About the Research Assistant Position
Research Assistants make use of their undergraduate training and analytical skills in the areas of Economics, Finance, Statistics, Mathematics, and Computer Science to support academic research and monetary and regulatory policy work conducted by Fed economists in our Research or Supervision, Regulation Departments. The Research Department provides current economic analysis and policy advice to Federal Reserve decision makers and conducts innovative research with the aim of improving our understanding of the regional, U.S. and global economies and encouraging better policy outcomes.
The Supervision and Credit Department’s Supervisory Research and Analysis Unit conducts research and analysis to support the Federal Reserve System in bank supervision and the development and implementation of regulatory policy.
In both departments, research assistants work closely with economists on a variety of research questions and real-world policy issues while developing a toolkit beneficial for graduate study and future career paths.
What Research Assistants Do
- Assist economists with time-critical analysis of current economic data for important monetary policy work. This includes gathering and interpreting data and preparing briefing materials on regional and national economic conditions.
- Perform data collection, statistical and econometric analysis, literature reviews, and write articles and prepare presentations in support of scholarly research projects.
Day-to-Day Activities of Research Assistants
- Review, organize, and analyze economic and financial data.
- Write programs using statistical software such as STATA, MATLAB, R or SAS.
- Conduct economic research for policy memos and for articles intended for publication in academic journals, Boston Fed publications, and business periodicals.
- Conduct literature reviews, perform thorough data analysis, and prepare written summaries of results for economists.
- Prepare charts and tables using spreadsheet and graphic software packages.
- Design programs to manipulate data, perform statistical tests, and run regressions. Update and maintain data series regularly used by economists.
- Proofread, edit, and fact-check articles and papers.
- A bachelor’s degree in economics, math, statistics, computer science, international relations or related field with concentration in economics.
- An excellent academic record
- Strong analytical, communications, and organization skills
- Experience with statistical software packages and knowledge of statistics and econometrics
- Previous economic research experience or involvement in an independent research project is helpful.
- US citizenship is required for RA positions
- All employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or qualify for an accommodation from the Bank’s vaccination policy; the Bank will provide accommodations as required by law for individuals unable to be vaccinated due to medical condition or sincerely held religious belief.
How We Support Your Success
Research assistants are presented with tremendous opportunities for professional and intellectual development. These experiences build economic knowledge as well as analytical, quantitative, and writing skills that are useful for pursuing advanced studies in a variety of fields.
RAs have access to numerous training opportunities. Our in-house program includes training on MATLAB, Stata, SAS, R and on how to use databases such as Bloomberg, Global Insight/FAME, Haver and WRDS (Wharton Research Data Services). With the Bank’s generous tuition reimbursement program and flexible work schedules, RAs are encouraged to take advantage of the excellent academic institutions in the greater Boston area. Each year, RAs enroll in a variety of graduate courses at Harvard University, MIT, and Boston University, and other local universities.
RAs are invited to attend weekly in-house seminars, where Boston Fed and other prominent economists present their research and receive feedback. These seminars educate RAs on a broad range of current economic research topics by scholars throughout the world, and also expose RAs to the scholarly peer review process.
Library and Database Access
RAs have access to a vast library of books, periodicals/journals, newspapers, and datasets through our Research Library. As a member of the OCLC (Online Catalog Library Center) network, we have access to over 40,000 library collections from around the world. RAs may request books from other Federal Reserve Banks and universities and also gain access to numerous subscription-only databases.
Culture and Values
Our department prides itself on its collegial and supportive environment. RAs assist one another in developing their statistical, data and programming skills and play a central role in helping the department achieve its goals and objectives.
In addition to the benefits noted above, we offer a highly competitive benefits package including an employer-matching 401(K) savings plan; commuter transportation subsidy; health, dental, and vision insurance options; paid vacation and sick leave; and an on-site fitness center and cafeteria. RAs are also encouraged to get involved in numerous Bank-sponsored activities and volunteer opportunities through the Bank’s First Serve Program.
How to Apply
We recruit each fall for full-time, two-year RA positions that begin the following June. Applications must include the following to be considered:
- Cover letter: Cover letters should be addressed to Jeffrey Kelley, Recruiting Manager. It should your statement of interest in the position, including how a research assistant position at the Fed is relevant to your career aspirations, as well as particular qualities or skills that make you a good candidate.
- Résumé: Résumés should include all education information, including institutions attended and areas of concentration, overall undergraduate GPA as well as GPA in your major, graduate GPA (if applicable), computer skills, and relevant work experience.
- Writing sample: Your writing sample should be 3-5 pages, preferably on an economic topic and should include technical content. Writing samples might include papers from undergraduate economics classes or a thesis. Excerpts from longer pieces are acceptable.
- Transcript: We accept unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended as part of your application. If you become a finalist for a position, we will ask that you submit an official transcript.
- Recommendation Letters: Two letters of recommendation are required, one from an economics professor. Letter should be emailed to Sonia Pierre at Bos.RA.Recruiting@bos.frb.org. Please request that they include your name in the subject line of the email.