EPIC pre-doctoral fellow Henry Zhang is the latest in a recent line of EPIC researchers to join a tradition that includes former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and 42 Nobel laureates.

Zhang was accepted to The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program, and is one of just 38 awardees matriculating into economics PhD programs. His colleagues, Nadia Lucas and Yixin Sun, received honorable mentions. The program—the nation’s oldest graduate fellowship of its kind—recruits high-potential, early-career scientists and engineers and supports their graduate research training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

“Henry, Nadia and Yixin show exceptional passion and promise in their work, demonstrating their great potential in economics,” says EPIC Director Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics, the College, and the Harris School, who supervises the researchers. “They have all grown so much in the last two years, while simultaneously making critical contributions to our research. I look forward to seeing everything they accomplish as they continue their academic careers.”

With the prestigious fellowship, Zhang will receive a three-year annual stipend, with tuition and fees paid to any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education he chooses. He has chosen to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Economics PhD program in the fall. His colleagues Sun and Lucas will enter PhD programs at University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Department of Economics, respectively.

The researchers are part of the EPIC pre-doctoral fellowship program, which offers ambitious young researchers interested in empirical economics a bridge program between their undergraduate and graduate studies. The fellows report to Greenstone or an EPIC-affiliated faculty member. In the past two years, five former pre-doctoral fellows received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Greg Dobbels, Johanna Rayl and Patrick Schwarz received the fellowship last year, with Dobbels and Rayl attending the University of Chicago and Schwarz attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Harshil Sahai and Dan Stuart, who are attending the University of Chicago and Harvard Kennedy School, respectively, received the fellowship the previous year.

For more information on the pre-doctoral fellowship and how to apply, visit here.