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SIEPR Predoctoral Research Fellowship Opportunities

The SIEPR/Economics Predoctoral Research Fellowship program is a full-time, one- to two-year post baccalaureate program designed to prepare individuals wishing to gain valuable training and experience toward a career in academic research in economics or public policy. Fellows will be expected to fully engage in the intellectual life at Stanford University. They dedicate a significant portion of their time to an empirical research project and can take graduate-level courses at Stanford University for credit (up to one course per quarter). The fellowship offers tuition, health insurance, and a living stipend ($48,000 in 2018-2019). 

We seek highly skilled and motivated individuals to join our full-time Predoctoral Research Fellows position for a period of at least one year. The positions are based at the Institute for Economic Policy Research at Stanford University. Fellows start in June or July, although a September start date may be negotiable. International applicants are welcome to apply.

Ideal candidates will have:

  • Completed a 4-year undergraduate degree (bachelors or foreign equivalent) in economics, statistics, applied mathematics, or a related field;
  • A strong quantitative background and interest in learning cutting-edge research methods;
  • Creative and independent problem solving skills;
  • Experience programming in Stata and R, and may have experience with GIS, Matlab, and other statistical packages; and
  • An interest in pursuing a PhD in Economics or a related field.

Please review our Frequently Asked Questions before contacting SIEPR about this program.

Stanford Faculty interested in mentoring students through the program should consult our Information for Faculty.

Open Positions:

SIEPR will recruit for eight open positions to start in Summer 2019. Positions start in July and are for one year with the possibility of a second year based on performance. Applications will be accepted starting January 10, 2019 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. If you would like to be notified when the application opens, please fill out our interest form. Potential applicants should be prepared to submit a CV, cover letter and writing sample and be willing to complete a coding task upon request.

Interest Form

PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT SIEPR OR OUR FACULTY REGARDING THESE POSITIONS UNTIL AFTER JANUARY 10.

Lessons from the Past on Immigration, Inequality and Financial Markets

Professor Ran Abramitzky and Peter Koudijs

Professors Abramitzky and Koudijs seek a highly skilled individual to work as a pre-doctoral research fellow for a one-year (or potentially two-years) term, to begin no later than September 15, 2019. The goal of our research is to provide evidence and long-term perspectives on current policy-relevant topics including immigration, inequality, and financial markets. We seek economists with a strong quantitative and empirical background. The successful candidate will help with constructing datasets, performing econometric analysis, and conducting historical research. The fellow will receive exposure to a broad set of applied microeconomics research methods, gain experience analyzing large and complex data sets, working with programs such as Stata and R, and will become knowledgeable about economic history research.

The Spillover Effects of Incarceration

Professors Marcella Alsan and Ebonya Washington (Yale)

Professor Alsan is an applied microeconomist interested in the bidirectional relationship between health and economic development. She seeks an individual highly skilled in Latex Stata R and with familiarity in python to work as a predoctoral research fellow. In this project, she aims to understand the role of minority physicians on the performance of majority doctors with minority patients. Using quasirandom variation of patient assignment to doctors in the emergency room alongside the shift schedule of doctors they will test the hypothesis that doctors who are minority status generate a positive externality on those who are majority status. To perform this test, she has secured data from the ER from multiple sources, demographic information on the doctors, patients and shift schedules. This position is ideally suited for individuals interested in applied microeconomics, health economics or healthcare policies.

Productivity in Health Care Delivery

Professors David Chan and Matthew Gentzkow

Professor David Chan seeks a highly skilled individual to work as a predoctoral research fellow for a two-year term. The position will involve research assistance in two projects involving detailed data from electronic health records in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Broadly speaking, this work will involve an array of econometric methods to assess the policy impact of rearranging health care delivery on health outcomes. Implications for this research include questions such as whether the VHA should privatize its care and whether health care variation in the VHA is warranted or unwarranted from a welfare perspective. The fellow will be responsible for large-scale data processing in the VHA, reduced-form methods of causal inference, possible structural models of choice, and machine learning algorithms to process detailed patient data or text strings.

Regulatory Evasion/Retirement Income Tools and Saving Decisions

Professors Gopi Shah Goda and Colleen Honigsberg

Professors Goda and Honigsberg seeks a highly skilled individual to work as a predoctoral research fellow for a one-year term. The position will involve research assistance for several projects related to household finance. Professor Goda’s work focuses on behavioral and perceptual biases that affect retirement saving decisions, long-term care insurance and other topics related to the economics of aging in the United States. Professor Honigsberg’s work focuses on US regulation of financial advisors. The projects use large-scale survey and administrative data sources. The fellow will receive exposure to and training in a broad set of applied microeconomics research methods, randomized controlled trials, Stata and LaTeX. The fellow will become knowledgeable about current regulatory policies for financial advisors and the well-being of the elderly in the US.

