directs the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Corporate Social Responsibility (LIRSE). He is also research associate at the Paris Dauphine, Laboratoire Management et Organization since 2013. His research focuses on corporate social responsibility and on our ability to socialized markets as economic actors: investors, entrepreneurs, consumers, employees. He is particularly interested in responsible business models, CSR-SD management tools, and alternative forms of regulation. Luc earned a PHD from the Montreal Joint PhD in Administration. He did postdoc at Cass Business School (London). His research has been funded by the Quebec (FQRSC) and Canadian (SSHRC) governements, received numerous accolades and published in leading academic journal in the field of management.

Collaborators and sponsors

The FSI gratefully acknowledges the support and contribution of its collaborators and sponsors for the FSI-PRI Competition and Scholarship for Best Research on Responsible Investment.