Undergraduate Research Fellowships

The Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) Undergraduate Research Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis to honor-qualified undergraduate students interested in conducting research in the field of political economy broadly considered (e.g. economics, philosophy, law, sociology, political science). Potential topics might include inequality, poverty, healthcare, immigration, regulation, taxation, public debt, or international economic policy focused on the regional, national, or international level. Students accepted into the program will receive a research fellowship stipend of $2,500 as they successfully perform as a fellow. Fellows will also receive regular mentoring from PERI, Department of Economics and Finance, or Honors College faculty and the opportunity for peer feedback from other fellows. Fellows will also be eligible to submit a request to the PERI for travel support to present their research at a student or academic research conference.

Fellowship Expectations:

  • Fellows are expected to produce a draft of original or coauthored research (research can be coauthored with MTSU faculty). This draft should be prepared with the goal for eventual submission to an undergraduate or academic journal or use in an Honors Thesis.
  • Fellows are expected to work with assigned faculty mentors periodically throughout the fellowship to discuss and review the progress of their research project.
  • Fellows should list “PERI Undergraduate Research Fellow” on their Curriculum Vitae and acknowledge the research support in any subsequently published research resulting from this research experience.
  • Fellows must attend the E.W. “Wink” Midgett Awards Ceremony and Reception and, if they are an Honors College student, the University Honors College Award Ceremony.
  • Fellows are required to prepare and present a poster of their research at the MTSU Summer Research Celebration
  • Fellows are encouraged to participate in the student research poster fair during MTSU’s Scholars Week

Required Submission Materials:

  • Cover Letter
  • Research Proposal
  • Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Unofficial Transcript(s)

Research Proposal: Submit a 1-2 page research proposal describing your proposed research topic, methodology, and targeted undergraduate or academic journals.

Cover Letter: Students should submit a cover letter detailing their major, class year, their interest in political economy, their career goals, and how they expect to benefit from this fellowship program. Students should also explain how their research topic relates to the mission of the PERI.

Submission Instructions: Submit to Daniel Smith (Daniel.Smith@mtsu.edu). Students are admitted throughout the year on a rolling basis.

Eligibility: Students must be enrolled undergraduates at Middle Tennessee State University and Honor College eligible (GPA of 3.25 or higher). Primary consideration will be given to students enrolled in honors courses and students in their sophomore or junior year.

Please note, if students intend to use surveys, interviews, or experiments dealing with human subjects, then they must complete all required training programs from MTSU’s Institutional Board Review and contact the Office of Compliance regarding their research proposal prior to submitting an application to this program.

For any questions regarding the PERI Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, please contact:
Dr. Daniel J. Smith
Director, Political Economy Research Institute
Middle Tennessee State University


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