About the DEAL

The DEAL is based on the idea of team-based research: students will be fully integrated members of teams conducting groundbreaking research with the potential to generate important new knowledge. DEAL students will work directly with the faculty who lead these teams, alongside their peers, graduate students, and more experienced researchers. Beyond the potential for contributing to many different stages of research production, students will also have the opportunity to mentor the younger students who will  replace them when they graduate.

How We Help

The DEAL will train, mentor, and support students as they develop the critical thinking and analytical skills needed to successfully contribute to faculty-led research projects. DEAL students will learn to be productive collaborators while mentoring and supporting others who have less experience. Specifically, the DEAL will offer undergraduates ranging from first years to seniors opportunities to participate in every stage of the research production function, from idea generation to final manuscript preparation, for a broad set of research projects. Students can bring their unique perspectives in addressing major research questions, immersing themselves in an enterprise of intellectual inquiry geared toward making new discoveries that advance scientific understanding.

The Student "Experience" 

By offering undergraduates opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research, the DEAL aims to help students develop expertise and skills to position them advantageously for their lives beyond Duke.

Work in the DEAL will be both rigorous and personally rewarding: students benefit from unparalleled real-world experiential learning that enriches classroom-based instruction while knowing they are highly valued by the faculty who benefit from their top-drawer research support. DEAL students will experience first-hand how the insights and methods of economics play a central role in developing novel ways to solve complex problems. As DEAL teams grapple with the challenges that arise in addressing unresolved scientific questions and make progress in answering them, students can contribute to developing ingenious solutions, and thus ultimately feel the satisfaction of creating new, generalizable knowledge that advances science and policy.

Over and above experiencing the excitement of hands-on learning by doing, DEAL students can build the high-level analytic and advanced econometrics skills that are at the core of data science and valued highly in the labor market. They will learn how to design, implement, and manage innovative studies that are cost-effective and provide social value; how to think critically in practical real-world settings, evaluate evidence, synthesize results, and communicate those results to diverse audiences in impactful ways; and how to both collaborate and lead effectively as they learn from and mentor their peers.

The overarching goal is to help students find their voices and develop attributes that will lay the foundation for future successes in science, policy, finance, business, and elsewhere.