Student Opportunities

CEOS fosters the intellectual growth of both undergraduate and graduate students who go on to be the next generation of leaders and scholars that deploy economic tools to promote a sustainable future. Graduate students produce cutting-edge scholarly research in sustainability science, and deploy economics to think critically and answer sustainability questions for businesses, communities, and other stakeholders. Undergraduate students do independent research projects with faculty or in partnerships with stakeholders and build communication skills on the CEOS team.

CEOS student opportunities include: 

For inquiries, email

Student Research Mini-Grants

The Center for the Economics of Sustainability (CEOS) at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign fosters research in economics that promotes sustainable systems for energy, water, and food and agriculture; healthy environments; and sustainable development in communities of all types.

Student affiliates of CEOS can apply for research mini-grants to help power their own independent research. Research funds can be spent on expenses such as data and equipment purchases, survey administration, and necessary travel to research sites (subject to COVID-19 limitations). Undergraduate research awards will typically not exceed $500. Graduate research awards will typically not exceed $2,000.

See example of undergraduate research done with grant funds.

These mini-grants are available to both graduate students and undergraduate students who are in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, or in other departments of Illinois but working with a CEOS-affiliated faculty member. All applicants must have a faculty research advisor who is a CEOS affiliate.

Mini-Grant Awardees

Juo-Han (Becky) Tsay (ACE PhD, Adv. Nicholas Paulson): "The effect of conservation practices on farmland value"

Joel Tansey (ACE MS, Adv. Nicholas Paulson): "The sustainability of the Illinois cannabis industry"

Husain Krawadwala (ACE MS, Adv. Brenna Ellison): "Consumer perceptions of health and environmental impacts of plant based meat products"

Seojeong Oh (ACE PhD, Adv. Benjamin Gramig): "Public preferences for nutrient loss reduction policy features"

Brian Waters (ACE PhD, Adv. Paul McNamara): "Water Survey in the informal settlements of Freetown, Sierra Leone"

Frederick Nyanzu (ACE PhD, Adv. Kathy Baylis): "Sustainable agriculture, financial inclusion and food security"


Applications will be considered twice a year at the beginning of each semester. To apply for a CEOS Research Mini-grant, please do the following:

1) Email for an application. Fill out and return via email.

2) Have your research advisor email a brief letter of support for your application to with the subject of the email “mini-grant”. The letter should give their assessment of the overall quality of your project, your ability to carry out the research, and the likelihood that the mini-grant will enable a full draft of the research to be completed in the next year.

Upcoming CEOS Mini-grant Application Deadlines:

  • September 17, 2021

Note that funds must be used in the year they are awarded. Eighteen months after an award is made, grant recipients will be expected to submit an outcome report which may be used in a brief article about their work for the CEOS website.