Summer Institute on Field Experiments 2016


Institute Dates: July 17-21, 2016

Location: The University of Chicago

The Summer Institute on Field Experiments (SIFE) is a highly selective and innovative program at the University of Chicago that brings together the brightest young economists in the world and companies interested in using rigorous field experiment methods and behavioral economics to revolutionize the way they do business. The Institute seeks organization partners who are willing to be "matched" to the most promising of the Institute's participants to work together and design solutions to problems they face. Organization partners will share their business challenges, and the Institute's academics help them to scientifically test new ideas and solutions.

The Institute is led by University of Chicago economics professor and chairman John List, and features lectures by the world's leading economists. Co-organizers include Dr. Luigi Butera, Dan Searle Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Chicago, and Dr. Anya Samek, University of Southern California. SIFE Executive Assistant: Katie Auger. The Summer Institute is funded by a generous grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Thank you to our partner, the University of Chicago.

Recent years have seen an enormous increase and interest in research using experimental methods in the field to address questions across a broad range of topics in economics. Yet for young researchers, carrying out a field experiment may be daunting. Many young scholars have not been trained on field experiment methods, and may not have connections in business or government required to carry out experiments.

Seeking Organization Partners

The Institute is looking for organization partners who are open to new and bold ideas that will revolutionize the way they develop policy, do business, or provide charitable programming. At the end of the four day Institute, organizations will have a outline of experimental design, and will work together with researchers to further develop, carry out, and evaluate the proposed solutions. Organization partners should be willing to work closely with researchers to field test solutions, and must be willing to allow research publications to come from the partnership. We expect the institute to serve as a catalyst for field experiment research and strong researcher-organization partnerships.

Seeking Researchers Interested in Partnership

The summer institute aims to bring in the brightest 20 young scholars in the world through a competitive application process each summer with the following objectives:

  • Train the most promising young scholars in the world in the field experiment method.
  • Position young scholars for success by providing connections within business and government and helping them identify practitioner needs.
  • Use the institute as a catalyst for field experiment research in business and government.

As part of the institute, scholars will listen to lectures from leading economists on the best practices of field experimentation. Then, scholars will receive real-world problems, which have been submitted to us from industry and government, and will spend the summer institute week outside of lectures working independently or in a team to develop proposed testable solutions.

Finally, in the last day of the institute scholars will present their work and the most promising individuals/teams will have the opportunity to be matched with our industry and government partners to carry out the project. The institute also includes networking opportunities with fellow scholars.

The Institute is free of charge for both scholars and firms; scholars will receive a travel allowance.

Key Dates

  • Researcher application form deadline: March 20, 2016 APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED
  • Organization application form deadline: May 18, 2016 APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED
  • Institute dates: July 17-21, 2016 at the University of Chicago.

Questions? Please email

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