The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is currently accepting applications for the following open positions.
Title: Program Associate for Economics
Location: Rockefeller Center, New York, NY
Start Date: July 2018
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation invites applications for a unique appointment as Program Associate for Economics. This is normally a two-year postdoctoral position that carries both administrative responsibilities as well as outstanding opportunities to help shape, study, survey, and conduct academic research.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a not-for-profit grantmaking institution that works to support high-quality and impartial research; foster a robust and diverse scientific workforce; strengthen public understanding and engagement with science; and promote the health of the scientific enterprise.
In economics, the Sloan Foundation supports rigorous scientific research that expands current boundaries of the discipline, has a high expected return to society, and for which funding from other sources is not yet widely available. As one of the largest private funders of economic research, the Foundation’s grantmaking has historically had significant impact on the rate and direction of academic activity.
Sloan’s Economics Program currently supports work on behavioral economics (including behavioral macro), on the economics of science and technology (including digitization, AI, R&D, the STEM workforce), and on empirical methods (including causal inference, big data, reproducibility, protection of private or proprietary information). A high priority is developing institutions and procedures that can lower the transactions costs and increase the reliability of research that uses naturally found “administrative data” produced by government agencies or by companies.
The Program Associate has significant responsibilities for developing, evaluating, and managing grant proposals in economics. Excellent communication and organizational skills, along with scholarly judgement and curiosity, are essential. Applicants should also have experience with data, coding, and econometrics. The Program Associate will not only work with the Program Director for Economics, but also with directors of other programs across the Foundation to evaluate and improve the empirical methodologies proposed by prospective grantees.
Major Responsibilities and Skills
- Together with a Program Assistant whose sole focus is administration, the Program Associate has responsibility for budgets, timelines, drafts of reports, etc. This requires organizational, administrative, collaborative, and writing skills as well as attention to detail.
- The Program Associate handles communication and coordination both within and outside the Foundation about inquiries, proposals, reviews, grants, and initiatives. This includes regular interaction with leading academics and research institutions, and so requires integrity, discretion, and good judgement.
- The Program Associate participates in the development of grantmaking priorities and strategies. He or she is therefore expected to keep abreast of trends, challenges, and advances—both concerning particular topics of interest to Sloan and concerning economics generally—by reading journals, attending conferences, monitoring social media, etc.
- In addition to working closely with the Program Director for Economics, currently a Vice President of the Foundation, this Associate also interacts with other Program Directors across the Foundation—both by attending senior staff meetings and by helping to suggest, evaluate, and improve empirical methodologies proposed by perspective grantees in various fields. Econometric, statistical, and data science skills are therefore required. Familiarity with R, Jupyter Notebooks, LaTex, and other open-source resources would be highly desirable, too.
- The Program Associate is expected to pursue his or her own research projects and career development. Subject to the Foundation’s scheduling constraints and requirements, this may include writing and publishing papers, taking classes, attending seminars, etc.
Education and Experience
This is normally a two-year position for a recent Ph.D. in economics or in a closely related field. Outstanding early-career scholars without a Ph.D. may be considered as well. Experience working in a firm or a nonprofit organization, especially as a research assistant, would be helpful in either case. The successful applicant will show evidence of thriving with both directed and self-directed tasks. He or she will also show interest in developing broad perspectives on economics as a field. Integrity, professionalism, and initiative are key personal qualifications as well. The Sloan Foundation is dedicated to diversity in the workforce, and welcomes each applicant as an individual without regard for social classifications.
For consideration please send cover letter and CV to email@example.com. In the subject line please reference the job title. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.