◀ Return to previous page

◀ Return to previous page

Competition Overview and Guidelines

Through our ongoing Alpha building competition, also referred to as WorldQuant Challenge®, users participate and are provided with skill-building opportunities to create high performing algorithms.

Below are some operating guidelines and rewards for participating in the competition:
  1. 1.    An individual participant who wishes to join in the competition ("you" or the "participant") must be eighteen (18) years of age or older and not prohibited from participating by any law, agreement, binding obligation or policy. You are responsible for obtaining any permissions necessary for you to participate. You must first register as a WebSim user and be approved by the system. Existing WebSim users meeting the other requirements detailed here may also compete by visiting the Competitions tab after logging into WebSim.
    2.    There is no fee to register for a Websim account or to join the University Alphathon. Each participant should register only once and a participant's account or ID may not be shared.
    3.    The participant accumulates points by building predictive models (alphas) using historical market data and predefined operators to simulate equity positions, assigning weights to securities based on a prediction of the expected returns in the next defined time period. Alphas are considered for scoring if they qualify for out-of-sample testing. Each qualifying alpha is scored based on its performance against other alphas in the system.
    4.    Alphas submitted before registering for the competition will not be considered for scoring.
    5.           Only expression alphas will be considered for scoring. Python alphas will not receive any scoring results for purposes of this competition. 
    7.    Scores associated with existing alphas can go up or stay the same based on out-of-sample performance of alphas on a weekly basis (or any other selected evaluation interval).
    9.    Participation, including achieving a certain level (Bronze, Silver or Gold), does not entitle participants to claim any item of value or other consideration.  Please visit the Help section on the Websim dashboard to learn more about achieving Bronze, Silver or Gold level. 
    10.    A leaderboard will show the ranking of each participant in the competition and include information, such as the participant’s Websim alias, total score, total alpha count and average turnover throughout the University Alphathon. Filters are based on information provided by participants. It is each participant's responsibility to ensure their profile information is accurate. Participant further agrees not to use any illegal, offensive, inflammatory, abusive, libelous, defamatory, discriminatory, obscene or otherwise inappropriate image, language or other content in their profile or to post such content on the site.
    11.    By participating in the competition, you agree to grant the rights to your alphas and other Input as set forth herein and to comply with these guidelines and the WebSim Agreement (incorporated herein by reference). By participating in the University Alphathon, a participant represents and warrants that any alpha submitted by participant is participant's own original work. No part of the alpha can be subject to the rights of any other person or entity.
    12.    Existing Research Consultants are not allowed to participate in the University Alphathon.  Violation of this rule will lead to disqualification of any such participant. 
    13.    We reserve the right to change the scoring algorithm at any time. We reserve the right to amend the site, any elements of the competition or these guidelines at any time in our sole discretion with or without notice to participants, and to cancel, change or terminate the competition or disqualify any participants without any compensation.
    13.    We reserve the right to review any submitted alpha and disqualify the alpha or terminate the participant’s account without any notice if we find the deliberate introduction of “noise” to subvert our scoring systems.
    14.    Participation in the University Alphathon does not entitle any participant to claim any item of value or other consideration. 
    14.    Further, if we detect any signs of “gaming”, sharing/cheating or any other unethical or dishonest behavior, we will terminate the participant’s account and may report the matter as necessary.
    15.    Users should only have one active WebSim account. Duplicate accounts are grounds for suspension not just from this competition but also from WebSim. Please ensure you deactivate any duplicate accounts you may knowingly or accidentally create by using the following URL: https://worldquantvrc.com/deactivate


Consulting Opportunity

  1. At our discretion, we may offer research consulting opportunities to some participants who achieve Sliver and Gold levels.
  2. University Alphathon
    • •    The top scorer during the Alphathon Period will be considered for a total one-time special stipend of up to USD $500, once they qualify, per the requirements described further below, to be a Research Consultant.
      •    Participants who reach Gold level based solely on qualifying alphas created, simulated and submitted during the Alphathon Period will be considered for a one-time special stipend in accordance with the levels defined below once they qualify, per the requirements described further below, to be a Research Consultant.
      •    Rankings will be based on a participant’s total score, which may go up or down depending upon the performance of the alphas on most recent data.
      •    In the event of a tie in more than one participants’ total scores, the internal VRC team will assign ranks based on average alpha performance among other factors.  
      •    In order to be considered for a one-time special stipend, a participant must have created both “Delay 1” and “Delay 0” alphas during the Alphathon Period. At a minimum, the number of a participant’s qualifying Delay 1 alphas may not be less than 30% of the participant’s total number of qualifying alphas for the University Alphathon. Participants who do not meet the foregoing criteria may be disqualified from receiving a one-time special stipend in connection with the University Alphathon.
      •    A snapshot of alphas will be taken as of the close of the Alphathon Period of the University Alphathon, which will be used for final scoring.
      • Top Scorer: The top ranked participant in the University Alphathon will be considered for a one-time special stipend of up to USD $500 in our discretion.
      • # 2 Scorer: The individual whose final score ranked second within the University Alphathon will be considered for a one-time special stipend of up to USD $300 in our discretion. 
      • # 3 Scorer: The individual whose final score ranked third within the University Alphathon will be considered for a one-time special stipend of up to USD $200 in our discretion.


  • The University Alphathon is subject to all other guidelines and terms applicable to participation in the WorldQuant Challenge®.


No consulting opportunity or any compensation is guaranteed; any engagement as a Research Consultant is subject to satisfactory completion of a background check, execution of a consulting agreement and any other applicable requirements in the discretion of WorldQuant.