Dr. Aguirre with students

The Department of Economics has instituted a new Research Fellows program designed to engage undergraduate economics students from our three majors (Economics B.A., Economics B.S. and International Economics and Finance-Honors B.S.) as Research Assistants (RAs) for Economics faculty during the academic year.

The primary goal of the program is to provide students with a deeper understanding of the nature and methods of academic research, to expose them to real field research, impact evaluation, and to stimulate students’ interest in pursuing research projects of their own. Preference in admissions will be given to students who are in their junior year, although sophomores with strong academic records are also welcome to apply. Applicants should be on track to achieving a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

A list of research projects in which members of the Economics faculty will be engaged during the academic year will be posted. Students can choose to apply to specific projects and/or rank their preferences. Some faculty may be looking for help in locating sources of data. Others will want to undertake data analysis using elementary or sophisticated statistical models. Some will engage students in field research and impact evaluations. Still other faculty may value a critical assessment of the literature on a given topic.  In all instances, a faculty member commits to providing substantive supervision and training for her or his RA, in line with the goal of enriching the student learning experience and preparing students to do their own research. Each RA will be expected to work an average of 10 hours per week during the course of the academic year. They might need to travel if appropriate and/or feasible. Coordinating his or her academic work with these RA responsibilities will be entirely the student responsibility.

Interested applicants need to fill out an application, secure two letters of recommendation, and state the preferences as to her or his interest in working with the different projects listed as research projects’ possibilities. A committee of full-time faculty members will review the applications and provide recommendations to the Chair of the Department of Economics as to the matching of research projects with students. It is fully acceptable for students to approach faculty with whom they are acquainted and inquire in advance about the listed research projects before submitting the applications. However, all students will still be required to go through the formal application procedure. 

If you are interested in applying for this program, please wait for the formal announcement by the end of June and then submit the completed application form and transcript to Dr. Martha Cruz.  Questions can be directed to Dr. Cruz at cruzzuniga@cua.eduApplications are usually due by the end of August, and the deadline will be specified in the formal announcement.