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SURE: Summer Undergraduate Research in Economics Program

The SURE Program provides UW undergraduate economics majors direct experiential learning opportunity in economic research under faculty guidance.

The SURE Program’s aim is to facilitate students' achievement of their educational and career goals through a mentored program that develops intellectual capacity and practical skills. The SURE Program will improve a student’s ability to undertake independent research and is committed to achieving three goals: (1) enrich students’ learning experience, (2) increase the value of their degrees, and (3) expand their classroom experiences into the hands-on practice of economic research. This program will develop innovative professionals attractive to future employers and graduate programs. Students will get hands-on experience in how to conduct research in economics. You will learn how to design a research question and how to implement a strategy to address the question. You will focus on learning specific research skills and will acquire and improve your knowledge of scientific software. You will acquire a deeper understanding of data collection and data management techniques. Importantly, you will participate in a research project as a member of a research team, and will learn to communicate the results of the research effectively.


Deadline for Submissions: Electronic submissions are due on or before FEBRUARY 28, 2020 in the Department of Economics.

Email to:

Notification of Awards: On or before March 23, 2020.  


Review Process

Submissions will be reviewed individually by the Department Chair, the Department Director of Undergraduate Studies, and a task group of Economics Faculty. The review will be followed by a collaborative discussion of the submissions with an opportunity for revision if necessary. Final decision on the awards will be made by the Department Chair, in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Notice of awards with be provided in writing.



For complete consideration submissions shall include:

  1. Signed letter addressed to the Department Chair, Department of Economics that includes a statement of your intent to apply to the research assistant program.


  1. A one-page proposal using the outline provided for the summer research project. The outline for submission is available by clicking here.


Proposal Requirements

Supply the requested information clearly and concisely. The limit is one page.

  1. Name and address.


  1. Proposed research project. Please explain the proposed research project for the research assistant program.


  1. Proposed faculty mentor.


  1. Proposed research plan. Describe how the proposed research will be conducted throughout the summer. Please focus on the specific research activities.


  1. Proposed research and learning outcomes. List specific research and learning outcomes. Please relate learning outcomes to specific research activities listed in the research plan. Clearly state how the outcomes of the research will be documented in terms of a paper, report, or another document




Summer 2018 Sure Award Summaries

Name: Nathan Brock

Professor: Jason Shogren

Title: The Alaska Permanent Fund System of Sovereign Wealth Fund Management


This research intends to explore the dividend-based SWF management scheme through a specific study of the Alaska Model and its effects on the Alaskan economy. The following research questions are aimed at international poverty reduction and economic diversification in the state of Wyoming:

Does the Permanent Fund Dividend within the Alaska Permanent Fund (The Alaska Model) affect the spending decisions in Alaska, both with consumers and the government?

Does the Permanent Fund Dividend within the Alaska Permanent Fund (The Alaska Model) affect the spending decisions in Alaska, both with consumers and the government?

What are the effects of applying a dividend-based management system to sovereign wealth funds in Wyoming?

I hope to respond to each of these questions through conducting research on spending activities in Alaska. I plan to evaluate both changes in consumer and government spending as a result of the PFD. This summer, I created an economic survey that intends to capture consumer spending data. This data will be used to evaluate effects of the PFD on consumers in the economy. I used SURE grant funds to travel to Alaska and collaborate with SWF professionals to sharpen the focus of my research and explore ways to gather data for government spending as well. Combining the results of both data analyses, I will be able to determine how a dividend-based SWF management system affects the economy. My results can then be applied to low income natural resource-dependent economies around the world to mitigate poverty. They will also inform policy to help mitigate the economic stress facing Wyoming’s coal-dependent economy.

The present paper will evaluate my research purpose and the specifics of this summer’s accomplishments. It will also serve as a literature review for a large selection of existing SWF research. Lastly, this paper is a synthesis of lessons learned from interviews with professionals during my stay in Alaska.

Contact Us

Department of Economics

College of Business Department 3985

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-2175

Fax: 307-766-4028


Department of Economics
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