Full-Time Research Assistantship at NBER

Posted: September 19, 2019

Economics professors Dan Benjamin (at the University of Southern California), David Cesarini (New York University), David Laibson (Harvard University), and their co-authors employ full-time research assistants at the NBER with start dates during the summer of 2020. We would like to hire students interested in genoeconomics: the identification of genetic variation that is associated with variation in economic behavior. Prior experience is not necessary. Research assistants should have an interest in applying to a quantitative Ph.D. program (e.g., Genomics, Economics, Neuroscience, Sociology, Statistics, Data Science) and pursuing an academic research career.

Current projects include identifying genetic variants associated with educational attainment and risk preferences, creating optimal genetic predictors for a range of behavioral traits, and developing new statistical methods.

For examples of past research, see the “Genoeconomics” tab at https://www.danieljbenjamin.com/publications. Research assistants are directly involved in the entire research process, including:

  • Developing new methods to analyze genetic data
  • Data analysis in R and Python
  • Background research and literature reviews for paper writing
  • Drafting sections of manuscripts for publication
  • Visualizing data for manuscripts and presentations

Required background: 

  • Knowledge of one or more of R, Python, or STATA
  • Strong work ethic and organizational skills
  • A background in economics, genetics, computer science, statistics, or mathematics (undergraduate degree or at least 3 years of relevant experience)
  • Ability to work independently and with minimal guidance
  • An interest in genoeconomics • Strong writing skills

Optional background:

  • Knowledge of MATLAB (or other programming languages such Java, C, C++, or Julia) and Latex
  • Experience with Unix commands
  • Familiarity with various statistical analyses such as OLS, MLE, and PCA

Location: NBER in Cambridge, MA

Salary: $56,000 (plus benefits)

To apply please submit the following documents, as a single pdf document, to cwatson.usc@gmail.com:

  1. A cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position (reference RFP:011)
  2. Your resume
  3. An unofficial (or official) transcript,
  4. A paper you’ve written for a course, a research paper, or other writing sample.

Later in the process, we may ask you for up to three references. There is no set deadline for applications. The position will remain open until it is filled.