Pre-Doctoral Research Opportunities

All positions below remain open and actively reviewing applications. New positions will also open as part of the Winter hiring cycle starting January 3, 2023.

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.

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  • Health Economics Initiative · EXPECTED START DATE: JULY 1, 2023
    Fall Cycle: Research Professional
    Joshua Gottlieb, Associate Professor, Harris Public Policy; Deputy Director of BFI Health Economics Initiative; Jonathan Dingel, Associate Professor of Economics, Booth School of Business; Neale Mahoney, Stanford University

    The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) is seeking to hire a full-time Research Professional to work with Joshua Gottlieb, Associate Professor, Harris Public Policy; Deputy Director of BFI Health Economics Initiative and collaborators including Neale Mahoney (Stanford University), Jonathan Dingel (Chicago Booth), and others.  The Research Professional will be involved in all stages of ongoing and new research projects related to research in health, labor, and urban economics.  Previous RPs who have worked with Professor Gottlieb have gone on to PhD programs at Stanford, Yale, and the University of Chicago.

    Successful candidates will work directly with Professor Gottlieb and co-authors as part of BFI’s Predoctoral Research in Economics Program (PREP). The program is intended to serve as a bridge between college and graduate school for students interested in empirical economics. Applicants must have completed a Bachelors degree by June 2023 and have strong quantitative and programming skills. Candidates with research experience are strongly preferred, especially those with experience in Stata, R, or Python. The ideal candidate would begin on July 1, 2023 (flexible) and work for BFI for one or two years before applying to graduate school in Economics or another quantitative social science. BFI offers competitive salary and employee benefits.

    Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received.

    Unit-specific Responsibilities:

    • Write programs in Stata to analyze large datasets
    • Construct maps, figures, and tables for economics papers
    • Identify new data sources
    • Editing tasks
    • Other duties as assigned.

     Unit-preferred Competencies:

    • Desired (but not required) skills include advanced familiarity with numerical optimization and package development in R and/or Python, and the ability to use Stata to manage and analyze large datasets. Although previous experience with any specific language is not essential, familiarity with at least one scripting language is encouraged.
    • Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects simultaneously
    • Excellent organizational skills
    • Attention to detail
    • Strong academic writing/communication skills

     Preferred Qualifications:

    Education

    • Bachelor’s degree in economics, computer sciences, engineering, or related STEM fields is highly desirable.

    Experience

    • Relevant research experience as a research assistant.

    Technical Knowledge/Skills

    • Knowledge of R, Python, Stata preferred

    Required Documents:

    • Resume/CV
    • Writing sample
    • Transcripts (unofficial is ok)

    The University of Chicago provides equal employment opportunities to all employees, applicants, and job seekers. No person shall be discriminated against in employment or harassed because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, marital status, parental status, ancestry, source of income, or other classes protected by law. This policy includes the commitment to maintaining a work environment free from unlawful harassment.

  • Big Data Initiative · EXPECTED START DATE: JULY 2023
    Research Professional: Big Data Initiative
    Guillaume Pouliot, Assistant Professor, Harris Public Policy; Alexander Torgovitsky, Professor in Economics and the College, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics

    The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) is seeking to hire a Research Professional to work on new and ongoing research projects in econometrics, with a special focus on causal inference and machine learning. The Research Professional will work under the guidance of Professors Guillaume Pouliot and Alexander Torgovitsky. The Research Professional will be involved in the development, implementation, and application of advanced statistical models on the frontier of methodological research in economics.

    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. For more information visit https://bfi.uchicago.edu and https://bfi.uchicago.edu/info-for/prep/.

    The candidate is welcome to take advantage of immersion in the Chicago Economics community and to attend student and faculty research workshops.

    Unit-specific Responsibilities

    1) Lead developer of software with primary role in design and testing.

    2) Writes documentation and distributes the software to repositories.

    3) Develops demonstrations and applications of the software.

    4) Proof-reads papers and presentations about the software.

    Unit-preferred Competencies

    1) Strong programming ability with background in multiple languages.

    2) Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects simultaneously.

    3) Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.

    4) Strong written skills.

    5) Strong background with Python, R, and/or Julia.

    6) Some knowledge of LaTeX.

    Preferred Qualifications:

    Education

    • Bachelor’s degree in economics, computer science, mathematics, statistics, or a related field; advanced degree preferred

    Experience

    • Relevant research experience, especially with data, preferred

    Technical Knowledge/Skills

    • Knowledge of Python, Matlab, R, and/or Julia required
    • Knowledge of LaTeX preferred

    Required Documents

    • Resume/CV
    • Cover Letter (include earliest available start date)
    • Transcript (unofficial is ok)

    The University of Chicago provides equal employment opportunities to all employees, applicants, and job seekers. No person shall be discriminated against in employment or harassed because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, marital status, parental status, ancestry, source of income, or other classes protected by law. This policy includes the commitment to maintaining a work environment free from unlawful harassment.

