BFI Employment Opportunities

The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) works with the Chicago Economics community to turn its evidence-based research into real-world impact. BFI takes a unique approach to bridging the divide between academic researchers and decision-makers in the business community and government by translating and packaging the rigorous work of the Chicago Economics community into accessible formats, and proactively sharing those findings with relevant decision-makers and thought leaders around the globe. BFI is a collaborative platform serving the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Law School.

View open positions and apply below. 

Open Positions

  • Pre-Doctoral Research Opportunities

    The Predoctoral Research in Economics program (PREP) is intended to serve as a bridge between college and graduate school for students interested in empirical economics. The program offers unique research and professional training opportunities at the University of Chicago.

    The program offers economics research and training opportunities at the University of Chicago. Responsibilities span all stages of research, including managing projects, collecting and analyzing data, creating presentations, and editing manuscripts. In addition to working closely with faculty as research assistants, predoctoral research professionals typically attend classes and seminars at the Becker Friedman Institute (BFI), the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), the University of Chicago, and affiliate institutions.

    The program provides two key events for professional training. At the beginning of each year, there is a five-day long customized orientation and training workshop. The training sessions cover topics such as: Data management practices, version control, coding reviews, causal inference and econometric methods, working with spatial data, and science communication tools. In the winter, BFI will hold a retreat dedicated to professional career development. Junior and senior faculty attend and present on issues such as: Applications to graduate school, the development or research ideas and projects, grant applications, potential pitfalls in graduate school and how to avoid them, and cutting-edge statistical methods.

    Program Benefits

    Along with the day-to-day contact with BFI faculty supervisors, the fellowship provides two key events for professional training. At the beginning of each year, pre-doctoral fellows participate in a five-day orientation and training workshop. The training sessions cover topics from data management practices to econometric methods and science communication tools. In the winter, BFI holds a retreat dedicated to career development. Faculty present on issues such as completing applications to graduate school, developing research ideas and projects, applying to grants, and performing cutting-edge statistical methods. They also provide advice on how to avoid common mistakes and succeed in graduate school.

    BFI’s outstanding pre-doctoral fellows have gone on to some of the country’s top PhD programs, securing places in Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School; Urban Planning at the University of California at Berkeley; and more.

    How to Apply

    Applications for the program are reviewed in fall, winter, and spring cycles. The winter application cycle for 2022 is now live, with a priority deadline of January 30.

    Applicants must have completed a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree by June of the year they are applying, and have strong quantitative and programming skills. Candidates with research experience are strongly preferred, especially those with experience in Stata, R, Python or Matlab. The ideal candidate would begin in July and work for BFI for one or two years before applying to graduate school in Economics or another quantitative social science. BFI offers a competitive salary and employee benefits.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Do you offer visa sponsorship for international applicants?

    Yes, BFI sponsors work or student visas.

    2. Are there any specific requirements for the writing sample?

    There are no requirements for the length or topic of your writing sample. Many successful applicants submit economics research papers (e.g. a thesis, or term paper) that highlight their abilities in writing and empirical analysis.

    3. What kind of applicant does BFI look for?

    Successful applicants have typically completed advanced coursework with high marks in economics, math, statistics, or computer science. Many pre-doctoral research professionals have had past economics research experience at their university, or other research institutions such as the Federal Reserve, World Bank, J-PAL or IMF.

  • Grants & Contracts Associate

    Job Summary

    The job provides professional support for pre-award and/or post-award activities relating to grant and contract proposals and funding within a department or unit. Pre-award activities include research, preparing applications, and editing proposals. Post-award activities include compliance monitoring, payment processing, and salary allocations. Performs work with moderate guidance and utilizes knowledge of University and business drivers.

    Responsibilities

    • Monitors spending on all federal, non-federal, and internal grant accounts. Analyzes monthly financial reports and ledgers for accuracy, recommends and initiates action to correct discrepancies and follow-up until resolved.
    • Prepares drafts of financial sections for components of grant and supplement applications, including draft budgets and budget justifications. Coordinates with sub-award administrators to assist with preparation of financial materials for all major grant-related activities.
    • Manages the execution of Subawards, Sponsored Consulting Agreements, and Subaward Amendments.
    • Processes cost and payroll transfers.
    • Pre award activities includes reading proposal guidelines; collecting, composing, and/or preparing administrative components of proposal submissions; preparing applications, developing and preparing budgets, and monitoring regulatory compliance requirements.
    • Post award activities includes account creations, regulatory and compliance monitoring, salary allocations, effort reporting, grant projections, cost allocations, cost center charges, equipment inventory, invoice preparation, grant closing process, and account closing.
    • Partners with University Research Administration (URA) to monitor pre- and post-award activities, such as timely submission of applications and progress reports (RPPRs); requests for no-cost extensions; obtaining sponsor approvals for major changes to project work scope or major changes to anticipated expenditures, etc.
    • Works closely with the Senior Grants Manager to collect grant data for the annual budget.
    • Processes BFI internal (unrestricted) grants such as the BFI Data and Research Awards.
    • Works directly with the faculty and research staff to seek new avenues for funding and new grant opportunities.
    • Ensures that notices of relevant new funding opportunities for research programs are brought to the attention of the faculty.
    • Gathers needed documentation, manages and coordinates with University Research Administration (URA), the execution of Subawards, Sponsored Consulting Agreements, and Subaward Amendments.
    • Works with a broad array of sponsors, interpreting regulations and guidelines of multiple program funding with broad and complex guidelines for spending.
    • Ensures all applications meet agency and University guidelines.
    • Works directly with the PI to develop proposal budgets, in accordance with the needs of the research plan and Agency and Institutional Requirements.
    • Responsible for timely submission of applications, renewal/continual amendments, ensuring timely submission of technical reports, just-in-time submissions, no-cost extensions, and Agency required re-budgeting.
    • Coordinates with other departments/units/division regarding multi-investigator grant submissions.
    • Responsible for all data entry and preparation of grant reports and trend analysis.
    • Interacts with University Research Administration, faculty, postdocs, and pre/post-award colleagues from other departments and sections, and Financial Services Office personnel.
    • Handles post award activity including providing details for account creation, regulatory and compliance monitoring, salary allocations and effort reporting, grant projections, cost allocations, cost center charges, equipment inventory, prepare and submit interim closing memos for interim financial reports, and prepare and submit final closing memos for final financial reports and close out of accounts.
    • Prepares detail expense budgets based on awarded funds from the agency.
    • Allocates, authorizes, monitors, and controls expenses.
    • Maintains accounts including oversight, reconciliation, and error correction.
    • Performs financial forecasting.
    • Coordinates submission of closing memos to ensure timely submission of FSR.
    • Understands regulations and guidelines related to various awarding agencies.
    • Prepares summaries of grants and effort allocations for Principal Investigators.
    • Meets regularly with Principal Investigators regarding grant portfolio and expense allocation.
    • Responds to Principal Investigators questions.
    • Coordinates with other departments/units/division regarding multi-investigator grants.
    • Communicates status of faculty accounts to supervisor and other appropriate parties on a regular basis.
    • Interacts with University Research Administration, faculty, postdocs, grad students, departmental HR and post-award colleagues, and pre/post-award colleagues from other departments and sections, and Financial Services Office personnel.
    • Reviews all applications against University guidelines, in addition to drafting progress reports, non-competing applications, amendments, and budgeting. Responsible for all data entry and preparation of grant reports and trend analysis.
    • Prepares summaries of grants and effort allocations for Principal Investigators, meets with them and responds to their questions. Coordinates with other departments/units/divisions regarding multi investigator grants. Serves as department contact for annual audits and agency site visits.
    • Performs other related work as needed.

    Minimum Qualifications

    Education:

    Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

    Work Experience:

    Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

    Preferred Qualifications

    Experience:

    • Progressively responsible grant/contract and financial administration in an academic setting.
    • Experience with budgets, ledgers, invoices, and fiscal reporting.
    • Experience in one or more aspects of sponsored program administration in a research environment.
    • Experience with accounting systems

    Technical Skills or Knowledge:

    • Work experience with grant preparation, including pre- and post- award in a research environment.
    • Computer skills including word processing, database management, and spreadsheet skills.
    • Knowledge of federal and non-federal grant and contract policies.
    • Working knowledge in administration, accounting or grant and contract.
    • Experience with University research, financial and HR/payroll systems including FAS, AURA, Business Objects.
    • Knowledge of procurement and finance systems.
    • Knowledge of general accounting standards and auditing.
    • Demonstrated initiative in improving processes and enhancing systems.

    Preferred Competencies

    • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
    • Attention to detail.
    • Flexible and adaptable work style.
    • Strong organizational skills.
    • Strong financial and analytic skills.
    • Exercise sound judgment, discretion, and tact.
    • Excellent independent time management skills along with the ability to handle multiple and concurrent tasks within deadlines.
    • Knowledge of research methods and funding sources.
  • Associate Director for the Office of the Faculty Director, Development Innovation Lab

    Job Summary

    The Associate Director serves as the second in command in the Office of the Faculty Director, supporting the Chief of Staff for the office of the Faculty Director (CoS for OFD). Responsibilities include providing support to the CoS for OFD in outreach and communications related to the work of the Faculty Director including paper writing, public speaking and presentations, project development, event planning, and human resources of the Office of the Faculty Director. In general the position supports the CoS for OFD in the public engagement of the Faculty Director and facilitates the strategic engagement to fulfill the Faculty Director’s responsibilities at the University of Chicago as University Professor of Economics in both the College and the Harris School of Public Policy as well as in his roles leading the Development Economics Center, Development Innovation Lab and Weiss Fund for Research in Development Economics. Other responsibilities include supporting the management of the Office of the Faculty Director to provide support in correspondence, logistics and calendar management and coordinating with the other teams reporting directly to the Faculty Director.

    The job requires a strong technical knowledge of development economics and the ability to work efficiently across many projects and teams. The Associate Director for the office of the Faculty Director will be working directly with Prof. Kremer on a day-to-day basis. This position is well-suited for someone interested in a career at the intersection of research and policy.

    Responsibilities

    • Lead writing of speeches, presentations, communications, and policy briefs.
    • Coordinate research activities, and work on some research projects.
    • Identify and prioritize opportunities for research, dissemination, policy outreach and funding.
    • Manage and coordinate daily activities across DIL project teams.
    • Work with the CoS for OFD to identify and implement systems to improve the efficiency and accuracy of support and coordinate with the Executive Director to ensure compliance with DIL and DEC systems.
    • Under the direction of the CoS for OFD, lead efforts of all written materials required by the Faculty Director. This includes writing materials as well as coordinating and editing the efforts of other members of the Office of the Faculty Director.
    • Coordinating correspondence from the Faculty Director.
    • Providing support to the CoS for OFD and the Executive Director in the preparations of event planning, public relations, and other external communications and related activities that require Faculty Director involvement.
    • Perform other related work as needed.

    Minimum Qualifications

    Education

    • College or university degree in economics or a closely related field.

    Work Experience

    • Minimum of 4 years of relevant experience.
    • Proven experience managing teams and projects.

    Preferred Qualifications

    Education

    • Masters degree in economics, mathematics, statistics, public policy, or related discipline

    Technical Skills or Knowledge

    • Experience with academic writing

    Competencies

    • Excellent writing skills, including the ability to translate technical ideas into non-technical content.
    • Excellent time management and organizational skills including the ability to meet external and internal deadlines.
    • Strong understanding development economics and economics research
    • A strong knowledge of randomized controlled trials and other empirical methods used in economics.
    • Strong coordination and management skills.

    DIL Principles

    All members of DIL are expected to abide by, model and systematize the following principles in their work.

    Responsibility – Proper and appropriate compliance with relevant Internal Review Boards (IRBs), governing laws, financial management practices, ethical standards, environmental stewardship, University of Chicago Policies on Business Conduct, and the DIL Code of Conduct.

    Reproducibility – Sufficiently standardized, documented, and audited data science practices ensuring all results are fully reproducible.

    Credibility – Rigorous, precise, and transparent in communications, management, and analysis.

    Scalability – Preparing for, contributing to, and never hindering the overarching objective of positively impacting millions of lives.

    Continuity – Structuring, documenting, tracking, and storing work in ways that facilitate high-fidelity transitions between team members and across time.

    Flexibility – Able to accommodate and effectively coordinate the diverse configurations and partnerships inherited by the lab and formed in pursuit of its mission.

