Purpose The purpose of this pitch research letter (PRL) is to apply the pitching template developed by Faff (2015) to an academic project on boardroom gender diversity and default risk. Design/methodology/approach The pitching template helps the pitcher to identify the core elements that form the framework of the research project. The PRL encloses a brief background about the pitcher and pitch, followed by a brief commentary on the pitch and personal reflections of the pitcher on the pitch exercise itself. Findings One of the best aspects of the pitching template is that it forced the researchers to think each item over and over, enabling a synthesis of scattered ideas in a systematic way. Hence, it is strongly recommend learning and applying the pitching template as a tool to refine embryonic research ideas and to track the progress on the research projects. Originality/value This PRL is novel as it highlights the worth of performing the pitching exercise (i.e. quality publication), potential adoptability challenge and solutions (i.e. unfamiliarity and training), systematic process of learning the pitching template and application of the "rule of three" in pitching research. Such reflections are believed to be useful for early career researchers (ECRs).