Research Opportunities

Through the generous contributions of supporters, foundations and alumni the Department of Economics is able to offer the following competition and scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students. In all cases, students must be officially declared economics majors and in good standing.

Annual Best Paper and Semiannual Best Proposal Competitions

The Department of Economics currently runs three research competitions for students. Awards are made in two ways. A student can submit either 1.) a completed piece of research, or 2.) a proposal for a research project. Both papers and proposals must be developed under the guidance of an SJSU Economics faculty member, and both proposals and papers must be examples of academic economics research.

Paper Competition

Submissions are due by May 31st of each year; in Spring 2017, we plan to offer one $2,000 award, one $1,000 award, and one $500 award to the three best academic papers. To apply, complete the Application Form (available at the link above) and email your completed research paper in PDF format to the director of the research and proposal competitions, currently Dr. Matthew Holian

Congratulations to the Winners of the Spring 2017 Research Paper Competition!

Graduate Student Winners:

First Place: Jeffrey Tseng
“Can Medical Students Improve Standardized USMLE Test Scores by Attending and Studying for Class?”

Second Place: Veronica Jimenez
“Can Anarchy and the State Coexist? An Analysis of Mexico”

Third Place: Randy Avalos
“NYISO Transmission Congestion Contract Abnormal Returns: Symptoms of Inefficient Market Design”

Undergraduate Student Winners:

First Place: Amar Pal
“Should Downtown San Francisco Implement a Congestion Pricing System Similar to London’s?”

Second Place: Cassandra Denis
“The Correlation between the Rate of Unemployment and the Rate of Total Crime”

Third Place: Sherwin Vassigh and Austin Carnathan
“Regression Analysis of Team Success in Basebal: The Impact of Salary Expenditures on Measures of Team Success”

Spring 2017 Research Paper Competition, complete abstracts

Proposal Competition

Next deadline is October 31, 2017.
Proposal submissions are due on October 31st and March 31st for the Fall or Spring semesters, respectively. Each semester we plan to make three awards at $1,000 each. To apply, complete the Application Form (available at the link above) and email your completed proposal in PDF format to the director of the research and proposal competitions.  Proposals must describe the Research Objective, the General Methodology, and include a list of Tasks and Deliverables, which describes each project task and anticipated date of completion.

Application Process for Paper and Proposal Competition

Click the following link to access the Best Paper / Proposal Competition Application Form, which is the single application form used for all of the competitions.

The table below summarizes the details of the Research competitions.

Competition Submission
Award Amounts
Fall Proposal Competition October 31st three at $1,000 each
Spring Proposal Competition March 31st three at $1,000 each
Annual Paper Competition May 31st one at $2,000,
one at $1,000 and
one at $500



Graduate Fellowships in Austrian Economics

The Department of Economics offers fellowships for students interested in pursuing graduate studies in Austrian Economics. Interested students should contact Jeffrey Rogers Hummel.

College of Social Science Scholarships

Outstanding achievement by students majoring in one of the Social Sciences is recognized by the award of College Scholarships at a Spring Honors Ceremony. The scholarships represent the generosity of many friends and alumni. They honor former deans and students in the College of Social Sciences. These scholarships are designed to reward academic excellence, as well as to help finance the ever-increasing costs of higher education. Selection reflects impressive accomplishments of a college career. For more information, please visit the College of Social Sciences page.