Center for Economics of Human Development


Academic Department/Division/Sub-Discipline: 
Biological Sciences Collegiate DivisionSocial Sciences Collegiate Division

Short Description: 

Research at the Center for the Economics of Human Development is guided by questions about the factors that contribute to inequality, disparate life outcomes, and interventions that can help alleviate such social problems.

General Description: 

The Center’s research team is composed of more than two-dozen researchers working closely with Professor Heckman. They conduct, analyze, debate, and revise rigorous research in teams. The Center’s research contributes to the understanding of the scope of social problems and the economic context in which they are embedded. This ensures that the work produced and published not only meets the highest academic standards of scholarship, but can bring about positive policy changes that benefit those who need it most.

To successfully tackle these difficult problems, the Center’s researchers collaborate with biologists, psychologists, neuroscientists, and sociologists. This collaboration leads to an enrichment of traditional economic approaches to human development by augmenting our understanding of the skills necessary to thrive in our current economy. Through this enriched understanding, the Center’s researchers are in a unique position to develop, estimate, and apply a unified framework of skill formation which can accurately evaluate the effectiveness of social programs and serve as an insightful guide for creating public policy.

One such product of this thoughtful questioning, testing, and analysis is the knowledge that high-quality early childhood programs are effective at addressing inequality and promoting opportunity throughout the life course. The work of the Center’s researchers bridges the gap between academia and practice to inform policymakers and encourage implementation of early childhood programs that can have impacts on academic success, health, and social mobility. The Center’s work is both rigorous enough to be respected by academics, and relatable enough that policymakers and practitioners can understand it and advocate for early childhood programs that serve the most vulnerable populations and produce lasting benefits to society as a whole.

Requirements for an undergraduate research assistant position: 

  • Availability of the maximum allowed hours/week while class is in session (15-19.5) and full-time during breaks and summers.  See student limit below:
    • 15 hours/week - Undergraduate Students
    • 19.5 hours/week - Graduate Students
  • Flexible hours
  • Background in Economics & Statistics
  • Proficiency in STATA and/or LaTeX

To be considered for an Undergraduate Research Assistant or Graduate Research Assistant position at the Center for the Economics of Human Development, please provide the following information

1. Curriculum Vitae or resume, including research experience and other relevant experience. Please also include your year in school, your expected date of graduation, and your cumulative GPA.

2. Transcripts, including all relevant Economics and Statistics classes taken, semester taken, and the grade received for each (including classes in progress). Relevant coursework in other areas may be included.

* Note: an unofficial transcript is acceptable, there is no need to acquire an official copy from your institution(s).

3. If you are claiming software proficiency, please include a sample code, developed by you, that shows your programming skills. You should be able to understand your code thoroughly and be able to explain it.

4. A BRIEF (1-2 paragraph) research statement, addressing the following:

  • What are your career goals?
  • Why do you want to assist with our research?
  • What could be your main contribution?
  • What do you find academically interesting about our research?

We also request that you submit contact information for one academic reference (professors, teaching assistants, graduate students, etc) who could comment positive on your abilities.

*Note: Please use the “Other commitments/activites” field to comment on other commitments in which you may be engaged during the current and upcoming quarters, the flexibility of your hours, and any anticipated long-term vacations or other absences. The Center operates year-round, and employees are expected to continue contributions over academic breaks and summer quarter.

For questions or additional employment information, please email or use this link