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SIEPR Summer Undergraduate Research Program

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Summer 2024 Undergraduate Research Fellows Program

The SIEPR Undergraduate Research Fellows (UGRF) summer program provides an immersive research experience for Stanford undergraduates. The goals of the program are to connect students with SIEPR faculty and foster mentoring relationships, involve students in policy-relevant economics research, and help them develop research skills. We also aim to introduce a diverse population of students to economic policy research and encourage students from all areas of study to apply.

The program runs for 10 weeks, June 24 - August 30, 2024. Students are offered a fellowship stipend of $7500. All students are required to participate in the in-person activities during the program. Due to this we encourage students and mentors to be located within commuting distance of Stanford's campus for the duration of the summer program. 

SIEPR UGRF Student Eligibility: 

  • Participants must be current Stanford undergraduates during the summer quarter.  
    • Coterm students and seniors are eligible only if their bachelor’s degree will not be conferred before the end of the research appointment. Coterm students paying graduate tuition are not eligible. 
  • Students serving a suspension or on a leave of absence during Summer quarter are not eligible. 
  • Students are required to be on campus for program activities for the duration of the summer program.  
  • Students need to acknowledge that they understand the current Financial Aid policies for receiving a stipend payment while enrolled in classes, and are encouraged to check in with the Financial Aid Office before committing to participating in the SIEPR UGRF Program.

Program Activities: 

  • Students are required to attend in-person meetings throughout the program. 
  • Students create goals in collaboration with faculty mentors to accomplish during the program. These goals include opportunities for students to build research skills and complete tasks on faculty-led projects throughout the summer equaling approx. 35 hours a week.
  • Students meet with the Faculty Mentor/Research Team regularly to discuss progress towards project goals.
  • Students explore their own research interests with the guidance of their faculty mentor.
  • Students prepare a final presentation at the end of the summer on their progress on their learning goals. 

Application Requirements:

  1. A list of the courses that you have taken that are research-related. 
  2. Resume
  3. A  cover letter that addresses the following:
    1. Why are you interested in a SIEPR UGRF position?
    2. What is your previous experience, if any, with research?
    3. What are your personal research interests?

Current Projects

Applications for Summer 2024 UGRF Program is now open! APPLY NOW

Open project

Research in Health and Aging

Faculty Mentor: Gopi Goda

Research fellows will work together as a team on a variety of research projects regarding health and aging, including analyzing how the tax code subsidizes medical spending and the role of health insurance in mortality outcomes. In addition, research assistants will support policy engagement efforts by synthesizing research and analyzing data on a variety of policy areas.

Responsibilities: Research fellows will be responsible for conducting literature reviews, data collection and statistical analysis, and creating presentations.

Qualifications: Research fellows must be detail-oriented, organized, and exhibit excellent writing and communication skills. In addition, they must have experience with data analysis using statistical software such as Stata or a strong desire to learn.


Open project

Educational Opportunity Project

Faculty Mentor: Sean Reardon

The Educational Opportunity Project (EOP) at Stanford University uses a range of data on educational conditions, contexts, and outcomes to help scholars, policy makers, educators, and the general public learn about the landscape of educational opportunity and academic achievement in the US. The EOP houses three main initiatives: 1. The Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA): SEDA is the first 11-year national database of academic performance based on nearly 450 million 3-8th grade math and reading and language arts test scores from the 2008-2019 school years. Our data and more detail on our work is publicly available on our website ( 2. EOP NYSED Equity Indicators Project: We are partnering with the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to construct a series of equity indicators using longitudinal teacher, student, and staff level data. These indicators will help us better understand the landscape of educational equity across NY state and inform system-level changes to improve equitable access to educational opportunity. 3. The Segregation Index: A partnership with University of Southern California (USC) to create a comprehensive resource for tracking neighborhood and school segregation in the U.S., across every neighborhood and every school. For more information see:

Responsibilities: The EOP RA will be responsible for assisting on work related to the Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA) and/or the Segregation Index project. The RA may also have the opportunity to research and prepare a report on their own topic of interest related to the work of the EOP – past topics include educational opportunity in Puerto Rico, student opt-out, and broadband access. Conducting online background research on relevant topics and writing literature reviews; collecting, cleaning, and organizing data for preliminary analyses; producing memos and data reports for various projects; collaborating with EOP research staff, partners, and other RAs; outreach (via email, phone, and conference calls) to stakeholders; supporting the promotion of the EOP's work through social media and the EOP website.

