Students and Recent Graduates
Research Assistant Program

The Research Assistant (RA) program at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is a two-year commitment designed for recent college graduates with a background in economics, mathematics, statistics, finance, computer science, or related fields.

Research Assistants’ work supports the academic research and policy work of staff economists for the department of Research, Policy, and Public Engagement. Topics of interest to our economists include micro and macroeconomics, finance, regional economics, insurance markets, and economic inequality and inclusion. Research and policy projects help to inform and direct the Bank’s efforts to achieve its mission.

Research Assistants will work with a variety of economists on their specified team to acquire skills in how to work with data in order to answer research and policy questions. Such skills are valuable especially when pursuing graduate studies in economics and related fields, but also for careers in industry, policy, and/or the non-profit sector.

How To Apply as a Research Assistant

The yearly application cycle begins in early September. Visit the Careers site for further information about working at the Chicago Fed. All applications will require a resume, a cover letter, an unofficial transcript, and at least one letter of recommendation (submitted directly from your recommender).

Please note: only U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents/Lawful Permanent Residents/Green Card Holders [with the intent to become a U.S. Citizen] are eligible to apply.

If you would like to receive a notification when the application opens, please provide your email address below.


  • Bachelor’s degree (at minimum) with an emphasis on economics, mathematics, or statistics (or related fields)
  • Evidence of aptitude for quantitative and analytical skills
  • Familiarity with programming languages and statistical software packages such as Stata, R, MATLAB, Python, and/or ArcGIS to perform advanced statistical and econometric analyses
  • Ability to communicate clearly and work independently


Research Assistants can expect to undertake tasks that include quantitative research analyses using economic and financial data. They work with economists on time-critical analysis of current economic data vital for policy work. RAs also help economists in conducting long-term academic research on a wide-range of empirical and theoretical topics.

Specifically, Research Assistants:

  • Conduct statistical and economic analyses with macroeconomic, microeconomic, and regional data to support economists’ research. This support includes collecting and cleaning data, conducting moderately complex statistical analysis, writing code for model estimation, evaluating market developments, estimating forecast models, and organizing the presentation of results.
  • Prepare a variety of charts, tables, and descriptive text for department management or other staff economists to use in their briefings of the President and the Board of Directors.
  • Plan and execute research projects under the guidance of manager and department researchers
  • Coordinate research projects and direct activities of research assistants and other staff, as assigned.
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