PhD Day

The PhD Day is a student-only event that will be held on Sunday, September 23 from 8:30am to 1:45pm. All current PhD Students in energy economics and related fields are invited to submit papers. This year's event follows the great success of the inaugural PhD Day in Houston last year.

The PhD Day is designed to facilitate a more in-depth discussion of each paper compared to concurrent sessions. Each paper will be reviewed closely by another student discussant. At the PhD Day, both the author and the discussant will present on the paper. Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • present their paper to a student audience and practice presentation skills;
  • receive feedback on their paper from a dedicated discussant and the audience;
  • read someone else's paper and offer constructive criticism (as a referee would do for a journal); and
  • meet students with similar interests and engage in productive discussions.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University's Baker Institute.

In addition, the Sloan Foundation has provided funding opportunities for all students presenting at the PhD Day and for selected students attending the PhD Day. See the Sloan Foundation Funding page for details.

Event Details

From the papers submitted for the PhD Day, a number of outstanding papers will be selected to be presented, and a discussant will be assigned to each paper. The discussants will be chosen from among those students who submit papers for the PhD Day. In contrast to last year's event, we may ask some students who are not presenting their own paper to act as discussants for other students. This is to ensure that a variety of topics can be covered during the day, while still assigning discussants with expertise in the relevant area.

The discussants will be expected to review their assigned paper in detail and discuss it in a constructive and helpful manner. This could include pointing the author to alternative literature that they may not have considered, suggestions for alternative approaches to the problem they have addressed, and suggestions for data sources that may be relevant to the research. Guidelines for discussants will be sent closer to the date.

Authors will be given 20 minutes to present their paper. The designated discussant will then be given 10 minutes to comment on the paper. There will also be time for questions and comments from the floor.

Presenters and discussants at the PhD Day will need to be at the conference venue ready to start the session at 8:30 am Sunday.

We invite students not presenting to attend and participate from the floor. A deli lunch will be served for all PhD Day participants.

There is no separate registration fee - this event is included as part of your conference registration.


To make a submission, please email your full paper to by July 16 2018. Since each paper will be discussed at some length, we will only have time to cover 6 to 8 papers.

The successful presenters and discussants will be informed by July 27.

The students selected to present their paper will then have the opportunity to re-submit a revised version of their paper until August 10. Papers will be sent to discussants soon after, to allow them sufficient time to prepare their discussion presentation.

Important Dates



July 16

Submission Deadline -
email your complete paper to

July 27

Presenters and discussants informed of their selection.

August 10

Presenters may re-submit a revised version of their paper.
Discussants receive the paper that they are to review.

September 23

PhD Day 8:30am to 1:45pm

Selection Committee

  • Kelly Neill, Rice University, Department of Economics
  • Cody Hohl, Penn State University, Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering