Undergraduate Research

undergraduate student researcher with poster presentationThe CERPA Undergraduate Research Scholars Program is an undergraduate research program that provides exceptionally capable and well-motivated students an opportunity to participate in all phases of social, economic and policy research under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The program offers a comprehensive opportunity to more fully develop critical thinking and analytical skills, while also improving writing and presentation skills.

The Program

Selected scholars are typically juniors and seniors, although sophomore students may be appropriate in some cases. The program lasts one to two semesters, though work can extend to additional semesters as needed. The program can start at the beginning of the fall or spring semester. Students are encouraged to register for a 1 semester hour independent study course, although this is not required. Selected undergraduate research scholars work with a faculty advisor to examine a local, state, national or international economic issue. Scholars meet with their faculty advisors on a regular basis to check progress and receive guidance on their work.

Successful completion of the program will culminate with two major accomplishments: a high quality research paper, which will be published in the CERPA Undergraduate Research Series, and a formal presentation (oral or poster) at an approved event (e.g., ASU Celebration of Student Research and Creative Endeavors, National Conference on Undergraduate Research). Also, at the conclusion of each Spring semester, the economics faculty will host all of the scholars to recognize their work and award the most outstanding research paper the Brashear Prize in Economics. And for exceptional research, the faculty advisor will encourage and assist scholars in submitting the paper for possible publication in an academic journal

CERPA Scholar Expense Grants

With approval of the faculty advisor, CERPA Scholars can write a proposal to receive funding to support their research. Grants of up to $1,000 are awarded depending on the needs of the project. Funds may be used to support data collection and travel. In addition, undergraduate research assistantships may be available through CERPA.

How to Apply

The program is open to all Juniors and Seniors that have a GPA of 3.25 or higher. Interested students must complete an application (PDF) and submit via email to Ash Morgan at the Center for Economic Research and Policy Analysis (morganoa@appstate.edu). As part of the application, students must identify an economics faculty advisor prior to consideration. Selection of CERPA Scholars will be based on a review of the student's record and application, and the advisor's recommendation.