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


The institute 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

  • Prescreen and process potential program client company applications, learning how to identify high-potential characteristics,

  • Develop Market Specific Overviews and supply market intelligence to clients, learning how to use primary and secondary research sources to identify economic opportunities,

  • Perform assessments of companies, learning to identify and measure success metrics,

  • Identify and document critical gaps in business models, company operations, and market needs,

  • Perform searches and arrange for resources (both university and/or private sector) to address critical gaps identified during assessment,

  • Develop scopes of work and facilitate selection and contracting of identified private sector or university resources to perform project activity,

  • Summarize the assessment, search findings, scopes of work and market specific opportunities, and develop a customized action plan with targeted recommendations towards successful innovation and commercialization of new products.

The institute 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.

Programs & Initiatives

DCAP: Serving defense suppliers addressing cybersecurity
First Customer Program: Helping Michigan serve advanced technology firms
GLTAAC: Helping import impacted manufacturers
SCIP/TCA: Helping Michigan firms access university resources and technology
Former Student Researchers: Building foundations for student success
Publications: Research on economics and jobs forecasting