Democratic Elections, Misinformation, and Polarization

Professors Andrew Hall and Justin Grimmer

Professors Grimmer and Hall seek highly-skilled researchers to assist them on a series of projects studying policy challenges related to democratic elections, misinformation, and polarization. These projects will involve collecting large-scale datasets on election outcomes, social-media content, and online behavior, and using them to estimate the effects of policies intended to secure the electoral system, such as voter registration, and combat misinformation, such as online censorship. Researchers will gain in-depth experience with database infrastructure, quantitative analysis in R and Stata, and theoretical concepts in political economy, and will help to push forward research on pressing issues threatening the policymaking process in modern democracies.

Social Insurance and Health at Older Ages

Professor Maria Polyakova

Professor Polyakova seeks a highly skilled individual to work as a predoctoral research fellow for a one-year term. The position will involve research assistance for several projects on topics related to health insurance, health outcomes, and labor markets in healthcare, with a special focus on older population. The projects use large-scale administrative data sets from the United States and Europe, and aim to deliver implications for current policy debates. The fellow will receive exposure to and training in a broad set of applied microeconomics research methods, and experience analyzing large and complex data sets, working with programs such as Stata, R, and Python, and will become knowledgeable about current policies in health insurance and healthcare in the United States and abroad.

Policies, Families, and Health

Professors Maya Rossin-Slater and Petra Persson

Professors Maya Rossin-Slater and Petra Persson seek a highly skilled individual to work as a predoctoral research fellow for a one- to two-year term. The position will involve research assistance for several projects on topics related to maternal and child health, and family structure and well-being. The projects use large-scale administrative data sets from the United States, Denmark, and Sweden, and deliver implications for current policy debates. The fellow will receive exposure to and training in a broad set of applied microeconomics research methods, and experience analyzing large and complex data sets, working with programs such as Stata, SAS, and GIS, and will become knowledgeable about current policies targeting disadvantaged populations in the US and in other countries.

Consumer Protection, Regulation and Disruption in Consumer Credit Markets

Professor Amit Seru

Professor Seru's primary project in the area of household finance/financial regulation will analyze impact of various policies related to design of the credit market (consumer dispute arbitration) and design of the credit products (mortgages, student loans and auto loans). We will also assess how these aspects have changed due to recent disruption in the consumer credit market due to rise of fin-tech and big-tech firms. These projects will use large-scale data sets from the United States and the analysis will deliver implications for current policy debates. The fellow will help the team clean, process, and analyze the data towards these goals and will be familiar with programs such as Stata and SAS.


Frequently Asked Questions:

  • When should we expect to hear about our admissions decision? We will make every effort to notify all candidates by April 30.
  • What is the start date? Start dates are somewhat negotiable but must be no earlier than June 1 and no later than September 15.
  • Do you accept international applicants? Yes, we accept international applicants. International applicants will be sponsored on a J-1 visa. Students eligible for OPT are encouraged to use that during the fellowship.
  • Do we need to provide test scores for the program (GRE/GMAT/TOEFL)? No, we do not require test scores.
  • I am not an Economics major. Can I still apply? Yes, we consider non-economics majors for these positions. However, applicants should have strong statistics backgrounds and an expressed interest in economics.
  • Do you accept application material by email? No, we are unable to review applications received by email. All application material should be submitted via the application portal.
  • How do you match applicants to faculty? Faculty interested in mentoring a predoc will list their projects above. Applicants rank the projects they are most interested in. Faculty will select a specific candidate to mentor for 1-2 years. 
  • My advisor would like to submit a recommendation letter. How do I do that? We do not accept unsolicited recommendation letters on behalf of candidates. They will not be read. If candidates are selected for interviews, we will request references and contact those references directly. 
  • You provide the option of including a writing sample. What should I include? The Writing Sample is optional but encouraged. It should be roughly five pages in length and should demonstrate your academic writing skills. The paper must be in English. An excerpt of an undergraduate thesis or term paper, or an excerpt of a masters dissertation (including abstract) are acceptable examples.
  • What can I do to make my application more competitive for the Predoc Fellowship? Our faculty look for strong academic records (GPA, high grades in quantitative courses), experience with Stata, R, or Python, and clear writing skills. Double check your application material for completeness and make sure there are no typos or mistakes in your cover letter, resume, or writing sample, as our faculty also value attention to detail. 
  • Is it an advantage to have a masters degree when applying for the fellowship? It is not required to have a masters degree for admission to the predoctoral research fellows program. Approximately 1/3 of our fellows complete a masters degree prior to entry into the program. A strong masters transcript may be helpful if you believe your undergraduate coursework does not adequately reflect your abilities in quantitative courses, but is not guaranteed to give you an edge above other applicants.
  • How many students apply to your program? We are not releasing our application numbers at this time, but we receive a large number of applications for our roughly 10 open spots each year.

For further questions, please email siepr-fellowships@stanford.edu.