  • EXPECTED START DATE: JULY 2023
    Fall Cycle: Research Professional
    John List, Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and the College, Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics; Director of the Chicago Experiments Initiative

    The Research Professional for Chicago Experiments collaborates on new and ongoing research projects with a focus on, but not limited to, the implementation and empirical analysis of field experiments and observational/administrative data. Specifically, the Research Professional is involved in advanced empirical work on labor economics, education/human capital, discrimination, behavioral economics, and other topics within applied microeconomics.

    The Research Professional is part of the vibrant research environment at The University of Chicago and may attend and participate in seminars and workshops in preparation for a successful academic career.

    Past Research Professionals have received admission offers from top PhD programs including Maryland, NYU, Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, UPenn, Yale, among others.

    This position requires a commitment of at least two years.

    Applications will be reviewed from mid-December on a rolling basis. Only successful candidates will be contacted for a data task.

    Responsibilities:

    • Collects, cleans, manipulates, and analyzes experimental datasets
    • Contributes to writing, proofreading, and fact-checking papers and presentations
    • Implements experiments, conducts data analysis, and modifies existing codes to provide robustness of test results
    • Ensures compliance with institutional, state and federal regulatory policies, procedures, directives, and mandates.

    Competencies:

    • Analytical skills required.
    • Attention to detail required.
    • Verbal and written communication skills required.
    • Ability to work independently and as part of a team required.

    Additional Job Description

    Education, Experience, and Certifications:

    • Bachelor’s degree required.

    Required Documents:

    • Cover Letter
    • CV
    • Transcript (unofficial)
    • Most advanced writing sample in economics (if available)

     About the Unit:

    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. For more information visit https://bfi.uchicago.edu and https://bfi.uchicago.edu/info-for/prep/.

    The University of Chicago provides equal employment opportunities to all employees, applicants, and job seekers. No person shall be discriminated against in employment or harassed because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, marital status, parental status, ancestry, source of income, or other classes protected by law. This policy includes the commitment to maintaining a work environment free from unlawful harassment.

  • Big Data Initiative · EXPECTED START DATE: JULY 2023
    Research Professional: Big Data Initiative
    Azeem Shaikh, Ralph and Mary Otis Isham Professor in Economics and the College and Thornber Research Fellow, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics; Co-Director of BFI Big Data Initiative; Max Tabord-Meehan, Assistant Professor in Economics and the College, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics

    The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) is seeking to hire a full-time Research Professional to work with Professors Azeem Shaikh and Max Tabord-Meehan as part of BFI’s Big Data Initiative and BFI’s Predoctoral Research in Economics Program (PREP). Successful applicants will collaborate on new and ongoing research in econometric theory.  The position will likely involve programming novel statistical procedures and conducting simulation experiments, as well as reading, understanding and summarizing current methodological papers in economics and statistics.

    The program is intended to serve as a bridge between college and graduate school for students interested in economics and statistics. Applicants must have completed a Bachelors degree by June 2023 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 on July 1, 2023 and work for BFI for one or two years before applying to graduate school in Economics or another quantitative social science. BFI offers competitive salary and employee benefits.

    Unit-specific Responsibilities:

    • Write programs in R, Python, or Matlab
    • Construct figures and tables for economics papers
    • Conduct literature reviews in economics and statistics
    • Identify new data sources
    • Editing tasks
    • Other duties as assigned.

    Unit-preferred Competencies:

    • Prior coursework in math, statistics and econometrics required
    • Desired skills include advanced familiarity with numerical optimization and package development in R, Python, or Matlab. Although previous experience with any specific language is not essential, familiarity with at least one scripting language is encouraged.
    • Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects simultaneously
    • Excellent organizational skills
    • Attention to detail
    • Strong academic writing/communication skills

    Preferred Qualifications:

    Education

    • Bachelor’s degree in economics, computer sciences, engineering, or related STEM fields is highly desirable.

    Experience

    • Relevant research experience as a research assistant.

    Technical Knowledge/Skills

    • Knowledge of R, Python or Matlab preferred
    • Knowledge of STATA preferred

    Required Documents:

    • Resume/CV
    • Writing sample
    • Transcripts (unofficial is ok)

    The University of Chicago provides equal employment opportunities to all employees, applicants, and job seekers. No person shall be discriminated against in employment or harassed because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, marital status, parental status, ancestry, source of income, or other classes protected by law. This policy includes the commitment to maintaining a work environment free from unlawful harassment.

