From Diversifying Economic Quality: A Wiki for Instructors and Departments
Provide opportunities for student involvement with research early on.
Undergraduate research opportunities can attract underrepresented students to the field of economics. Students exposed to research develop essential skills, learn economic concepts and methods, and gain insight on how the basic tools they see in class can be adapted to investigate real world subjects of interest. Building the sense of relevance, belonging, and growth mindset deepens interest in economics and ultimately may lead to a career in the field (Bayer, Bhanot, Bronchetti, and O'Connell 2020). Instructors benefit too, becoming better teachers in the classroom with greater awareness of student learning needs and interests, getting assistance with their research, and enjoying students as individuals (Ehrenberg 2005).
Several studies have demonstrated that undergraduate research opportunities attract and retain talented undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. REUs (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) have increased minority student interest (Fitzsimmons, Carlson, Kerpelman and Stoner, 1990) and retention rates (Lopatto, 2004; Kremer and Bringle, 1990), as well as graduate school matriculation rates (Hathaway, Nagda, and Gregerman, 2002) in STEM fields.
The Economics Research Network, at the University of Bristol, publishes a Handbook for Economics Lecturers, which offers relevant chapters on Undergraduate Research in Economics, Undergraduate Dissertations in Economics, and Problem-Based Learning, by KimMarie McGoldrick, Peter Smith, and Frank Forsythe, respectively. Starting Point also highlights the benefits of undergraduate research opportunities.
The American Economic Association's Summer Training Program provides underrepresented undergraduate students with the opportunity to work closely with Economics faculty to gain technical skills in economics. It also facilitates valuable networking relationships with program leaders and other program participants. ANTICIPATED APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 31.
The CSMGEP Summer Economics Fellows Program allows senior graduate students and junior faculty to spend a summer in residence at a sponsoring research institution.
The Summer Research Initiative (SRI) at the University of Maryland, College Park "provides summer research opportunities to undergraduate students across the social and behavioral science spectrum."