About the Research Assistant Position
If you have an interest in serving the public and are seeking a meaningful work experience as you consider graduate school and future career options, a research assistant position at the Boston Fed can be an excellent interim step along your career path.
Where Research Assistants Work
The Bank's Research Department and Supervision, Regulation, and Credit Department hire research assistants.
The research department provides current economic analysis and policy advice to Federal Reserve decisionmakers and conducts innovative research with the aim of improving our understanding of the U.S. and global economies and influencing better policy outcomes. The economists’ research interests are wide ranging and encompass macroeconommics, international and labor economics, housing, health decisions, behavioral economics, and finance. The research department also houses the New England Public Policy Center, which promotes better public policy in New England by conducting and disseminating objective, high-quality research and analysis of strategically identified regional economic and policy issues, with emphasis on demographic and labor markets trends and state and local public finance.
Supervision, Regulation, and Credit (SRC) Department
The Supervisory Research and Analysis Unit of SRC conducts research and analysis to support the Federal Reserve System in bank supervision, the development and implementation of regulatory policy, and the formulation of monetary policy.
What Research Assistants Do
- Work for one or two economists, developing a meaningful professional relationship with them and a deeper understanding of their economic expertise and research topics.
- Assist economists in the analysis and preparation of current monetary policy issues, economic forecast, write summaries on economic conditions for the nation and the region and produce short-term economic analysis of their own.
- RAs independently perform data collection, statistical and econometric analysis, literature reviews, and writing assignments.
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.
Qualifications We Seek for Research Assistants
- 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.
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 and datasets through our department’s“Economic Research Information Center”. The Center is a member of the OCLC (Online Catalog Library Center) network giving us 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.