Skip to content Skip to navigation

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 are appointed as non-matriculated graduate students and 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 ($49,600 in 2019-2020). 

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 approximately 12 open positions to start in Summer 2020.  Initial appointments will be for one year with the possibility of a second year based on performance. Potential applicants should be prepared to submit a CV, cover letter and writing sample and be willing to complete a coding task upon request.

SIEPR Common Application:

The common application period runs from January to March, 2020, with applications being reviewed on a rolling basis until positions are filled. Potential applicants should be prepared to submit a CV, cover letter and writing sample and be willing to complete a coding task upon request.

Other Applications:

Some faculty members may advertise their research positions earlier than the common application timeline and select students on their own in consultation with SIEPR.

Matthew Gentzkow, Professor of Economics at Stanford, is accepting applications for pre-doctoral research fellows to work for a period of at least one year. Some positions are jointly supervised by Jesse Shapiro at Brown University. The job will entail close collaboration on a number of new and ongoing projects in applied microeconomics. Please see the job posting here for application details.

Heidi Williams, Professor of Economics at Stanford, is accepting applications for pre-doctoral research fellows to begin in the summer or fall of 2020 and to be appointed for up to two years as part of her research team. The position will entail close collaboration and assistance with all stages of various empirical research projects analyzing the causes and consequences of technological change. For recent high-level discussions of some of Professor Williams’s research, see this 2019 NBER Reporter article and this paper (Annual Review of Economics 2017). If you are interested in applying, please see here for full application details.

If you are interested in learning about future openings, please complete our interest form. Thank you for your interest in the SIEPR Predoctoral Research Fellows Program!

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. Orientation is tentatively scheduled for the week of July 20, 2020, and we encourage predocs to arrive in time for this.
  • 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. If you have difficulty accessing Google, please contact us.
  • 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.

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