Research Fellows Program

Criteria, Expectations, and Request for Proposals


IRAEA Research Fellows Program

IRAEA provides fellowships for MSU faculty members to pursue research programs related to the IRAEA mission; produce publicly accessible briefing papers and other communications that inform law makers, policy advisors and the general public on policy and regulatory issues related to the research; and organize and participate in IRAEA workshops and conferences. Fellowships are awarded through an MSU-wide competitive process. Information on past Research Fellows is available at:

Consistent with the IRAEA mission, the involvement of students in research is important and strongly encouraged; research programs should focus on policy at the state, regional, and/or national level, and should have a high likelihood of leading to independent funding. Additional funding for student involvement in the research is available on a competitive basis through the IRAEA Undergraduate Research Scholars program. Additional funding to support research-related visits to MSU by visiting scholars is available through the IRAEA Visiting Scholars program.


Any MSU faculty member engaged in research related to regulatory and policy issues is eligible to apply. Research must include a component that addresses the impact of regulation and/or policy in agriculture, healthcare, technology, finance, natural resources, education, public safety, or other related sectors. Research Fellowship applicants are expected to have a well-established research record. Interdisciplinary research proposals and proposals directed by multiple project leaders are welcome, and faculty members outside economics are encouraged to reach out to Vincent Smith ( or Wendy Stock ( for assistance in identifying potential ways to include economic regulation and policy analysis in their projects.

Award Amounts

Research Fellowshipsare for two-year periods.Successful applicants will receive funding in each of two periods: August 1to August 1 of each year – in the amount of $25,000 (a total of $50,000 over the entire period of the award) and an additional annual travel budget of up to $3,000 in each period (a total of $6,000 over the entire period of the award). Research Fellows may apply for competitive renewal in subsequent years.


Research Fellows are expected to (A) conduct research programs and (B) meet the additional expectations of Research Fellows, as described below:

1. Research Project Expectations

  • Conduct research on topics covered by the Initiative’s mission and submit their resulting research papers to peer-reviewed academic journals.
  • Produce publicly accessible working papers (publication under review) to inform law makers, policy advisors, and the general public of the research findings and provide detailed technical information about how the research was conducted. The IRAEA research associate can assist with this process.
  • Produce policy issues white papers (a condensed version of published paper written in language accessible to non-specialists) to inform law makers, policy advisors, and the general public of the research findings. The IRAEA research associate is available to assist with this process.
  • Present a research seminar on the research project that is open to faculty, students and the general public.
  • Fellows are required to submit a brief end-of-project report in PDF format outlining how the work fulfills each of the project expectations described above. Reports should be 1,000 or fewer words and submitted to IRAEA co-directors as well as the communications specialist.
  • Fellows are asked to provide co-directors and the communications specialist with research presentations and any/all other outreach materials developed and presented that pertains to the IRAEA research project. Grantees are also asked to participate in the Initiative’s outreach efforts including video interviews and news stories regarding research and outcomes. Researchers are encouraged to communicate with IRAEA’s communications specialist, Carmen Price, to publicize publications, working papers, and seminars and to assist with formatting working papers and seminar presentations with branded communication materials.
  • Research Fellows are expected to follow all MSU and academic journal policies regarding conflicts of interest and acknowledgement of financial support for their research. Grantees are also strongly encouraged to acknowledge IRAEA in presentations as well as in academic journal and other publications upon acceptance of their work for publication.

2. Additional Expectations of Research Fellows

  • Organize and hold a workshop, seminar, and/or conference for law makers, policy advisors, interest groups and/or the general public related to the research project(s).
  • Serve on selection committees for the Initiative's Research Grant, Visiting Scholar, and Undergraduate Research Scholar programs (with the exception that Fellows may not be part of the selection process for their own proposals).
  • Apply for external grant funding to sustain their research program beyond the Fellowship period.
  • Provide substantive professional feedback to other Research Fellows, Research Grantees, and Visiting Scholars about their research projects.
  • Participate in the Initiative's research seminars, workshops, conferences, and other events.
  • Provide leadership in one of the Initiative's areas of focus, identifying emerging policy issues and areas of potential emphasis for future research support.


Research Fellow Proposal Requirements

Proposals should include (1) items 1-4 below, (2) a current curriculum vita/biosketch (two-page limit) that provides either evidence of research experience in the economics of regulatory and policy analysis or evidence of potential to conduct high-quality research in regulatory and policy analysis, and (3) a statement describing how the applicant will meet the additional expectations of Research Fellows.

  1. Proposal narrative (2-4 pages) Provide a description of the research plan, written in the order listed below. Each section should begin with a section header (e.g., Abstract, Specific Aims, etc.).
    1. Abstract (150 word limit) 
    2. Statement of Specific Aims of the Project: Statement of the regulatory/policy issue that the research will address, hypothesis, and a description of the rationale and economic basis for the proposed research.
    3. Significance of the Project: Description of the importance of the regulatory/policy issue being addressed, how the research project will improve our knowledge regarding the regulatory/policy issue, including how the research could potentially help policy makers addressing the regulatory/policy issue, and a description of how the research fits into the IRAEA mission. 
    4. Innovation: Brief explanation of how the project is creative, unique, and innovative, and how the project moves the applicant’s research program forward. 
    5. Approach (Design and Methods): Provide a clear research plan that includes the various stages commonly used in economics research (e.g., assessment of current state of research on the issue, describing the underlying economic theory that applies to the research, specifying research methods to be used, obtaining data needed, generating research results, producing a working paper, getting expert feedback, and producing the research paper for submission).
  2. Human Subjects, if applicable, all researchers must abide by all human subjects requirements as described by the MSU Institutional Review Board ( Researchers must identify whether their research project includes human subjects (including human subjects data), and if so, provide a CITI human subjects training certification (see and an IRB approval letter (or exemption letter) or evidence that IRB approval is pending.
  3. Itemized budget and budget justification for the proposed two year grant period. The budget may include, but is not limited to, summer salary, equipment, data gathering, and other research-related expenses, and for the principal investigator travel to attend conferences to present results. Budget cannot be used for students, faculty, or staff who are not affiliated with MSU. 
  4. Project Timeline that clarifies the goals, objectives, and work to be accomplished during the granting period, including a timeline for writing white papers and policy briefs and presenting a research seminar on the research project that is open to faculty, students and the general public.

Submission Requirements

  • Applicants should complete an OSP Electronic Proposal Clearance Form via the Office of Sponsored Programs website: Prepare a “Full Proposal Form” and select the sponsor, “Charles Koch Foundation (CHAKOC) [P].”
  • Applicants should include their proposal as an attachment on the clearance form. Attachments must be in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) format.
  • An electronic version of the complete proposal should also be sent to Tamara Moe, Department of Agricultural Economics & Economics, at

Applicants may contact Dr. Vince Smith (994-5615, or Dr. Wendy Stock, (994-7984, at any time with questions about the proposal format and/or instructions or to discuss potential project ideas or opportunities for joint collaboration with faculty in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics.  

Proposal Review

Proposals will be reviewed by the IRAEA Research Fellows Selection Committee soon after the submission deadline. The Selection Committee is comprised of the IRAEA co-directors and the IRAEA Internal Advisory Board.

The selection committee will score proposals using the NIH 1-9 scale ( pdf) for overall impact and individual review criteria (Significance, Investigator, Innovation, Approach, and Potential for External Funding) and will include written comments regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal.