Economics Research Fellows Program

The Undergraduate Research Fellows Program is modeled after our popular Sharpe Fellows Program and will support talented undergraduates to work side-by-side with a professor on the professor’s research team. Each student recipient receives a stipend of $2,500 per quarter (for winter and spring, 2021), professional development training, and the opportunity to present their findings at an event in May / June of the Spring quarter.  


What is expected of the student?

Fellows are expected to work approximately 10 hours per week with a faculty member during the quarter and to present their work at a reception during the spring quarter and Undergraduate Research Week.  Students are expected to be professional and attend meetings with the faculty member at the appointed time and to be prepared for these meetings. They will be expected to meet deadlines and project timelines set out by the professor. Each fellow will be asked to meet as a cohort and undergo training to prepare for their final presentations. If the research fellow is not meeting the professor’s expectations, they could be dismissed from the program.

How will I know with whom I will be working?

If selected, students will be able to contact any Economics faculty member with whom they are interested in working. Faculty will be given information about all fellows and will have the option of contacting students directly.  The Chair and Vice Chair of the Department of Economics will help facilitate matches should the fellow be unable to find a match themselves.

What are the application requirements for this Program?

The application requirements include success as a student, a demonstrated interest for research, and a passion in economics. Each applicant must be a full-time UCLA student enrolled for the entire academic year (Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters). Extension students are not eligible for this program.  In order to be selected for this program – the student should have a 3.2 cumulative GPA, and must have already completed Econ 101. Completion of Econ 103/Econ 103L is not required but is strongly preferred. We encourage students from the Class of 2021 and the Class of 2022 to apply. The required materials to upload are listed on the application. 

What is the expected time commitment for this Program?

The time commitment expected is 10 hours per week for a minimum of two quarters. However, the exact hours and the distribution over weeks will ultimately be decided by your agreement with the faculty member you choose to work with and the demands of the project. There will be monthly cohort meetings with the other fellows will be required to attend.

What kind of research will applicants be participating in with the professors?

The research responsibilities will be dependent on what the faculty needs.  Students may be working on analyzing data, constructing data sets, running regressions, creating graphs and charts, editing text, summarizing articles, etc.

What would be the role of the student in the Program?

You would be an undergraduate research assistant. The specific responsibilities would depend on the project and the faculty member you choose to work with.

May I choose a faculty member outside of the UCLA Department of Economics as my faculty mentor?

No. This program is for students who are interested in research with tenure track faculty in UCLA’s Department of Economics only. Tenure track faculty hold the titles Professor, Associate

Do I have to be majoring in Economics to participate?

This program is open to all students regardless of major; however, priority is given to students majoring in Economics, Business Economics, and Mathematics / Economics.

Who is sponsoring this program?

The UCLA Economics Research Fellows Program is sponsored by the UCLA Economics Board of Visitors.  The Department is grateful for their commitment to undergraduate education.

Apply today! 

The application for the 2020-2021 Research Fellows is now open. The deadline to apply is Friday, October 16 at 11:59 p.m. 

The application can be accessed at this link.


  • The required paperwork to issue the quarterly stipends will be submitted to the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office in Murphy Hall. Once the paperwork is processed, the recipient should receive the payment within 10-15 business days. The payment will first pay off any BruinBill balance, then refund the student the unused portion. International students may be charged taxes on the amount to be paid out. If the student has BruinDirect, and it is still in effect when the award is paid out, then the student will receive the award electronically. Otherwise, a paper check will be mailed to the student’s address filed with the university and may take up to 3 weeks to receive the check.
  • If the student is currently receiving need based federal financial aid from the university, the student must be aware that if the scholarship/fellowship award exceeds their federal need or the Cost of Attendance, the federal aid will be reduced and may cause a  bill if funds have been disbursed. The student may consult with his/her Financial Aid Counselor to determine if and how this award might affect his/her financial aid package for the year.

For more information, visit the Financial Aid Office website.

If the student is an international student, he/she will need to fill out a form called GLACIER. The student must complete this form when he/she receives the email request. Otherwise, their award will not be processed and disbursed. International students’ awards will not be processed until the GLACIER form is submitted and complete.


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