World Research Assistantship Program (WRAP)

Summer 2023 Program Description

What is the World Research Assistantship Program?

The World Research Assistantship Program (WRAP) gives Wharton undergraduate students the opportunity to serve as a research assistant at a foreign university or think tank and conduct business-related research for 8-12 weeks during the summer months. Students will work under the guidance of a research advisor at the foreign institution. Projects will culminate in an oral presentation and written reflection paper.

Participants will receive a taxable award of up to $6,000 for approved travel and lodging expenses¹– to be paid in two installments, with the second installment to be disbursed in the fall after the written research summary, blog, and all required receipts for travel and lodging expenses are properly submitted and approved by the Wharton Undergraduate Division.

What are the program requirements?

Participants will assist in a research project at a foreign university or think tank for 8-12 weeks during the summer months under the guidance of a research advisor at the foreign institution. Participants are also expected to do the following:

  • Have the research advisor at the foreign institution send a Wharton faculty advisor (identified by the student) and the director of research and scholars programs a description of the research project and the nature of the role you will play in that research by the spring semester deadline (TBD).
  • Spend a minimum of 20 hours per week engaged in the research project and not accept alternative employment exceeding 20 hours per week or take more than one concurrent course during the summer.
  • Submit a written research summary describing the nature of the research project, your activities in support of that project, and possible implications for undergraduate research at Wharton on or before September 15.
  • Submit all required receipts for travel and lodging expenses on or before September 15.
  • Submit a blog post to communicate your research experience and/or findings to a broader audience (e.g., stewardship and web promotion).
  • Present your research at a symposium in the fall or spring semester after your research summer.

In order to receive the second award installment, the research summary, blog, and all other requirements must be submitted to the Undergraduate Division on or before September 15. Non-compliance with program deadlines and expectations above could result in forfeiture of the award.

How do students apply?

All Wharton undergraduates in good standing are eligible. WRAP is only open to Wharton students.

Applicants must have a Wharton faculty member serve as their faculty advisor who can provide guidance on the proposed project and make a connection on behalf of the student with an appropriate university or think tank abroad. NOTE: Applicants should not reach out to any foreign institutions before application decisions are made. After acceptance into the program, participants will work with their faculty advisors to make connections abroad.

For information to assist in identifying a faculty advisor with expertise in your area of interest, please visit the Wharton faculty profiles >>

A successful proposal should generally include a compelling, well-thought-out concept, evidence of strong academic achievement by the applicant, and an outstanding essay.

The application deadline is February 9, 2023.

Applications may continue to be accepted after the deadline on a space-available basis. Email your interest to Dr. Utsav Schurmans at schurman@wharton.upenn.edu.

Where can I get more information?

For more information about the program, first review the WRAP FAQ. If you have additional questions, you may contact Dr. Utsav Schurmans, Director of Research and Scholars Programs (schurman@wharton.upenn.edu, 215-898-0285).

¹ Monetary awards constitute taxable income. If you are a U.S. citizen, taxes will not be withheld from your award, but you will receive a 1099 tax form from the University of Pennsylvania at the end of the year for tax reporting purposes. If you are an international student, the University will withhold 30% of your award amount for tax purposes, barring any tax treaties that may exist with your home country. International students can find information about Penn’s tax policies at the Office of the Comptroller.

“WRAP is a great opportunity to answer any big question you’ve had through research and overall pursue your curiosity.” Read more

Jay Brown, WRAP 2021, Remote

“I left with both a continued interest in studying creativity and innovation and a wider skill set ranging from research ideation and analysis to professional communication.” Read more

Christopher Li, WRAP 2021, Paris, France

“After taking Professor Berkey’s Legal Studies & Business Ethics class, LGST 220: International Business Ethics, and seeing how negatively South Asian countries were affected by the global clothing industry, I decided I wanted to do research on fast fashion.” Read more

Rangasri Narayanamoorthy, WRAP 2021

“WRAP allowed me to dive deep into a field that directly impacts the most vulnerable population on the planet. I studied two key questions: the legal and real distinctions in the rights of asylum seekers and resettlement refugees and the status of Afghan refugees in Pakistan.” Read more

Aamir Lacewala, WRAP 2021

“[WRAP was a] fitting experience for my freshman summer, as it allowed me to gain valuable skills and knowledge about a particular field, but in a way that was more exploratory and perhaps less stressful than a full-time internship.” Read more

Caroline Culmo, WRAP 2021

“Participating in a summer research program is one of the most valuable things you can do to explore your academic interests…[WRAP] ultimately helped me explore how I want to combine management and social impact.” Read more

Sam Barraza, WRAP 2021

“WRAP enabled me to not only gain applicable quantitative and qualitative skills, but also allowed me to pursue my interests in a high impact and engaging way.” Read more

Corrine Yuan, WRAP 2021, Remote