About Us

Research Associates

Federal Reserve of San Francisco building's loggia

The San Francisco Fed is looking for exceptional college graduates to join our Economic Research team as Research Associates. We recognize the benefit derived from different perspectives, and we are committed to attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse workforce. We are driven by integrity and a mission of public service. People are our most important assets.

Who We Are

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is the headquarters for the Twelfth Federal Reserve District. We represent nine Western states as part of the Federal Reserve System, the central bank of the United States. We serve the American public by promoting the effective operation of the U.S. economy through conducting the nation’s monetary policy to promote maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.

Our Economic Research Department is a center for innovative thinking about all aspects of the domestic and global economy. Our staff members conduct high-caliber research and provide in-depth and independent analysis to help support the Bank’s monetary policy, supervision, and public information responsibilities. Our research and analysis reach a wide and varied audience through publication in top academic journals, other external publications, and web products that cover cutting-edge topics for the general public and specialized audiences. Our work is frequently cited in the media and used as educational resources.

What We Have to Offer

Research Associates are two-year, full-time, salaried employees with full benefits. Within the Bank you will have the opportunity to learn about the latest research through frequent luncheons, seminars, and conferences while meeting influential researchers among our staff, visiting scholars, and conference participants. We also offer a tuition reimbursement program and flexible work schedule to encourage continued learning.

The Economic Research Department offers an outstanding research environment with exceptional opportunities for people beginning to explore their professional careers. Research Associates make use of their undergraduate training and analytical skills in the areas of Economics, Finance, Statistics, Mathematics, and Computer Science to support academic research and monetary policy work by staff economists. Among others, tasks include quantitative research analyses using economic and financial data; computer programming; preparation of supporting briefing and educational outreach materials; and financial and economic database management.

Research Associates work closely with economists at the top of their fields on a variety of research questions and real-world policy issues while developing a toolkit beneficial for graduate study and future career paths.

Who Should Apply?

We seek candidates with superior academic records and strong written and oral communication skills. Competitive candidates should have at least a BA in Economics or Finance that includes a strong quantitative background (econometrics and statistics, advanced calculus, computer programming); or a BA/BS in Math, Statistics, or Computer Science with intermediate coursework in Economics or Finance. We also look for prior research experience, demonstrated interest in economics, significant computer programming experience, and familiarity with statistical programming packages such as STATA, R, and MATLAB.

Where Will You Go from Here?

Many of our Research Associates go on to enter competitive graduate programs and find exciting employment in economics or other fields.

Here’s what some of our former Research Associates say about their experience.

Leila Bengali, PhD Graduate Student, Yale University

When I talk about my time as a research associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, I tell people that, as an Economics major, it was the best job I could have imagined. Not only was I able to use what I had learned about Economics from my studies in college, but I also had the opportunity to see how the theories I studied were being applied to address policy-relevant issues. One of the greatest benefits for me was gaining experience working with large data sets and learning how to write code to work with the data.

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Christopher Candelaria, Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University

Working as a research associate at the San Francisco Fed was instrumental in my decision to pursue an academic research career. While at the Fed, I had the opportunity to work with several economists on a variety of interesting projects, expand my knowledge in statistics and econometrics, and improve my skills in data management and analysis using programs such as Stata, MATLAB, and SAS. I was also able to have direct involvement in the research process by coauthoring research papers and economic letters; these research experiences confirmed my desire to become an academic. Given the Fed’s generous tuition benefit, I also took classes at UC Berkeley to increase my skill set.

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Puneet Chehal, Assistant Professor, Emory University

When I applied to the San Francisco Fed’s research associate position, I was looking for opportunities to help me explore a future career in research and fulfill a personal desire to engage in public service work. The Research Department was a perfect fit because I could learn more about careers in economic research and participate in policy work. There are other agencies that offer policy-relevant research opportunities but central banks and in particular the SF Fed are unique. The Fed, like other central banks, is a modern remnant of historical institutions that played a pivotal role in US history. The significance of the work and emphasis on accountability to the American public was appealing to me. It was also helpful that I could work at the SF Fed as a new immigrant to the U.S. I immensely appreciated being a part of the culturally diverse staff. I also appreciated that past RAs in the SF Fed Research Department had transitioned to a wide array of career paths.

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Elliot Marks, Director, Deployment & Operations, Smart Wires Inc.

The Fed gave me remarkable exposure to a wide range of economic and business problems early in my career. In my 5 years at the Fed (1 year in the RA program), I learned to write code to perform complex statistical analyses, participated in Board of Directors meetings with Fortune 500 executives, and received formal training in project management and Lean Six Sigma process improvement. Many leaders in the Bank—including Mary Daly, who is now the President and CEO—mentored me along the way.

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Justin Weidner, Economist, Deutsche Bank

Coming into the San Francisco Fed, I was unsure of whether or not I wanted to even go to grad school, but seeing how the application of economic theory and rigorous empirical work directly informed policy at the Fed inspired me to continue with my academic career. As a research associate, I gained an aptitude for working with and analyzing data that has been the foundation of my career thus far. After my first year in grad school, I was able to quickly begin working for a professor (who became my advisor) as a research assistant on a data-intensive project looking at wealth and income surveys across multiple countries. My time as a research associate at the San Francisco Fed also gave me a great working knowledge of many different data sets, which has been incredibly useful at my current job covering the U.S. as an economist at Deutsche Bank.

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Find Out More About Our Research Associate Program

Candidates can find additional information at Fed Econ Jobs and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Research section, and apply for the position here.

Find us at Glassdoor under RA Program and visit our listing on Handshake.

To learn more about who we are at the San Francisco Fed, check out recent features on President Mary Daly on PBS NewsHour, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.