Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow - Wiener Center for Social Policy

Harvard University
  • United States of America
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
Start Date (Earliest):
Length of Commitment:
One year

Professors Will Dobbie (Harvard Kennedy School), Peter Hull (Brown University), and David Arnold (UC San Diego) are recruiting one full-time predoctoral research fellow to start in summer 2022. The fellow will support and collaborate on a series of interdisciplinary projects related to race, discrimination, algorithmic bias, machine learning, and the criminal justice system, among other topics. 

The successful applicant will receive mentoring from faculty within a tight-knit research community at the Wiener Center and access to a broad range of activities at Harvard. Additionally, there may be opportunities to travel to project locations to support field research activities. Prior Fellows have gone on to attend top-tier PhD programs in Economics and Public Policy. 

The Fellow position is based in Cambridge, MA at the Harvard Kennedy School. The appointment term for the Fellow is for one year with the strong potential for a second year renewal. Preference will be given to applicants who have availability to work for two years. 

About the Wiener Center 

The Malcolm Wiener Center is a vibrant intellectual community of faculty, master’s and PhD students, researchers, and administrative staff whose mission is to address pressing public policy questions through academic research, teaching, and policy outreach. The work of the Center covers the domains of health care, human services, criminal justice, labor markets, education, and political and economic inequality. The Wiener Center addresses pressing questions in these areas by carrying out research on important public policy issues, educating the next generation of academics and policy scholars, and ensuring that research and education are closely tied to and draw from policy and practice. 


  • Clean and manage large datasets 
  • Conduct statistical analyses of data using Stata, R, MATLAB, and Python 
  • Prepare literature reviews, background research, and other content for grant proposals and academic papers 
  • Draft project reports, research protocols, and other project documents • Oversee and coordinate field research activities 
  • Travel to the field as needed

Required Qualifications 

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Economics, Public Policy, Statistics, or related field requiring substantial quantitative coursework 
  • Prior experience as a research assistant or fellow in the fields of Public Policy or Economics
  • Proficiency programming in Stata 
  • Strong academic record 
  • Strong interest in public policy and economics research
  • Excellent command of Microsoft Office suite (Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) 
  • Strong written and oral communication skills 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Graduate-level coursework in Economics and Econometrics 
  • Familiarity with machine learning methods 
  • Proficiency programming in R, Python, and MATLAB 
  • Proficiency in LaTeX

How to Apply

Send an email to [email protected] following these instructions: 

- In the subject line, put “Arnold-Dobbie-Hull Fellow Application – followed by your first and last name” (e.g., “Arnold-Dobbie-Hull Fellow Application – Jane Doe”).

- Attach the following documents as a single PDF:

  • CV (please list your GPA from all degrees completed) 
  • Cover letter, which should include a detailed explanation of your experience with each stage of the research process 
  • Official or unofficial transcripts for all degrees earned 
  • An excerpt from a single-authored academic writing sample, no more than 5 pages in length • Brief coding sample in Stata 
  • Contact information for three academic or professional references

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and will not be considered complete until all elements are received. The final application deadline is December 31, 2021. Applicants chosen to move forward in the hiring process may be required to complete a technical exercise and participate in multiple interviews. 

Professors Dobbie, Hull and Arnold value having a diverse research team and encourage applications from women, people of color, and from other groups which historically have been underrepresented in the field of economics. Authorization to work in the US is required.