    Clarity – Team members are able to easily identify and independently navigate the relevant tools, processes, and procedures to successfully complete their work.

    Application Documents

    • Resume/CV (required)
    • Cover Letter (preferred)
    • Three Professional References Contact Information (required)
  • Executive Director, Development Innovation Lab

    About the Department

    The Development Innovation Lab (DIL) at the University of Chicago is a new initiative led by Nobel laureate Professor Michael Kremer. Announced in fall 2020, DIL uses economics tools to develop and test innovations that improve lives in developing countries. From a chlorine dispenser based on the insights of behavioral economics, to the financing of Covid-19 vaccines, DIL works with governments, firms and nonprofits to advance knowledge and generate practical solutions to development challenges which can reach hundreds of millions of people. The Development Innovation Lab is part of the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago (BFI). BFI is a collaborative platform serving the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Law School. For more information visit https://bfi.uchicago.edu.

    Job Summary

    As the founding Executive Director, this role provides a rare opportunity to refine the mission and strategy for a new lab, while benefiting from the deep institutional infrastructure of BFI, the University of Chicago, and international policy partnerships built by Prof. Kremer and his collaborators. The Executive Director will be responsible for working closely with the faculty director to develop and execute DIL’s strategic plan and managing the Lab.

    Responsibilities

    • Spearheads the development of this new initiative to become an effective lab for fostering innovations using the tools of development economics.
    • Leads conversations and negotiations with governments to plan, design, and execute collaborations with the Lab.
    • Represents the Lab in meetings with high-level government officials, business executives, NGO leaders, and other key stakeholders on the global stage.
    • Builds and oversees a growing organization.
    • Provides leadership for a Center with senior management and serves as a liaison to academic departments, professional organizations and administrative units of the University.
    • Manages related teams. Establishes department priorities, may be responsible for the management of the center budget, allocates resources and executes strategic plans.
    • Oversees a communication strategy and marketing efforts aimed at increasing the visibility of the Center. Collaborates with others to make the center a valuable resource to all students and contributes to the broad goals of creating a stronger campus community.
    • Performs other related work as needed.

    Minimum Qualifications

    Education:

    Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

    Work Experience:

    Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.

    Preferred Qualifications

    Education:

    • PhD degree in economics, public policy, or a related field preferred with training in microeconomics and econometrics.
    • Candidates from a policy background who can demonstrate similar knowledge through demonstrated professional experience will also be considered.

    Experience:

    • 8 or more years of professional work experience, with significant experience in international development research and implementation working with, and ideally part of a diverse set of stakeholders.
    • 7 or more years of people management experience, including building teams of direct and indirect reports with significant technical and leadership skills as well as overall center management.
    • 5 or more years of experience conducting or managing research in development economics.
    • Background working with governments of developing countries.

    Technical Skills or Knowledge:

    • Vigorous understanding of and ability to communicate economic concepts.
    • Knowledge of the practicalities and econometrics of randomized control trials.
    • Present complex data in a clear intuitive way.
    • Working knowledge in complex partnerships including between research, nonprofits, business, funding agencies, and governments.
    • Living in low- and middle-income countries.
    • Oversee budgets and financial reporting.
    • Fundraising from individuals, institutional and governmental funders, and philanthropic foundations.
    • Running an organization, or significant business unit within an organization.
    • Interacting with a variety of other major institutions relevant to international development.

    Preferred Competencies

    • Strong written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate technical information in a way that can be understood by stakeholders with varying levels of technical background.
    • Highly organized with excellent project management skills and the ability to anticipate needs before they arise.
    • Comfortable navigating situations with varying degrees of ambiguity in an environment where priorities may shift often.
    • Excellent people management skills, with an ability to build an open, positive, team-oriented work culture that is diverse and inclusive, sensitive to cultural differences, and where everyone feels valued.
    • Demonstrated commitment to improving the lives of those living in poverty in developing countries.
  • Research, Operations and Policy Associate, Development Innovation Lab

    The Organization

    The Development Innovation Lab uses the tools of economics to develop innovations with the potential to benefit millions of people in low- and middle-income countries. Recent or ongoing work includes a meta-analysis of water treatment and child mortality which informed a $65m grant to scale-up water treatment; research on how to accelerate the availability of COVID-19 vaccines; testing of innovative lending products for farmers, work on digital agricultural extension, and iterative testing of approaches to improve learning outcomes.

    The Role

    The Research, Operations and Policy Associate will work as part of a small team directly supporting the activities of Prof. Michael Kremer. They will coordinate logistics, provide research support, draft communications, and manage relationships. The position is well-suited with someone with excellent organizational skills who is interested in working at the intersection of research and policy.

    Responsibilities

    • Coordinates Prof. Kremer’s work with outside institutions, including NGOs and government agencies.
    • Organizes speaking and media requests for domestic and international events.
    • Assists in preparing speeches and presentations for policy outreach.
    • Monitors, prioritizes and drafts communications.
    • Organizes on and off-campus meetings including lab meetings, workshops, and other special events. Coordinates speakers, handling all travel arrangements and reimbursements; handles speaker’s itinerary.
    • Coordinates complex domestic and multi-country international travel arrangements and reimbursements for DIL team and visitors.
    • Collaborates on new and ongoing research projects. Tasks include: proofreading, fact-checking, and editing.
    • Performs other related work as needed.

    Minimum Qualifications

    Education:

    • Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

    Work Experience:

    • Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.

    Preferred Qualifications

    Education:

    • Bachelor’s degree in economics or a closely related field.

    Experience:

    • Skill in project management.
    • Working knowledge as a research assistant and/or supporting research projects.
    • Teaching Assistant experience in economics courses may also be considered.
    • Technical Skills or Knowledge:
    • Proficiency in Microsoft Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.

    Competencies:

    • Knowledge of and enthusiasm for development economics.
    • Excellent organizational and analytical skills with high-level of accuracy and sharp attention to detail.
    • Effective written and verbal communication.
    • A quick, self-learner with ability to initiate, organize, prioritize and complete multiple, high-level projects; meet tight deadlines; and work effectively with minimal supervision in a fast-paced environment.
    • Anticipate and respond to future needs.
    • Works well independently and in a team environment.
    • Use appropriate resources and follow an issue through to resolution.
    • Solve problems and make effective decisions.

    Application Documents

    • Resume/CV (required)
    • Cover Letter (required)
    • Three Professional References Contact Information (required)
  • Special Projects Coordinator, Development Innovation Lab

    Job Summary

    The job coordinates non-technical (not information technology or construction related) projects from conception to completion. Assists with the assembly of teams and the development of detailed work plans, schedules, project estimates, resource plans, and status reports using straightforward problem solving skills.

    Responsibilities

    • Manages email communications in the DIL inbox and responds or coordinates responses with relevant DIL team members.
    • Coordinates DIL team’s work with outside institutions, including NGOs and government agencies.
    • Organizes speaking and media requests for domestic and international events.
    • Monitors DIL’s internal and external communications to maximize research impact and exposure.
    • Maintains DIL’s website. Organizes on and off-campus meetings including lab meetings, workshops, and other special events. Coordinates speakers, handling all travel arrangements and reimbursements; handles speaker’s itinerary.
    • Coordinates complex domestic and multi-country international travel arrangements and reimbursements for DIL team and visitors.
    • Collaborates on new and ongoing research projects. Tasks include: proofreading, fact-checking, and editing papers and reports under the supervision of the Executive Director.
    • Coordinates events, researches logistics, assists with planning and preparing presentations, event outreach, and post-event write ups.
    • Assists with researching funding opportunities, preparing grant proposals, and drafting and/or editing other written materials with moderate guidance.
    • Assists with other administrative projects as needed and acquire higher level guidance and skills.
    • Performs other related work as needed

    Minimum Qualifications
    Education:

    Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

    Work Experience:

    Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

    Preferred Qualifications

    Education:

    • Bachelor’s degree in economics or a closely related field.

    Experience:

    • Background providing administrative support.
    • Skillful in project management.
    • Working knowledge as a research assistant and/or supporting research projects.
    • Teaching Assistant experience in economics courses may also be considered.

    Technical Skills or Knowledge:

    • Proficiency in Microsoft Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.

