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.

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.

Student Fellows Program

The Wharton Risk Center is piloting a Student Fellows Program for the 2019-2020 academic year and expects to scale up the program in subsequent years.  The goal of the Student Fellows Program is to complement students’ existing academic experiences at Penn by providing practical research and engagement experience on risk management topics relevant to private and public sector stakeholders.

Student Fellows participate in a series of seminars, projects, and activities oriented around how to effectively manage risk at all scales. They receive unparalleled access to, and direct interaction with Risk Center experts and distinguished visitors, along with unique opportunities and activities oriented around risk management and public policy. The Risk Center strives to meet students’ individual needs and provide ample opportunity to engage more deeply with topics of interest.

This competitive program is intended for rising sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students from any school or department who have an interest in exploring issues of risk management, resilience, insurance, and public policy in depth during their time at Penn. Fellows spend an average of  2-5 hours per week in research, project meetings, meetings with faculty/visitors, and other Risk Center activities. Becoming a Student Fellow is a one-year commitment with potential to renew based on a Fellow’s continued interest and performance in the program.

Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year will be made available Spring 2020.

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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