Graduate Student Support

Sylff Fellowships

(The Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund)

Approximately six Sylff Fellowship Awards will be made each year to the most promising 3rd and 4th year economics PhD students in development economics. The fellowship awards will be allocated by the Sylff Committee, which will meet each year in May to determine the recipients of these fellowships in the following academic year.  These awards will be in the form of a full or partial tuition award to the Yale Graduate School, plus up to $2000 in funds for the purchase of data or other justified expenses related to the student’s dissertation research.  The Sylff Fellows will receive priority in the allocation of office space for graduate students in the Economic Growth Center.  Recipients of these awards who are in their third year may request they be deferred to their fourth year, but they should expect their candidacy in the later year will be reevaluated as part of the competitive pool in that subsequent year. There are no applications for these awards.

Sylff Research Awards

Approximately four grants for research in economic development will be awarded each year. The award competition is open to all department graduate students in their third or subsequent year.  Applications for these awards will be accepted until April 1 and October 1 of each year, and winners announced as soon thereafter as possible.  The Sylff research proposal should include no more than a two-page (1,000 words) statement of the research question, methods of analysis, data sources, and time frame for the research.  A budget will also be required, which may include living expenses, travel expenses, costs of data collection or purchase, and other justified research expenses. Applicants should also apply for an external grant for any research costs in excess of $10,000 (to SSRC, NSF, NIH, YCIAS, etc.), and include a copy of this grant application with the Sylff research application. A committee of faculty of the Economic Growth Center will meet twice a year to make these allocations as funds permit.  

Please email application to Professor Rohini Pande at

Past Research Award Recipients


Hannah Trachtman, $16,602, “Nudges in ‘Equilibrium’ ”


Hannah Trachtman, $3,398, “Too Much Technology? Cognitive Limits to Adoption in Ghana”


Gabriella Santangelo, $8,659, “Firms and Farms: Agricultural Productivity Shocks and the Local Indian Economy”
Meredith Startz, $20,000, “Lagos Trader Survey”
Jeffrey Weaver, $20,000, “Survey: Community Health Workers in Northern India


Sabrin Beg, $1600, “Land Tenures, Political Clientelism and Public Goods”
Amanda Gregg, $6000, “Factory Productivity, Firm Organization, and Commercial Law in the Russian Empire”


Yu Liu, $200, “Fiscal Centralization and Firm Performance”
Xiaoxue Zhao, $20,000, “Land Tenure Insecurity and Labor Allocation in Rural China”



Snaebjorn Gunnsteinsson, $20,000  ”Crop Insurance Philippines”
Yu Liu, $680, “Fiscal Centralization and Firm Performance”
Adam Osman, $20,000  ”Learning About Demand”


Rafael Santos-Villagran, $1,795  ”Politicians, Firms, and Property Rights”
Xiaoxue Zhao, $5,450  ”Land Tenure Insecurity and Labor Allocation in Rural China”


Reena Badiani, $10,184  “Temporary Migration and the Risk Portfolio of Agrarian Technologies Employed”
Prashant Bharadwaj, $3,000  “Sterilization, Fertility, and Household Outcomes”
James Choy, $14,000, “Ambiguity and Technology Adoption”
Adrian G. de la Garza, $9,000 “The Reemergence of Bond Markets in Emerging Economies”
Fabian Duarte, $7,220, “Welfare Implications of Moral Hazard”
James Fenske, $3,500, “Economic History of Rubber in Benin Province of Nigeria”
Muthoni Ngatia, $9,600, “Social Interactions and Reporductive Decision Making”
Florian Ploecki, $4,500, “Spread Diffusion and Adoption of Urban Amenities”
Veronica Santarosa, $1,750, “Mitigating Asymmetric Information”


Madiha Afzal, $700 for support of project on “Understanding Politician Incentives: Evidence from Returns to Luck in Indian and Pakistani Elections”
Pinar Keskin, $4,500 for support of project on “Reallocating Water from Agriculture in Tamil Nadu, India”
Daniel Rosenblum, $9,500 for support of project on “Evaluating Health Insurance and Health Education in Rural India”

The Robert E. Evenson Fund

The Robert E. Evenson Fund was established in 2008 to support data collection and travel to less developed countries  by new Yale economics faculty and graduate students.  Robert Evenson’s presence at the Economic Growth Center had a profound effect on faculty and students and in the profession at large.  Starting early on in his career, he was uncanny in unearthing and assembling existing micro data sources that could fruitfully be used to test theory about behavior in low-income countries.  This was done principally through visits to less developed countries.  His work was important in turning development economics into an empirically-based science.  Please email your request for funding, including description of research and travel budget, to Professor Mark Rosenzweig at
Sadly, Professor Evenson passed away on February 2, 2013.
For those wishing to contribute to the Robert E. Evenson Fund in his memory, gifts may be sent to:
The Robert E. Evenson Fund
Yale University Economic Growth Center
PO Box 208269
New Haven, CT 06520-8269