Undergraduate Student Fellows Program

The goal of the Wharton Risk Center’s 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 will build an interdisciplinary community of students interested in risk management and resilience.  Undergraduate Fellows will:

  • develop working knowledge of real-world challenges and solutions in climate risk management and public policy,
  • gain exposure to academic work on disaster risk management and risk finance,
  • become familiarize with career options in climate risk management and sustainability fields, and
  • network with other students, faculty, and professionals.

Applications for the 2020-2021 Undergraduate Fellows Program cohort are now open.  Learn more about the program and access application instructions hereApplications are due by Sunday, March 29, 2020.

Russell Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowships

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. The research fellowships are named in honor of an endowment provided to the Wharton School by the Anheuser-Busch Charitable Trust. Professor Emeritus of Management Science, Russell Ackoff’s work was dedicated to furthering our understanding of human behavior in organizations. The fellowship awards range from $1,000-$4,000. Funds may be used for data collection, travel, and other direct research expenses (not stipend support, research assistants or computer purchases). Potential initiatives to receive funding include Insurability and Risk Management; Managing Environmental, Health and Safety Risks; Behavioral Economics; and Decision Processes. Doctoral students throughout Penn engaged in on-going research that relates to problems in decision making under risk and uncertainty are encouraged to apply.  Please see here for past recipients and contact Carol Heller at for more information.

Russell Ackoff Doctoral Student Fellowships for research on decision processes and risk management
Deadline: March 20, 2020

To apply: Applications must include a proposal and the application form. The application form must be completed in its entirety.

A Call for Student Solutions to Climate Risk Management Challenges

Over the Summer of 2019, the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, the Penn Program on Regulation, and the Faculty Senate at the University of Pennsylvania hosted a virtual ideation session to generate a total of 30 faculty solutions to climate risks for tackling one or more of three interrelated types of climate risk: Mitigation, Adaptation, Transition.

As we approach the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with a looming climate crisis, we now invite students from across the university to submit their own climate risk solutions. The top 10 graduate and top 10 undergraduate submissions will be featured on the website.

Please submit your solution to Zoë Linder-Baptie, Resilience Projects Manager at the Wharton Risk Center (, by March 15th, 2020.  Learn more here.

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.


PennApps: Hack-for-Resilience

Every September, the University of Pennsylvania hosts PennApps – one of the largest student-run hackathons in the world.  Teams of up to four students spend the weekend developing innovative software and hardware solutions to real-world problems.  These projects range in platform and application, including elements of web development, mobile applications, drones, and more.  The Wharton Risk Center and the Insurance Information Institute co-sponsor the “Hack-for-Resilience” and “Insuretech” routes and encourage you to apply!

Learn more about the 2018 and 2019 top resilience hacks!

(For all Risk Center events, please see our upcoming Events page.)

Are you a student who wants to get involved with the Risk Center? 

Contact Helen Wiley, at

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