Weiss Fund Predoctoral Fellowship Call

The Weiss Fund for Research in Development Economics invites applicants for a Fellowship that seeks to expand the representation of researchers from low and lower-middle income countries in leading predoctoral programs. Successful candidates will receive Weiss Fund endorsement in applying to pre-approved 2-year predoctoral research positions at leading universities. The Fellowship seeks to support candidates with substantial interest and potential for success in pursuing an academic career in development economics who otherwise may have limited access to mentorship and training from leading development economists.

Fellowship Opportunity

The Weiss Fund is accepting applications for Fellowships to support pre-approved predoctoral positions at leading development economics institutions. Predoctoral positions are intended to serve as a bridge between college and graduate school for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. This Fellowship seeks to expand the representation within highly competitive predoctoral programs of strong researchers who have graduated from secondary or tertiary institutions in low or lower-middle-income countries and may otherwise have limited access to mentorship and training from leading development economists.

Applicants must have completed a relevant Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an institution in a low or lower-middle-income country by June 2022 and have strong quantitative and programming skills. Alternatively, candidates who graduated from a secondary institution in a low or lower-middle-income country but continued their tertiary education elsewhere may also qualify. Candidates with research experience are strongly preferred, especially those with experience in Stata, R, Python, or Matlab.

Why Apply to the Weiss Fund Predoctoral Fellowship?

  • The Weiss Fund Predoctoral Fellowship will recommend and subsidize successful finalists in their application to some of the most competitive predoctoral programs in the world. Affiliated universities will consider this rare endorsement in their selection process, increasing the likelihood that Weiss Fund Predoctoral Fellowship Finalists will advance in the hiring process for predoctoral programs.
  • Weiss Fund Predoctoral Fellowship Finalists will receive references, coaching, and support in pursuing predoctoral research positions at pre-approved positions at leading Universities.
  • If admitted into one of these pre-approved positions, Weiss Fund Predoctoral Fellows will work directly with one or more of the world’s leading development economists;
  • Finalists and Fellowship recipients will be featured in the Weiss Fund website, a unique platform to showcase their aptitude, experience, and interest in academia and economics.

The benefits of a top predoctoral position

Conditional upon acceptance to a predoc program, you will have the opportunity to

  • Develop coding, research, and communication skills
  • Learn the inner workings of research projects and gain management and field experience
  • Explore a variety of research areas and feed your intellectual curiosity
  • Receive mentorship and support for the Ph.D. application process
  • Build a relationship with world-class faculty members who can guide your learning and convey your strengths to graduate schools
  • Collaborate on research publications and potentially co-author papers

Eligibility

Applicants must have

  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an institution in a low or lower-middle-income country (see list below). Candidates with a high school degree from a low or lower-middle-income country and a university degree outside the list may also qualify.
  • Preferred areas of study include Mathematics, Statistics, Engineering, Computer Science and/or Economics or related social science with an emphasis on quantitative analysis,
  • Working proficiency in written and spoken English.

Preferred qualifications

Competitive applicants may have some of the following:

Experience:

  • Work experience in a research environment, with proven analytical and quantitative skills
  • Experience conducting Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs)
  • Experience with a statistical analysis package such as R, Python, or Stata

Competencies:

  • Strong interest in pursuing an academic career in development economics
  • Commitment to and success in self-directed learning
  • Track record of effectively working both independently and as a member of a team
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to produce clear and compelling written materials geared towards technical and non-technical audiences
  • Ability to balance multiple tasks and prioritize effectively to meet tight deadlines in a fast-paced working environment
  • Ability to work efficiently with minimal supervision
  • Excellent organizational skills and close attention to detail

Fellowship Award Terms

Successful applicants will be awarded a Fellowship to be applied by the host institution to subsidize the cost of the position conditional upon receiving an offer of employment at one of a set of pre-approved predoctoral positions. The list of open and qualifying Weiss Fund pre-approved positions will be shared with Fellowship Finalists and will include predoctoral positions at one or more leading universities for research in development economics in the world. The predoctoral positions pre-approved by the Weiss Fund will provide visa sponsorship. The Fellowship may not be applied to other predoctoral positions or for purposes other than supporting a candidate who has successfully received an offer of employment from the pre-approved list of open positions.

The Weiss Fund Predoctoral Fellowship Application and Award Process:

  1. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis;
  2. Promising candidates will be invited to virtually complete a series of interviews, including written skills tests;
  3. Fellowship finalists announced;
  4. Fellowship finalists apply to pre-approved predoctoral positions;
  5. Fellowship awarded upon receipt of a job offer for a Weiss Fund pre-approved predoctoral position.

Application

APPLY HERE

Priority deadline is Monday, April 4, 2022. Applications received after will be considered on a rolling basis as positions are available.

  • Resume/CV (required) – Recommend using a format that highlights quantitative skills. Example
  • Transcripts (required)
  • GRE score (if available)
  • Summary of other training not included in the transcript (example: MIT’s micromasters, etc.)

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact us at weissfund@uchicago.edu.


Low and Lower-Middle Income Countries*

See the full list by clicking “read more”

Afghanistan
Algeria
Angola
Bangladesh
Belize
Benin
Bhutan
Bolivia
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cabo Verde
Cambodia
Cameroon
Central African Republic
Chad
Comoros
Congo, Dem. Rep
Congo, Rep.
Côte d’Ivoire
Djibouti
Egypt, Arab Rep.
El Salvador
Eritrea
Eswatini
Ethiopia
Gambia, The
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Haiti
Honduras
India
Indonesia
Iran, Islamic Rep
Kenya
Kiribati
Korea, Dem. People’s Rep
Kyrgyz Republic
Lao PDR
Lesotho
Liberia
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Mauritania
Micronesia, Fed. Sts.
Mongolia
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar
Nepal
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Pakistan
Papua New Guinea
Philippines
Rwanda
Samoa
São Tomé and Principe
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Sudan
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Syrian Arab Republic
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Timor-Leste
Togo
Tunisia
Uganda
Ukraine
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
West Bank and Gaza
Yemen, Rep.
Zambia
Zimbabwe

* As defined by the World Bank and including countries for which data was not available.