Jingyuan Chen is one of our PhD student here at the Business School, where her research investigates how natural disasters impact Venture Capital investments. Here Jingyuan tells us about the cooperation and knowledge exchange between different disciplines within the PhD community, and which of her favourite authors she’d invite for dinner.
Jingyuan Chen outside a blue telephone box

Can you give a brief summary of your career to date, and the journey that brought you here to us at the University of Edinburgh Business School?

I have an undergraduate background in human resources management. I found I had an interest in finance broadly, so I decided to apply master’s degree in Applied Finance. During the study journey for my master’s degree at Pepperdine University in California, I found I am very interested in entrepreneurial finance, especially in venture capital. I decided to pursue my Ph.D. degree in entrepreneurship and innovation. I was lucky to be a Ph.D. student of my supervisors Alessandro Rosiello and Raffaella Calabrese from 2020.

If you had to give your ‘elevator pitch’ and explain in layman terms what your research focuses on, how would you answer?

My research focus on entrepreneurial finance, especially venture capital. My research investigates natural disasters impact on Venture Capital investments. Due to climate change, natural disasters are becoming increasingly common. My study is conducted in Europe, which presents a complex array of regulatory and policy frameworks. Using a large sample of European VC investments, my study finds there is a positive relationship between the occurrence of natural disasters and the amounts invested by European VCs in single rounds. This result is driven by continued support for investees in these VCs’ existing portfolios without drastic reduction of investment amounts in new ventures. A crucial role has been played by Governmental VCs. In this sense, the results highlight that counter-cyclical financial support and follow-on investments provided by European GVCs during natural disaster was crucial. This study suggests when entrepreneurial firms are facing a large funding shortage after negative shocks, governments should consider modifications to increase support measures and new initiatives. My study connects with entrepreneurial finance by investigating investors strategy after crises.

As to teaching focus, I am going to be a teaching assistant of Eco-Innovation for a Circular Economy in the next semester.

With regard to your work, is there anything exciting in the pipelines that you are working on?

My colleagues and I organized the World-class workshop in Edinburgh. The World-Class Workshop in Finance was held successfully at the University of Edinburgh earlier in May (read about it here). This event is organized by PhD students and held in partnership with British Accounting Review and Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies. We received enthusiastic submissions from all over the world, and the paper topics includes Corporate Finance & Governance, Asset Pricing, Financial Markets, Climate & Environment, Corporate ESG, and Board & Executives.

What do you enjoy most about your research? What challenges and excites you across both?

From research, interdisciplinary communications and knowledge exchange enjoy most. However, there is normal there are many challenges in research. More specifically, the availability of data and facing the uncertainty of discovering new sights are my research challenges.

What do you enjoy most about working at UEBS?

I prefer an active and friendly research environment, which is what I enjoy very much about UEBS. I really like the cooperation and exchange between different disciplines. For instance, the interdisciplinary seminars from different research groups. As well as other student-led activities from doctoral society, such as Ph.D. day, Halloween party, and our annual winter party.

What advice would you give to your younger self, about to leave home and embark upon further education?

I suggest that my younger self pursue goals and dream bravely. I will also encourage myself to discover and investigate broad interdisciplinary knowledge, which provides new insights or distinguished angles of research.

What one book, piece of music and beloved item would you take with you to a Desert Island?

  • Book: Man vs. Wild: Survival Techniques from the Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Bear Grylls
  • Music: Roar by Katy Perry
  • Beloved item: my climbing boots!

If you could invite anyone over for dinner (past/present) who would it be and why?

In the past, I hope to invite James Herriot for dinner, because he is the author of my favourite book All Creatures Great and Small. The book documented him as a young veterinarian in Yorkshire. I have been delighted by the storytelling genius of James Herriot, the Yorkshire veterinarian whose fascinating vignettes brim with the wonder of life, animal, and human.

At present, I could invite any scholars in my research area for dinner. I hope to discuss my research and generate new insights for my paper.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

African savannah. I hope to see the magnificent wild animal migration. The biodiversity and stunning landscapes are intriguing.

UEBS Research - Jingyuan Chen

Jingyuan Chen discusses her research on the impact of natural disasters on Venture Capital (VC) investments in Europe, emphasising the crucial role of Governmental VCs in providing financial support during challenging times.