Work-Study Jobs, Internships & Funding

As we receive information on potential jobs for undergraduates, we will send emails with pertinent details to all economics majors.

The Duke Career Center is another resource to check for opportunities and career planning tools.

Allen Starling Johnson, Jr. Distinguished Research Assistantships

Each semester, the Department of Economics offers several paid undergraduate research assistantship positions. Individual faculty members who are in need of such research assistants inform the EcoTeach Center, which then solicits highly qualified undergraduates for interviews. If a faculty member has identified a particular student with whom s/he wants to work, special preference will be given to such students assuming they have made substantial progress in their major and have demonstrated strong academic performance. It is not possible to apply for a research assistantship. When positions become available, EcoTeach will send an interview offer to qualified undergraduates.

Undergraduate Teaching Assistantships

The Department of Economics believes that serving as an undergraduate teaching assistant (UTA) can be a valuable complement to an undergraduate education because teaching always involves a deepening understanding of the particular subject matter and and enhancement of general presentation and public speaking skills that may be valuable in many settings after graduation. In addition, serving as a UTA can help forge closer ties between advanced undergraduates and faculty. For these reasons, we frequently invite advanced undergraduates to participate in the teaching of some of our undergraduate courses — especially ECON 101 (Economic Principle) and ECON 201D (Intermediate Microeconomics I).

UTAs are selected through an interview process with the director and/or associate director of undergraduate studies and the instructor for the course seeking UTAs. This process is undertaken annually with interviews for fall and spring assignments conducted around March/April. Preference is also given to students who have completed the economics core course sequence (ECON 101, 104D, 201D, 204D, 205D, and 210D) and to upperclassmen.

Candidates for the interview process are sometimes identified by the instructor seeking UTAs, but we also encourage undergraduates to self-express their interest in the positions. To express an interest, please fill out the UTA Application form during the application period. The application period will be announced via email, website, and Social Sciences Building monitors and bulletin boards. Candidates will be pre-screened by the director of undergraduate studies and those who have earned quality grades in the core sequence will be invited via email to interview. It is very difficult to conduct interviews with students who are on study abroad, so we ask that students apply for a UTA position before leaving for their abroad experience. Qualified students may then defer acceptance, need permitting, to the term in which they will return to Duke.

If you have questions, contact the undergraduate program assistant.

Administrative Work-Study Positions

The EcoTeach Center and the Department Chair's Office routinely hire undergraduates to support a variety of administrative functions, including reception, data entry, records, filing, and website editing. Most positions start at $10/hour with 8-10 hours expected per week. Students who are interested in these positions should contact

Davies Fellowships

The department is pleased to be able to periodically offer Davies Fellowships, intended to financially support especially promising undergraduates in the summer between their junior and senior years, so that they may be free to further their pursuit of independent research under the direction of a faculty mentor and through the Honors Program. Students must be nominated by a faculty member in the Economics Department, and awards are made conditional on fund availability.

The fellowship is named in honor of the late Dr. David Davies, a Duke Economics professor from 1961 until his retirement in 1991. Throughout his Duke tenure, Davies wore many administrative hats, including chair, director of undergraduate studies, acting director of graduate studies, and director of the honors program. Davies is remembered in the department with great fondness and respect, not only for his research in public economics, but also for his passionate advocacy of undergraduate instruction and research. Davies is credited with creating and sustaining the Economics Honors Program and it is because of this legacy that we honor him through the creation of the Davies Fellowship. For more information on Davies, please see the 2001 Duke Journal of Economics, which was dedicated to him.

Travel Grants 

This grant is primarily intended to fund students who have been invited to present their original research at professional conferences.  Exceptions may be made for cases in which the student’s research supervisor believes that attendance at a particular conference is essential to the successful completion of the student’s original research paper or project.

This grant may be used to pay for lodging and domestic (U.S.) travel by air, train, or bus.  Please note that taxi, ridesharing or other private car or limousine services are not covered by this grant. 

Apply here

Data Grants

This grant is intended to enable students to obtain access to data sets that they will analyze as part of their honors theses or other original research projects.  Priority will be given to the purchases of datasets that may be kept permanently and may be used by multiple students. 

Apply here