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CPL Undergraduate Summer Institute

About the California Policy Lab

The California Policy Lab (CPL) generates research insights for government impact. Through hands-on partnerships with government agencies, CPL performs rigorous research across issue silos and builds the data infrastructure necessary to improve programs and policies that millions of Californians rely on every day.

For the past three summers, CPL has hired a cohort of talented UC undergraduates to work on independent, data-focused policy research projects. Applicants have a background in data science, economics, statistics, or public policy, and are well-equipped in coding and data analysis.

Instituters have the opportunity to develop and execute a project to completion using the University of California Consumer Credit Panel (UC-CCP), an anonymized 100% sample of credit records for Californians and an anonymized 2% sample of credit records nationally. The UC-CCP is a longitudinal panel of approximately 40 million consumers starting in 2004 and continuing quarterly through the present.

Using the UC-CCP, past Instituters studied:
• The effect of minimum wage increases on financial well-being
• Student debt burdens in California (later published as a CPL brief!)
• Post-wildfire displacement
• Measuring neighborhood change using households’ financial health

Instituters meet at least weekly to discuss project progress with a CPL coordinator. At the end of the summer, Instituters will write-up and present their findings to CPL staff and faculty. For well-developed projects, CPL will consider publication on the CPL website. The Institute takes place remotely.

Length and Compensation

Undergraduates admitted to the 2024 Summer Institute receive the following:
• A $3,000 stipend for the summer period.
• A full-time research role from June 17th to August 23rd, 2024 (10 weeks).
• Guidance from CPL research staff on using administrative data for quantitative research.
• Support to develop skills in research project planning and research methods.

Applications for the 2024 Institute

Thank you for you interest in the 2024 Summer Institute, applications are now closed. We are currently reviewing applications and hope to make selections by mid April, 2024.

Learn more

This program and other opportunities are promoted via the CPL newsletter

Former Summer Instituters 

Simon Alam, UC Berkeley, 2021
Michelle Belon, UC San Diego, 2021
Rohan Bijukumar, UC Riverside, 2023
Andrea Bizarro, UC Davis, 2023
Jong Wook Choe, UC Davis, 2022
Dickson Chung, UC Santa Cruz, 2023 – Recipient of the Maria X. Martinez Prize for Excellence in Data Analysis for Social Good
Niru Ghoshal-Datta, UC Santa Cruz, 2021
Shubham Gupta, UCLA, 2021
Elizabeth Hafen, UC Irvine, 2021
Benjamin Ho, UC Irvine, 2022
Helen Hoang, UC Berkeley, 2022
Helena Hu, UCLA, 2023
Quyen Le, UC Santa Barbara, 2023
Jiayi Li, UCSD, 2022
Daniel Lopez-Orozco, UC Berkeley, 2023
Diana Lua, UC Merced, 2021
Megan Ma, UCLA, 2022
Daniela Dula Mejia, UC Davis, 2021
Daniel Perez, UC Merced, 2023
Ramona Mukherji, UCLA, 2023
Kenny Morris, UC Santa Barbara, 2021
Pallavi Murthy, UC Berkeley, 2022
Trevan Nguyen, UCSD, 2023
Lindsey Sanchez, UC Merced, 2022 – Recipient of the Maria X. Martinez Prize for Excellence in Data Analysis for Social Good
Axel Morales Sanchez, UC Santa Cruz, 2022
Tamar Sasson, UC Santa Cruz, 2022
Sukham Sidhu, UC San Diego, 2023
Megan Son, UCLA, 2021 – Recipient of the Maria X. Martinez Prize for Excellence in Data Analysis for Social Good
Sean Tjoa, UCLA, 2022
Emily Wang, UC Irvine, 2023
Cindy Xu, UC Santa Barbara, 2023

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