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Values & Capitalism 2016–2017 Young Scholar Awards

The Values & Capitalism Young Scholar Award program seeks to foster high-quality academic research and writing by awarding $5,000 scholarships in public policy or economics to four rising juniors or seniors at Christian colleges or universities. Students are awarded scholarships for demonstrating significant promise in their field of research and a commitment to AEI’s mission of expanding liberty, increasing individual opportunity, and strengthening free enterprise. V&C’s 2015 Young Scholars submitted proposals on a variety of different topics, including entrepreneurship in Mexico, the tertiary effects of Dodd-Frank on regional and state-level banking institutions, the impact of government regulations on urban environments, and a translation and explication of Domingo Báñez’s commentary on the doctrine of the just price in his 1594 work, Decisiones de lure et lustitia. You can read more about their projects here.

To be considered, an applicant must submit:

  • An electronic applicant-information form, in which he or she indicates intent to apply for the economics or the public policy award;
  • An unofficial transcript;
  • A 500-word statement describing his or her views on the free enterprise system and why he or she would like to be selected as an AEI Young Scholar;
  • A 500–800-word prospectus for a research project in either public policy or economics;
  • A previous undergraduate research paper of at least 2,500 words; and
  • Three letters of recommendation, including one from a faculty sponsor at the applicant’s undergraduate institution who has agreed to oversee the project or coauthor an academic paper for publication. Recommenders may send their letters to Meredith Schultz at [email protected].


  • Applicant must be a rising junior or senior (in other words, have junior or senior status by Fall 2016);
  • Applicant must be a full-time student; and
  • Applicant must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 at the time of entry.

Final Project Parameters:

  • Projects must be at least 4,500–5,000 words in length and demonstrate serious scholarship in the fields of public policy or economics;
  • Projects may be presented as a formal academic research paper or as a public policy analysis paper;
  • Projects may have a historical component but should focus on a contemporary public policy topic or economic trend;
  • Projects may include hands-on research and interviews, although it is not required;
  • Projects may be completed as part of a credit-bearing course at the Young Scholar’s college or university, although it is not required; and
  • Young Scholars are free to use the style guide prescribed by their own college or university.

Young Scholars will receive:

  • A $5,000 scholarship toward college tuition, to be disbursed to the college or university in the student’s name after the November 2015 progress report has been received and approved. If the Young Scholar does not have remaining undergraduate financial commitments, he or she may designate the scholarship to a charity or nonprofit;
  • An invitation to AEI’s 2017 Annual Dinner (expenses paid);
  • A complete set of V&C minibooks and an autographed copy of Arthur Brooks’s The Conservative Heart;
  • Opportunities to blog for the Values & Capitalism project website; and
  • Placement of an op-ed-length version of their project in an online AEI publication.

Faculty sponsors will receive:

  • A $2,500 stipend, to be received after the project’s completion; and
  • An invitation to AEI’s 2017 Annual Dinner (expenses paid).

To receive their scholarship, applicants must commit to:

  • Provide a work schedule by September 9, 2016, that includes three AEI progress reports over the course of the year and terminates no later than May 2, 2017. Applicants must allow at least eight business days for their faculty sponsor to review the project in advance of progress reports. The first progress report must be received no later than November 6, 2015;
  • Submit the final project no later than Monday, May 2, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. EST.;
  • Travel to AEI (expenses paid) to present and defend their project before a panel of AEI scholars. If the Young Scholar cannot travel to AEI to defend his or her project at the time of AEI’s 2017 Annual Dinner, he or she must agree to come at another mutually agreeable time; and
  • Write an op-ed version of their project to be featured in an online AEI publication following the project defense. The op-ed may be submitted up to one month after defense is complete.

To receive their stipend, faculty sponsors must commit to:

  • Provide oversight and periodic feedback for the project; and
  • Review the project in advance of progress reports and return feedback in a timely manner. Students must give faculty sponsors at least eight business days to review the project.

Entries (including transcripts and recommendations) must be received by 6:00 p.m. EST on Friday, July 1, 2016. Final decisions will be announced on Friday, July 15, 2016.

To apply, visit our Young Scholar Award application page. Questions may be directed to Meredith Schultz at [email protected].