Graduate Fellowship

PERC Graduate Fellowships offer the ideal opportunity for graduate and law students to conduct research related to natural resources, innovation, property rights, and the environment. Graduate Fellows spend two summer months in Bozeman, Montana, completing a paper with guidance from a PERC mentor.

Graduate Fellows work on a thesis or dissertation with guidance and feedback to fast track their research. Office space is provided in a congenial, stimulating work environment in a locale of unparalleled natural beauty. Fellows share their work and interact daily with experts in fields including economics, law, and environmental science. It is intended that the fellowship period be an opportunity to establish or strengthen a continuing relationship with PERC.

Fellows receive a monthly stipend in addition to reimbursement for reasonable domestic round-trip travel expenses to Montana.

Project Requirements:

  • Project Topics: The project should focus on natural resource and environmental issues, including the study of property rights and/or innovation. The Graduate Fellows program prioritizes research related to water, wildlife, and land, broadly defined.
  • Residency: Graduate Fellows spend two months in residence at PERC, from mid-June to mid-August.
  • Presentations: Graduate Fellows are expected to present two seminars at PERC to outline, report on, and summarize their research findings. 
  • Participation: Fellows are expected to interact with other PERC scholars and fellows while in residence and to attend seminar presentations by other fellows throughout their stay.
  • Final Project: A final paper of publishable quality is generally expected at the conclusion of the fellow’s residency. The final stipend payment is withheld until the project is received, which is due no later than December 31 of the year in which the fellowship is undertaken.

How to Apply:

Applications are now open and will be evaluated starting February 17th. Applications will remain open until the fellowships are filled.

Applications should be submitted via email to and should include three attachments:

  • Cover letter: Include a description of your graduate program, where you are in the program and your intended completion date, and an explanation of why you are applying to the summer fellowship and what you hope to get out of the experience. Also include contact information (name and email address) for a professional reference, preferably your major advisor or a committee member. Make sure to inform the letter writer we may contact them directly as we review applications.
  • Resume/Vita
  • Description of the proposed research project: Provide a description of your proposed research project (up to five pages, double-spaced) including basic background information/literature review, research question(s) to be addressed, methodological approach, data you will use (including its availability and your status in collecting it), and the key steps necessary to complete the paper.

Please email application materials and questions about the Graduate Fellow program to co-directors Eric Edwards and Sara Sutherland at

What Fellows Are Saying:

“The PERC summer fellowship was the most productive research environment I’ve ever been a part of. The seminar format is more conducive to constructive feedback than typical seminars, and the participants in the room are all sharp and invested in improving the papers. I found the research discussions to be genuinely interdisciplinary, with economists trying hard to get the ecology right, lawyers trying hard to get the economics right, etc. I’d be back next summer if I could.”
— Arthur Wardle, PhD student at U.C. Berkeley’s Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics

“As a PhD student, I gained confidence interacting with faculty, discovered new strands of cutting-edge environmental research, and had so much fun! The academic community was incredibly stimulating and welcoming. Often, it’s difficult to obtain thoughtful feedback on research in-progress, and presentations can be promotional rather than workshops to fine-tune research. Here, presenting early-stage research and offering thorough feedback are the norm, which significantly improved the quality of all the research. I felt like I learned as much in my two months here as I do in an entire year of graduate school.”
— Andrew Earle, PhD student at Michigan State University’s Economics Department

“The graduate fellows program was wonderful! Having the time to focus on a single project with a group of faculty and researchers capable of and willing to provide feedback really pushed my dissertation forward. It was one of the most stimulating intellectual environments I’ve ever been in.”
— Samantha Maher, PhD student at U.C. Berkeley’s Department of Environmental, Science, Policy, and Management

Learn about previous Graduate Fellows.