Qualifications: Interest in education, education policy, and social and educational inequality is desirable. Quantitative skills, such as data cleaning, data analysis, and programming in Stata also desired but not required. Strong ability to work independently, comfort taking initiative, and attention to detail is an asset.


Open project

Financial Fragility in America over the Past Decade

Faculty Mentor: Annamaria Lusardi

Several years after the financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, financial fragility is still pervasive in the U.S. economy and, in particular, among middle-income families. Many Americans are highly dependent upon labor income, with little to buffer against shocks. This highlights the need to understand household financial fragility beyond a measure of asset levels. In this paper, I will explore the determinants of financial fragility for American households over the past decade using a variety of data sets. For a comprehensive understanding of financial fragility, I will not only analyze households’ assets but also their debt and payment obligations, financial literacy, money management practices, and demographic characteristics. Assessing the underlying factors associated with higher financial fragility is important to address the short-term effects of failing to cope with a financial emergency and to shed light on the implications of financial fragility on long-term financial security.

Responsibilities: Literature review, in particular looking at new papers covering the COVID-19 pandemic Data analysis


Knowledge of Stata and experience in using Stata 

Knowledge of econometrics and regression analysis


Open project

Modernizing Governance

Faculty Mentor: Daniel E. Ho

The Stanford Regulation, Evaluation, and Governance Lab (RegLab) is a social impact lab that partners with government and nonprofits to use machine learning and data science to modernize the public sector. Some of our partners include the EPA, IRS, DOL, and local governments. Our work includes, for example, a project to improve the ability of agencies to assess racial disparities in administrative datasets, and a project to improve compliance with the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts.

Responsibilities: RFs will work with an interdisciplinary research team using data science and social science to work on some of society’s greatest challenges. Responsibilities may include data collection, management, and analysis; literature reviews and white papers; and other research tasks as needed.

Qualifications: Students with an interest in public sector technology, data science, public health, or environmental protection are particularly welcome to apply. We are seeking RFs that are intellectually curious, self-guided, and highly organized. Strong quantitative skills preferred.


Open project

Mental health for disadvantaged populations over time

Faculty Mentor: Adrienne Sabety

The project seeks to quantify how mental health facilities have changed over time and how this has impacted population health and patient outcomes, with a focus on disadvantaged populations.

Responsibilities: Work with data and think through analyses

Qualifications: Basic data and analytical skills


Open project

Exploring the Law and Economics of Licensed Community Care Facilities in California

Faculty Mentor: Alison Morantz

The mission of the Stanford Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Law and Policy Project (SIDDLAPP) is to generate innovative research and public-facing materials to expand the economic opportunities and civil rights of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), especially those from underserved communities. In March of 2024, SIDDLAPP will be releasing, in collaboration with Disability Rights California, a policy report on the state’s residential continuum of care for individuals with I/DD and high behavioral support needs. In the Summer of 2024, SIDDLAPP will extend this work by compiling data on the licensed community care industry in California. This industry encompasses a wide range of community-based care providers, including residential facilities, that support individuals with I/DD and other disabling health conditions. Our goal will be to clean, augment, and analyze a large administrative dataset on the market structure, concentration, land regulatory oversight of the state’s licensed care providers.

Responsibilities: The SIEPR research assistant(s) primary tasks will be: (1) assisting with the identification and correction of typos, miscodings, and other data quality deficiencies in the original dataset; (2) augmenting the dataset with information on other economically consequential factors, such as average resident acuity level and ownership type, from public and private sources; and (3) once the dataset is in final form, conducting some exploratory data analysis – and, if time permits, preliminary regression analysis – to explore the trends that are shaping the licensed community care industry in California. The RA(s) will also perform qualitative research, including interviews with stakeholders across the state, to help elucidate changing market dynamics and how licensed community care facilities included are inspected and regulated. The RA(s) may also collaborate with the faculty mentor, SIDDLAPP staff, Stanford Law School's Racial and Disability Justice Pro Bono Project (RAD Justice) and/or other disability rights organizations on other project(s) designed to strengthen the civil rights and economic opportunities available to individuals with I/DD.

Qualifications: High attention to detail, strong communication skills, the capacity to complete work in a timely fashion, and an interest in economic inequality are essential. An interest in disability rights and social insurance programs (such as Medicaid) is preferred but not required. Although some tasks require technical training in econometrics, statistics and/or computer science, applicants who do not have these skills will still be considered.