    Preferred Competencies

    • Knowledge of and enthusiasm for development economics.
    • Excellent organizational and analytical skills with high-level of accuracy and sharp attention to detail.
    • Effective written and verbal communication.
    • A quick, self-learner with ability to initiate, organize, prioritize and complete multiple, high-level projects; meet tight deadlines; and work effectively with minimal supervision in a fast-paced environment.
    • Anticipate and respond to future needs.
    • Works well independently and in a team environment.
    • Use appropriate resources and follow an issue through to resolution.
    • Solve problems and make effective decisions.
  • Research Manager, Energy & Environment Lab

    About the Department

    The University of Chicago Urban Labs partners with government and non-governmental organizations to identify and rigorously evaluate the policies and programs with the greatest potential to improve human lives at scale. Urban Labs’ evidence-based approach gives policymakers and practitioners the knowledge they need to effectively achieve the greatest social good per dollar spent. The University of Chicago Energy & Environment Lab (E&E Lab) partners with agencies at the federal, state, and local level to identify, rigorously evaluate, and help scale programs and policies that reduce pollution and improve environmental outcomes, while ensuring access to reliable and affordable energy. The E&E Lab applies rigorous evaluation and modeling methods, including natural and field experiments, randomized controlled trials, behavioral economics, and machine learning, to help policymakers identify and generate evidence on innovative approaches and policy solutions to their most pressing environmental and energy challenges.

    Job Summary
    The University of Chicago E&E Lab is seeking a Research Manager (RM) with strong research, methodological, and management skills to support large-scale environmental policy research projects. The RM will help manage a growing portfolio of projects designed to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of promising energy and environmental interventions. The RM will contribute to the design, implementation, and analysis of energy and environment research projects with direct applicability for policymakers. This role works closely with U.S. government agencies, municipal governments, researchers, and a dedicated team of research analysts, data scientists, and staff, to support research projects led by Faculty Director Michael Greenstone.

    Responsibilities

    • Works with partners to identify analytical approaches to answer specific research questions or to provide analytical support to government partners.
    • Constructs, trains, and deploys scalable machine learning algorithms for a variety of predictive analytics research projects.
    • Meaningfully contributes to research design, analysis, and implementation of policy-relevant research projects.
    • Manages data collection, econometric analysis and provides quality assurance for research projects.
    • Manages research partnerships with government agencies and serves as project manager for research and technical assistance projects, including communications and project deliverables.
    • Prepares results for memos, presentations, and papers targeting both policymakers and academic audiences.
    • Helps manage project teams and junior staff, leads task supervision and quality oversight.
    • Ensures compliance with institutional, state and federal regulatory policies and procedures as well as internal data privacy and security policies.
    • Assists with writing grant proposals and managing grant reports.
    • Supports data collection and analytical needs of research projects. Conducts literature reviews and helps write reports and manuscripts. Ensures project compliance with different policies, procedures, directives, and mandates.
    • Takes responsibility for the following non-laboratory duties: transcribing and coding data; developing data collection instruments; presenting research; and recruiting and scheduling research subjects. Acquires higher-level skills and knowledge in the process.
    • Takes responsibility for the following laboratory duties: recognizing abnormal results and varying conditions or procedures to correct problems; setting up and performing experiments. Analyze the meaning, significance, causes, and effects of the subject.
    • Maintains technical and administrative support for a research project.
    • Analyzes and maintains data and/or specimens. Conducts literature reviews. Assists with preparation of reports, manuscripts and other documents.
    • Performs other related work as needed.

    Minimum Qualifications
    Education:

    Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

    Work Experience:

    Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through < 2 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

    Preferred Qualifications

    Education:

    • Bachelor’s degree in economics, statistics, computer science.
    • Master’s degree in economics, statistics, computer science.

    Experience:

    • A minimum of three years of relevant research experience.
    • Experience working on field experiments / randomized controlled trials.
    • Coursework in statistics, econometrics, data science, and computer science.

    Technical Skills or Knowledge:

    • Proficiency with R, Python, or Stata.
    • Experience working with large and complex datasets.
    • Applying machine learning algorithms in operational environments.
    • Explaining complex statistical ideas and/or research projects to non-experts.
    • Experience with relational databases.
    • Experience with GitHub.
    • Strong background in applied statistics and econometrics.
    • Knowledge and understanding of energy and environmental policy topics.

