ESRA Economics Summer Research Award

The Economics Summer Research Award (ESRA) provides opportunities for undergraduate students to acquire learning experience under the supervision of a professor. The experience deepens their knowledge and interest in many fields in Economics.

Award Value: $500

Application Deadline:  March 31 each year

Eligibility: All continuing undergraduate Economics major students with a cumulative GPA of 75% or higher are eligible. Students who will graduate in the spring prior to the ESRA summer research period are not eligible.

How to Apply:  If you are interested, contact a professor who has a summer project you are interested in, and discuss the project you can work on with the professor as soon as possible. 

When you get the professor’s agreement to work with you on the project, please submit the ESRA form to   The winner of the award will be determined by the departmental committee.   The application form is posted at the bottom of this webpage.

Outcome:  The winner of the award is required to have the final report on the project submitted to and approved by the professor/advisor by August 31 of the award year.


Testimonials from Former Recipients of ESRA

I think the ESRA project was very beneficial for two main reasons: one being you get the opportunity to develop a professional relationship with a professor. This gives you the opportunity to speak to them about their work and gives you a potential future reference when applying for graduate school or a job. It always allows you to get some exposure to academic research. You get the opportunity to see what academic research looks like and gives you an idea if it is something you could see yourself doing in the future. Overall, it was a great experience, and I would highly recommend it.   Sean Coughlin, 2022 ESRA Recipient


This ESRA project is a great opportunity for economics students to practice our knowledge and skills that we learn in class. For finding a professor as the instructor, first you need to know what your area of interest is. Or visiting professors’ personal website to see if you are interested in the professor’s area. It’s fine that you don’t have clear direction or idea. Just talk to the professor. I’m sure it will inspire you. 

I learned many things in ESRA project. In general, it can be divided into finding, selecting and analyzing data, reading literature, building models, and academic writing skills. Data and models are the most important parts. How to find the relevant data and choose the ideal data to support the opinion of the report is very critical. It is also very important to prove the idea of the report through models and some specific analysis methods. The skills I learned helped me look at the data from another perspective and made me sincerely admire the power of statistics.  

I hope you guys can enjoy this project and learn a lot.   Zijun Fan, 2022 ESRA Recipient


The project was great for me. It was nice that I was able to spend time l growing my knowledge of economics on my own time without having to sacrifice that time for a potential job as I was able to earn a scholarship through the project. Through this project it really helped me with independent research and data interpretation from academic papers, and news sources. 

The ability to work directly with a professor on this project was a great help both academically and professionally. It was great academically as I was able to ask for clarification and guidance if I ever needed it. Professionally it was amazing as this was a relationship that I was able to carry and grow through the rest of school. This this was very important for myself as I was able to ask this professor to write a reference letter for graduate school and he was able to talk not only about my abilities in the classroom but also outside.   David Henderson , 2022 ESRA Recipient