The institute provides students with multidisciplinary and applied learning experiences that helps prepare them for their professional endeavors.


EGI engages with students from the University of Michigan and other institutions to provide multidisciplinary opportunities in economic research, industry research, applied business analysis, and community engagement. Institute staff members and program directors coach and mentor both undergraduate and graduate students as they conduct real world research and tackle hands-on client assessments and engagements. Students with backgrounds in business, economics, engineering, information, finance, natural resources & environment, public health, social work, architecture & urban planning, political science, statistics, data science, mathematics, international studies, and computer science have all contributed to the institute’s success.  To learn more about any of our programs, visit the program pages listed to the right for information and staff contacts.

To apply

The institute posts all its research associate positions on the university’s Student Employment Office website.  Search for keyword “research associate” at the Economic Growth Institute.  Research associate positions are posted throughout the year with greater demand at the start of each semester.

Student work may include the following

  • Research industries and assist project managers with client company engagements.
  • Perform assessments of companies, learning to identify and measure success metrics,
  • Assist with marketing, outreach, and reporting needs of the Institute.

EGI sees increasing competition among student applicants for research associate positions. Students who work at the institute become part of a network of business leaders, public sector leaders, consultants, and researchers. Graduating students feel prepared after working at the institute for roles in the public and private sector, at startups, consulting firms, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies.


The Institute offers two courses in collaboration with the Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering. 

“Re-imagining companies” introduces students to the fundamentals of how to evaluate a company and strategize its growth opportunities.  During the semester, students are led through the process of evaluating a firm, exploring its market environment, interviewing its leaders, and presenting recommendations for business improvements.  Students learn the same tools and skills that research associates develop when working with the Institute’s business assistance programs.

Through lectures, consulting role playing, and industry guest lectures, the class offers a new and more intense structure to the research associate experience, challenging students to think about the many dynamics that impact a business.  The course includes a foundation of industry and market analysis topics, including industry research and financial statement analysis.  Project managers from the Institute coach student teams as they evaluate actual companies from the Institute’s different programs.

Student teams work through company financial statements and perform consulting interviews.  Students learn to explore a company’s history, organization, and business challenges.  The course provides a unique perspective on the complexity of business. The curriculum includes analytical tools for assessing a business and a framework for identifying solutions and priorities. These are critical skills for new graduates in any discipline.

Universities are a major source of new technologies, and the University of Michigan hosts the largest research enterprise in the country.  The potential of moving new discoveries from the lab to application is significant, but the process poses challenges for researchers and industry.  Drawing on cutting-edge methods in technology commercialization, the Tech Commercialization challenges students to evaluate technologies developed by university researchers and propose commercial applications.

Student teams are assigned a new technology and meet with its researcher to learn about its functioning.  From this starting point, the teams identify potential applications and research market potential.  Lecturers guide students through a commercialization framework that helps progress their technology through specific stages.  After many rounds of ideas and evaluation, teams finish the semester by presenting three potential applications for their technology.

More information about these classes can be found on CFE’s website.

Tech Commercialization

Reimagining Companies Through Innovation