    Preferred Competencies

    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to present research concepts to non-technical audiences.
    • Strong time management skills with a proven ability to multitask and to prioritize activities to successfully complete projects on tight deadlines with little supervision.
    • Strong project management skills with exceptional attention to detail.
    • Work both independently, in a self-directed manner, and as a team member.
    • Work discreetly with sensitive and confidential data.
  • Grants & Contracts Manager, Weiss Fund

    Job Summary

    A primary activity of the Weiss Fund is a bi-annual request for proposals (RFP) process and the year-round management of those who have received awards from the Weiss Fund. This position supports the Weiss Fund team in running the annual RFPs and ongoing awardee financial and programmatic management.

    The Grant and Contracts Associate supports routine pre-award and/or post-award activities relating to the Weiss Fund’s grant and contract proposals and funding. Pre-award activities preparing for and executing the Request for Proposals process including collecting applications, facilitating the review period, and organizing the award decision process. Post-award activities include compliance monitoring, awardee reporting and NCE processing, invoice payment processing, and salary allocations. Performs work with guidance from others.

    Responsibilities

    • Seeks to improve and maintain processes for efficient grant management of outgoing awards from the Weiss Fund.
    • Prepares grant reports and analysis as requested by the primary donor.
    • For the primary award to UChicago, this person handles straightforward post-award activities including account creations, regulatory and compliance monitoring, salary allocations, effort reporting, grant projections, cost allocations, cost center charges, equipment inventory, invoice preparation, grant closing process, and account closure.
    • Plans and oversees the RFP process including updating the application, coordinating stakeholders for various review stages, and preparing materials for the committee meeting.
    • For outgoing awards to Weiss Fund recipients, this person handles all award notifications, coordinates contracts with URA, manages programmatic reporting requirements, processes no-cost extension requests, ensures invoices are compliant with Weiss Fund policies, and processes invoices.
    • Works closely with Weiss Fund and UChicago team members to execute the complexities of Weiss Fund grant management.
    • Creatively problem solves as unorthodox grant management questions arise. Weiss Fund is an organization that is giving out grants, an atypical arrangement for a University setting, so the role works closely with the University administration to identify appropriate processes and solutions.
    • Reviews all applications against University guidelines, in addition to drafting progress reports, non-competing applications, amendments, and budgeting. Responsible for all data entry and preparation of grant reports and trend analysis.
    • Handles straightforward post-award activities including account creations, regulatory and compliance monitoring, salary allocations, effort reporting, grant projections, cost allocations, cost center charges, equipment inventory, invoice preparation, grant closing process, and account closing.
    • Prepares summaries of grants and effort allocations for Principal Investigators, meets with them and responds to their questions. Coordinates with other departments/units/divisions regarding multi investigator grants. Serves as department contact for annual audits and agency site visits.
    • Performs other related work as needed.

    Minimum Qualifications
    Education:

    Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

    Work Experience:

    Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

    Preferred Qualifications

    Education:

    • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or similar field.

    Experience:

    • Accounting and budgeting experience.

    Technical Skills or Knowledge:

    • Project management skills; plan tasks for teams, monitor progress, make corrections to plans.
    • Contracting and grant management experience.

    Preferred Competencies

    • Analyze financial data.
    • Great organizational skills.
    • Ensure compliance
    • Team player with good problem solving and time management skills.
    • Work under pressure and meet deadlines.
    • Strategic thinking and analytical skills
  • Research Fellow, Energy & Environment Lab

    About the Department

    The University of Chicago Urban Labs partners with government and non-governmental organizations to identify and rigorously evaluate the policies and programs with the greatest potential to improve human lives at scale. Urban Labs’ evidence-based approach gives policymakers and practitioners the knowledge they need to effectively achieve the greatest social good per dollar spent. The University of Chicago Energy & Environment Lab (E&E Lab) partners with agencies at the federal, state, and local level to identify, rigorously evaluate, and help scale programs and policies that reduce pollution and improve environmental outcomes, while ensuring access to reliable and affordable energy. The E&E Lab applies rigorous evaluation and modeling methods, including natural and field experiments, randomized controlled trials, behavioral economics, and machine learning, to help policymakers identify and generate evidence on innovative approaches and policy solutions to their most pressing environmental and energy challenges.

