Raffaella Calabrese Headshot

Director of the Fintech PhD Programme & Senior Lecturer - Data Science

Roles and Responsibilities

Director of the Fintech PhD Programme, Programme Director for the MSc in Management (Jan-Jun 2020), Representative to the Senatus Academicus, Convener of School Digital Steering Group, Member of College Library and Information Strategy Committee, member of Credit Research Centre.


Raffaella is an academic fellow at the Scottish Parliament. She is a member of the Credit Research Centre and the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence. She is also part of the Fintech team at the Edinburgh Future Institute. 

Her research and collaborations with industry (such as Moody's Analytics, Nationwide, RBS, Barclays, SAS and Bank of England) are focused on developing new models for analysing credit risk and Fintech. The former includes scoring models, modelling of loss given default, stress testing and interpretability. Raffaella has applied a variety of methods to measure default risk for SMEs and for retail credit in the context of Basel II and III. She is also working on interpretability for machine learning techniques and use of alternative data (e.g. social media or mobile data) in the credit risk framework. For Fintech, she has proposed novel solutions to assess risk using Open Banking data such as affordability test and credit scoring. In general, she is interested in predictive analytics challenges, data mining and spatial econometrics.

Raffaella holds a BSc in Economics from Bocconi University (Italy) and a PhD in Statistics from the University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy). Before being appointed at the University of Edinburgh, she was a Lecturer at the University of Essex. She has conducted research at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Louisiana State University, Luigi Bocconi of Milan, University College Dublin and ETH Zurich. She is a member of the Business and Industry section of the Royal Statistical Society and of the local Operational Research Society. Raffaella has been awarded around 20 research projects, funded by the ESRC, EPSRC, British Academy, DataLab, Regional Studies Association and the Italian Ministry of Education. 

She is Associate Editor of PlosOne. She has published widely on credit risk, affordability, systemic risk, spatial econometrics and rare events. Her research appears in journals such as Risk Analysis, European Journal of Operational Research, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Regional Science, JRSS A, Journal of Small Business Management, Small Business Economics, Expert Systems with Applications, Journal of Operational Research Society, Regional Science and Urban Economics and European Journal of Finance. 

Research Taxonomy

Research Interests

My research agenda is mainly focused on credit risk modelling and new challenges related to Fintech such as risk assessment for Open Banking data. 

My publication record includes 20 refereed journal papers, most of them in 3*+ ABS-rated management journals. Few projects have been funded by ESRC, EPSRC, DataLab, British Academy and Regional Studies Association. 

Raffaella is interested in supervising students in the following areas:

  • Open Banking
  • Credit scoring models
  • Small business risk assessment
  • Loss given default models
  • Systemic risk assessment
  • Data mining
  • Bayesian hierarchical models
  • Spatial Econometrics.

Research Area