Tobin Undergraduate Research Scholars


Applications are now open for the AY18-19 and SU19 Tobin Undergraduate Research Scholars Program

The 2018-2019 Tobin Undergraduate Research Scholars Program provides competitive research fellowships for undergraduate researchers to support the ongoing, public-facing research of scholars working in one of the networks of the national Tobin Project (http://www.tobinproject.org/). The Tobin project specifically seeks to relate specialized academic research in law, politics, economic, policy, history, and allied fields to pressing policy challenges of the day—without losing the rigor of academic research. Tobin Scholars will learn not only how to conduct cutting-edge research, but to frame and pursue it with an eye to addressing the needs of the public, both substantively and in terms of civic engagement.

Program Expectations: Tobin Research Scholars will undertake applied scholary research, that may have a practicable public-facing outcome, under the direction of their Tobin Project faculty mentor. Scholars are expected to dedicate up to 10 hours per week to the program during the academic year and can pursue the project full-time over the summer, should they wish.  

Eligibility: 

  • Second and third year undergraduates at the time of application.
  • Open to all Social Science majors.
  • A full-time student in good standing at the University of Chicago.
  • Excellent research and communication skills.
  • Time-management skills and ability to work independently, as some of this work may occur remotely. 

Addiitonal expectations: Tobin Research Scholars will be expected to participate in the 2020 University of Chicago Undergraduate Research Symposium, showcasing their research with the Tobin Network in either an oral or poster presentation. If unable to present in this event because of schedule conflicts, scholars will be asked to identify an alternative public forum to speak about their research.

Grant funding: Selected scholars will be eligible for a grant of up to $5,000 for an academic year project (estimate of up to 10 hours per week/per quarter); with the possible extension for a summer immersive experience. 

Application Deadline: applications should be submitted as soon as possible and are reviewed on a rolling/immediate basis

Application Process: 

You will submit your complete application materials ONLINE HERE by the stated campus deadline, including uploading a single pdf file that includes all of the following: 

  • (1) Current academic CV (it can be more than two pages)
  • (2) 350-word motivation statement, describing your interest in working with the Tobin Project, and what policy domains are of interest to you (e.g. corporate policy, free speech, electoral reform, regulation and antitrust, campaign finance reform, etc.). You may find it useful to consult the work of the Tobin Project fellows here in order to respond well to this question. 
  • (3) Names, titles, and emails of two faculty or other academic references; please ask your references before submitting your application
  • (4) Unofficial Transcript (please download an unofficial copy from the registrars office; do not submit a screen shot of your myuchicago page)
  • (5) Writing sample (no more than 10 pages; an extended essay is sufficient and should showcase your best writing; if you submit an excerpt from a longer essay, please provide a 250 abstract of the entire text as a cover page for the sample). 

REVIEW PROCESS: This is a selective review process. Candidates will be selected based on fit for the opportunity and the quality of their application materials. 

PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT ANY MATERIALS DIRECTLY to the Tobin Project or affiliated faculty scholars. This includes letters of reference; if you do so, your letters will be automatically deleted and your application no longer considered. 

If you have any questions or difficulties uploading your application materials, please contact Nichole Fazio, Director of the College Center for Research and Fellowships (CCRF), at nfazio@uchicago.edu.


A program designed, funded, and managed through a collaboration between The Tobin Project, the Social Sciences Collegiate Division, and the College Center for Research & Fellowships (CCRF).