Full-Time Research Assistant Positions
Professors Raj Chetty, John N. Friedman, and Nathaniel Hendren

We are looking to hire several full-time pre-doctoral fellows for the academic year 2018-19 to work with our research group on the Equality of Opportunity Project. The overarching mission of the project is to develop scalable policy solutions that will empower families throughout the United States to rise out of poverty and achieve better life outcomes. We pursue this mission primarily by conducting rigorous, scientific research that harnesses the power of “big data” using an interdisciplinary approach. Current projects study the long-term impacts of neighborhoods, the role of colleges as a pathway to upward mobility, the determinants of innovation and entrepreneurship, and how social networks may affect poverty. The research uses “big data” and quasi-experimental methods to identify causal effects and test the predictions of economic and sociological models. Recent results from these projects have appeared in the New York Times and have been cited in the President's State of the Union address.

We anticipate positions available in Stanford CA, Cambridge MA, Providence RI, and Washington D.C. under the direction of Professors Chetty, Friedman, and Hendren. The fellowship will include a variety of tasks that provide preparation for graduate school, such as analyzing data, developing statistical models, creating presentations, and editing research papers. In addition to working with faculty as research assistants, the pre-doctoral fellows frequently co- author papers with other students or faculty members. Fellows will interact regularly with professors and their collaborators – such as David Deming, Matthew Jackson, and Emmanuel Saez –in a team-oriented lab environment, with weekly lab meetings and other informal events. The program serves as an ideal bridge between college and graduate school for students interested in empirical economics. Most previous fellows have gone on to top Ph.D. programs. Salary will be competitive.

Applicants should be completing (or have completed) a Bachelors or Master’s degree and have strong quantitative and programming skills. Candidates with research experience are strongly preferred, especially those with experience in Stata, SAS, R, Python, or Hadoop. Candidates need not be Economics majors, though they should have a strong interest in and some experience with Economics. Candidates would ideally begin on June 1, 2018 and work for us for two years before applying to graduate school in Economics or another quantitative social science.

To apply, please:
1) Submit a formal application through Stanford (Job Number: 76029)


2) Upload your resume, cover letter (optional), resume, transcripts, and a writing sample through our group's online form.

Questions can be directed to Sarah Merchant and Jamie Gracie at We will review applications, conduct interviews, and make offers in two rounds: one in mid-fall and one in late-winter. Applications received by October 31, 2017, will be eligible for the first round. First-round decisions will be announced around November 15, 2017. All applications received before February 28, 2018 will be considered for the second round, and those decisions will be made around March 15, 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do you sponsor visas for international candidates? Yes, we sponsor J-1 and H-1B visas.

2. What kind of writing sample should I submit?
The writing sample should ideally be an economics research paper, but you may submit whatever you feel best demonstrates your analytic and writing abilities. It can be any length.

3. Can I get feedback on my application?
Given the number of applications we receive, we are sorry that we cannot provide individual feedback.

4. What are you looking for in an applicant?
Successful applicants have strong transcripts including advanced courses in economics, math, or computer science. We look for demonstrated interest in and experience with economics research, through the writing sample and resume. US citizens with a background in computer science are particularly encouraged to apply.

5. Are there any summer research assistant opportunities?
Our group only hires full-year pre-doctoral fellows. We encourage students to apply in the final year of their undergraduate or master’s program. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Department of Economics

University of Virginia
248 McCormick Rd
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4182
Phone: 434-924-3177
Fax: 434-982-2904