    Job Summary
    The E&E Lab is seeking a self-driven and enterprising research fellow to work on a full-time basis embedded with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE). The Research Fellow will work with the E&E Lab and state agency staff to strengthen the regulator-university collaboration and help design and implement a suite of research projects that leverage rigorous evaluation methods, remote sensing technology and machine learning models to mitigate emissions from oil and gas operations in the state. The Fellow will work closely with agency staff on a day-to-day basis, becoming a core member of the team, providing research support to inform policy making, and identifying and pursuing opportunities to apply state-of-the art evaluation approaches. The Fellow will work closely with faculty and research staff and will report directly to the University of Chicago Energy & Environment Lab Executive Director. This position offers a unique opportunity to apply modern data analytics directly to energy and environmental programs. The candidate must be willing to live in Denver, Colorado.

    Responsibilities

    • Builds and maintains strong relationship with host agency and supports evidence-based policy and evaluation, while working closely with the E&E team to develop and execute research studies.
    • Contributes to the design and oversees implementation of several concurrent research studies; coordinates with regulatory partners, manages data collection including randomization, and monitors implementation fidelity.
    • In coordination with the E&E principal investigators and research staff, performs data analysis and development of research outputs.
    • Provides technical assistance to agency staff to inform evidence-based decision-making and policy, including conducting data analysis and sharing expertise and best-practices in evaluation methods, as well as topical information on air pollution.
    • Develops, and conducts training on evaluation methods for agency staff and other stakeholders.
    • Exchanges best practices with other researchers and evaluation professionals working on related topics.
    • Prepares internal reports, project memos, summaries, presentations, and manuscripts for host agency, academic audiences, and other stakeholders.
    • Applies research principles and relevant subject matter knowledge relevant to administer a research project. With a moderate level of direction, manages lab and/or research-related duties and tasks. Helps develop, design and conduct research projects according to plan.
    • Supports data collection and analytical needs of research projects. Conducts literature reviews and helps write reports and manuscripts. Ensures project compliance with different policies, procedures, directives, and mandates.
    • Solves complex problems relating to the administration of projects, including planning new procedures, adapting existing procedures to the needs of the project, and making significant contributions to methodology.
    • Guides data collection, evaluation and analysis. Designs and manages databases. Writes reports, articles and manuscripts.
    • Presents research findings at meetings and conferences, as well as to funding agencies. Conducts literature reviews. Develop and maintain liaisons and effective working relations with groups and individuals, agencies, and the public to encourage cooperative management strategies or to develop information and interpret findings.
    • Performs other related work as needed.

    Minimum Qualifications
    Education:

    Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

    Work Experience:

    Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

    Preferred Qualifications

    Education:

    • Bachelor’s degree in economics, public policy, statistics, computer science, or a closely related field.
    • Master’s degree in economics, public policy, statistics, computer science, or a closely related field.
    • Coursework in statistics, economics and econometrics.

    Experience:

    • A minimum of two year of relevant full-time research experience.
    • Managing data and conducting econometric analysis; machine learning a plus.
    • Proficiency in at least one of the following languages: R, Stata, SAS, SQL, R, Python or Matlab.
    • Background working with large and complex datasets.
    • Working knowledge on field experiments / randomized controlled trials.

    Preferred Competencies

    • Understanding of energy and environmental economics topics and programs.
    • Proven knowledge of program evaluation and impact evaluation techniques and methods.
    • Sign and abide by all required conflict of interest and disclosure policies and forthcoming with any information on real or perceived conflicts of interest.
    • Excellent analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
    • Proven organizational skills and high attention to detail, with a strong focus on results.
    • Balance multiple tasks and prioritize effectively to meet tight deadlines in a fast-paced working environment.
    • Design and execute a work plan with minimal supervision, including delegating tasks to other staff.
    • Maturity, adaptability, and flexibility.
    • Exeptional written and verbal communication skills, including communicating with technical and non-technical audiences.
    • Proven ability to work both independently, in a self-directed manner, and as part of a team.
    • Knowledge of topics in energy and energy regulation, policy, and/or the environment.
    • Passion for evidence-based decision making.