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Research Opportunities

The Deans’ Undergraduate Research Program was established in support of the Darla Moore School of Business' goal to expand and enlarge the scope of undergraduate research and inquiry.

Research Opportunities

The ability to integrate research with professional education provides a distinct advantage for students majoring in a business discipline. Individual students and student teams engaged in international or domestic business or economic research under the supervision of a faculty mentor are eligible for awards to offset the costs of reasonable expenses associated with research projects.

Semester or academic year stipends are awarded for October to May up to $1000 per semester. Summer stipends, which go up to $3000, are awarded for the May to August period. All awards are contingent upon funds available. Funds may also be available to assist with costs associated with research-related travel. Students are eligible for financial awards to support the project through the Magellan Program, administered by the Office for Undergraduate Research (

Undergraduate Research Examples

Dubai`s Academic Cluster

Ryan Burke, International Business, Junior 
Douglas Woodward, Economics

The United Arab Emirates recognized that the finite supply of oil and natural resources that existed within their country would leave their now booming economy vulnerable to a serious downturn over the long run. Realizing the shortsightedness of an unbalanced export economy dependent on raw materials, UAE business and government leaders have sought to foment new economic activities, or clusters.

One of these clusters is academia—higher education institutions that could support the development of human capital, reducing UAE’s need to lean on its oil sector for continued development. Specifically, the emirate of Dubai has imported an array of degree-granting, world-renowned universities, clustering them in its Knowledge Village and Dubai International Academic City, hoping to mimic the success of Boston’s academic cluster. Ideally, this locus of location around Dubai’s other clusters, enclaves, and free zones will forge university-industry linkages, birthing and supporting Dubai’s nascent innovation-driven economy.

The purpose of the Magellan Scholarship was to test Dubai’s academic cluster; Cluster strengths and weaknesses can be evaluated through Porter’s “diamond” model, which consists of four elements: demand conditions, supplier networks, the context for competition, and factor conditions. The diamond model, then, provides a framework for investigating clusters as a competitive strategy for Dubai. By interviewing members associated with the academic clusters and members from other supporting industries (higher education, government policy, technology), this report has arrived at specific recommendations, rather than this conclusion—the necessary physical conditions inherent to clusters are not alone sufficient to encourage competition and innovation.

How do Transnational Integration Regimes Shape Financial Regulatory Institutions in Latin America?

Brian Blasser, International Business, Senior
Gerald McDermott, International Business

Starting in the early 1990’s, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico shared similar progressive economic and political changes. All three were also subject to IMF structural adjustment criteria and were aggressive in liberalizing their capital accounts and attracting foreign investors in banking in the 1990s. During this time each country entered “Transnational Integration Regimes” (TIRs), with Mexico joining NAFTA while Argentina and Brazil helped form Mercosur. TIRs are more than trade pacts, aid projects, or harmonization systems, as they increasingly offer developing countries normative models, resources, and enforcement mechanisms to engage in institutional change.

In acting as development programs, TIRs differ not simply in terms of their incentives and largesse, but particularly in terms of their emphasis on institutional capacities, their empowerment of diverse stakeholder groups, and their ability to merge monitoring and learning at both the national and supra-national levels. Through identifying domestic and international factors, we will see how resources and capabilities of governments and influence of nongovernmental groups shape this evolution. However, this evolutionary process will differ between the members of the different TIRs. This difference occurs because two-thirds of NAFTA (Canada and the United States of America) already have mature capital markets while Mercosur’s organization is more complex, with a greater political function, and comprises only emerging economies.

Historical Antecedents of a Contemporary Rivalry: The Evolution of Ideologies of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona

Megan Robers, International Business, Senior
David Crockett, Marketing

The history of the rivalry between two of Spain’s greatest football clubs stretches back over a century, encompassing fervor arguably unprecedented for any other athletic conflict. Football historians and Spanish scholars have identified social, political, and economic sources that have converged to intensify natural hostilities. Despite identification of these causes, few researchers have sought to speculate on the future role of historical tensions in the evolution of fans’ ideologies. As fan bases age and turn over to younger generations, the question remains whether emotional associations with historical events will linger to perpetuate the rivalry.

Using several studies and incorporating new discoveries from research, the transition will be explored to outline its past, comment on its current state, and speculate on the uncertainty of its longevity. Fans with affiliations to each club were interviewed during field research in Madrid and Barcelona during December 2008. Through questioning and observing, stories, opinions and affinities surfaced to provide insight and arouse concern about the prospects of an evolving ideology. This study revealed that new influences in the sports world have devalued the legitimacy of a revered tradition and threatened its vigor. 

Players’ lessened concern with regional identity and their pursuit of lucrative contracts has greatly reduced the “nationality” of each team. As time increases the gap of fan “connectedness”, current passions, too, have journeyed from their roots. While its future seems grim, my research has led me to conclude that regardless of  time or intensity, there is an inherent shared hatred that will propel the rivalry into perpetuity.