Student Research Opportunities

Russell Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowship Grants

Since 2006, the Russell Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowship program of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center has provided grants to University of Pennsylvania Ph.D. students who are pursuing research in decision making under risk and uncertainty. Potential research areas to receive funding include Insurability and Risk Management; Managing Environmental, Health and Safety Risks; Behavioral Economics; and Decision Processes. Learn more about submitting grant proposals.

Undergraduate Student Fellows Program

The goal of the Undergraduate Fellows Program is to complement students’ academic experiences at Penn by providing education, career development, and practical engagement on climate risk management, disaster resilience, and sustainability topics that are relevant to private and public sector stakeholders. The program seeks to build an interdisciplinary community of students interested in risk management and resilience.  Becoming an Undergraduate Fellow is a one-year commitment with the potential to renew, based on a student’s continued interest and performance in the program.  Learn more about the program.

Research Assistant and Internship Opportunities

When research assistant or internship opportunities are available at the Wharton Risk Center, they are distributed through our student listserv, which is sent out on a bi-weekly basis.  Please sign-up at the bottom of this page.  At the undergraduate level, priority is given to Undergraduate Fellows.

Monthly Junior Research Seminar

The Wharton Risk Center hosts a monthly junior research seminar for post-docs, PhD students, master’s students, and research staff to share work-in-progress and network. Research topics are focused on climate change, disaster risk and resilience, and environmental policy. Faculty fellows attend occasionally. Please contact us if you are interested in joining our monthly junior research seminar.

Graduate Student Capstone Projects

The Wharton Risk Center leverages our expertise in the area of disaster risk management and climate adaptation to provide guidance for Penn graduate student capstone projects on a case-by-case basis.  Graduate students that the Risk Center chooses to work with are invited to attend center workshops in this topic area and join our monthly junior research seminar.  Students are expected to produce two written products (primers, issue briefs, or blog posts) based on their research throughout their capstone project.

Guest Blog Posts

Students are encouraged to get in contact with the Risk Center if they would like to pitch ideas for our blog, “Lab Notes.”  Our blog analyzes innovative resilience ideas, offers timely policy insights, and introduces the Risk Center’s research.  Guest posts could include, for example, innovative ideas from semester research projects.

Questions? Please email Helen Wiley at

Sign-up for our student listserv!

Want to stay up to date? Sign up to receive updates about upcoming Wharton Risk Center events and opportunities.  Additionally, the listserv alerts students to other postings, including Penn and partner events, grant and funding opportunities, conferences, and internship opportunities.