  • Big Data Initiative · EXPECTED START DATE: JULY 2023
    Research Professional: Big Data Initiative
    Stéphane Bonhomme, Ann L. and Lawrence B. Buttenwieser Professor in Economics and the College, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics; Co-Director of BFI Big Data Initiative; Kirill Ponomarev, Assistant Professor at the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics at the University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute

    The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) is seeking to hire a full-time Research Professional to work with Professors Stéphane Bonhomme and Kirill Ponomarev as part of BFI’s Big Data Initiative and BFI’s Predoctoral Research in Economics Program (PREP). Successful applicants will collaborate on new and ongoing research in econometric theory. The position will likely involve programming novel statistical procedures and conducting simulation experiments, as well as reading, understanding and summarizing current methodological papers in economics and statistics.

    The program is intended to serve as a bridge between college and graduate school for students interested in economics and statistics. Applicants must have completed a Bachelors degree by June 2023 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 on July 1, 2023, and work for BFI for one or two years before applying to graduate school in Economics or another quantitative social science. BFI offers competitive salary and employee benefits.

    Unit-specific Responsibilities:

    • Write programs in R, Python, or Matlab
    • Construct figures and tables for economics papers
    • Conduct literature reviews in economics and statistics
    • Identify new data sources
    • Editing tasks
    • Other duties as assigned.

    Unit-preferred Competencies:

    • Prior coursework in math, statistics and econometrics required
    • Desired skills include advanced familiarity with numerical optimization and package development in R, Python, or Matlab. Although previous experience with any specific language is not essential, familiarity with at least one scripting language is encouraged.
    • Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects simultaneously
    • Excellent organizational skills
    • Attention to detail
    • Strong academic writing/communication skills

    Preferred Qualifications:

    Education

    • Bachelor’s degree in economics, computer sciences, engineering, or related STEM fields is highly desirable.

    Experience

    • Relevant research experience as a research assistant.

    Technical Knowledge/Skills

    • Knowledge of R, Python or Matlab preferred
    • Knowledge of STATA preferred

    Required Documents:

    • Resume/CV
    • Writing sample
    • Transcripts (unofficial is ok)

    The University of Chicago provides equal employment opportunities to all employees, applicants, and job seekers. No person shall be discriminated against in employment or harassed because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, marital status, parental status, ancestry, source of income, or other classes protected by law. This policy includes the commitment to maintaining a work environment free from unlawful harassment.

  • Development Innovation Lab · EXPECTED START DATE: JULY 2023
    Research Professional: Development Innovation Lab
    Michael Kremer, University Professor in Economics and the College and the Harris School of Public Policy, Director of the Development Innovation Lab

    The Development Innovation Lab (DIL) at the Becker Friedman Institute (BFI) uses the tools of economics to develop innovations of practical use in  developing countries. By bringing together experts in different fields and working closely with nonprofit organizations, firms and governments in developing countries, we can simultaneously advance knowledge and generate solutions to development challenges which can reach hundreds of millions of people.

    Job Summary

    DIL is seeking to hire a full-time Research Professional to work with Professor Michael Kremer, Nobel Laureate, and possibly other faculty as part of the Development Innovation Lab. Successful applicants will collaborate on new and ongoing research in development economics.

    Responsibilities

    • Under limited direction, performs complex lab and/or research-related duties and tasks.
    • Collects, records and analyzes data.
    • Conducts literature reviews.
    • Participates in writing reports and manuscripts.
    • Ensures compliance with institutional, state, and federal regulatory policies, procedures, directives, and mandates.
    • Trains and oversees the work of research support personnel.
    • Transcribes and codes data; develops data collection instruments.
    • Presents research findings at staff meetings, seminars, and scientific conferences.
    • Assists with building databases.
    • Recruits and schedules research subjects.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Installs, sets up and performs experiments, interacting with students and other laboratory staff under the direction of the principal investigator.
    • Conducting other relevant administrative tasks, as needed.
    • 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.

    Certifications:

    Preferred Qualifications

    Education:

    • Bachelor’s degree.
    • Advanced degree in economics, mathematics, computer science, finance, statistics, or comparable field.

    Experience:

    • A minimum of one to two years of relevant research experience, experience gained in school counts towards this qualification.

    Technical Skills or Knowledge:

    • Advanced knowledge of research technique and methods in relevant scientific field.

     Preferred Competencies

    • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
    • Manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet tight deadlines.
    • Work both independently and as a team member.
    • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.

     Working Conditions

    • Perform tasks mostly indoors in an office setting.
    • Work independently for periods of eight (8) hours or more.
    • Potentially traveling for field work.

    Application Documents

    • Resume/CV (required)
    • Cover Letter (required)
    • Professional References Contact Information (3)(required)

    The University of Chicago provides equal employment opportunities to all employees, applicants, and job seekers. No person shall be discriminated against in employment or harassed because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, marital status, parental status, ancestry, source of income, or other classes protected by law. This policy includes the commitment to maintaining a work environment free from unlawful harassment.