Research Scholar Program: Unlocking Our Potential

Studying the economic impact of gender and racial inequities is key to better understanding the U.S. economy’s potential in support of the Federal Reserve’s maximum employment mandate. Our research shows that gender and racial equity will be crucial for producing faster economic growth and helping the country stay competitive globally.

As part of our commitment to our mandate, the Economic Research Department is seeking research essay applications for its 2023 “Unlocking Our Potential” Research Scholar program for graduate students.

View “Unlocking Our Potential” description and application guidelines as a PDF (99 kb)


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Unlocking Our Potential.

A Research Scholar program for graduate students.

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What are the economic impacts of gender and racial inequities?

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Our own research shows that an inclusive economy enables everyone to participate and prosper…

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And that will be critical for faster growth and global competitiveness.

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As part of our commitment to better understand the U.S. economy’s potential, we are looking for graduate students whose research looks at various aspects of gender and racial inequities, their underlying causes, and economic consequences.

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Selected students will be invited to spend six weeks as Research Scholars, have their research highlighted on the SF Fed website, and receive a cash award.

Interested? Apply by February 28, 2023.

Visit for more details.

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2023 program application guidelines

The Research Scholar Program is open to currently enrolled graduate students in economics and related fields at any U.S. college or university that grants graduate degrees.

To apply for the program, students must submit the following:

  • A research paper that considers various aspects of gender and racial inequities, their underlying causes, and their economic consequences. Papers must provide empirical analysis to support the author’s conclusion and be no more than 5,000 words.
  • A letter of recommendation from a professor that indicates approval of the research paper.
  • A CV or resume listing your current university status.

Papers must also be approved by a professor in an accompanying letter of recommendation. Along with your application, please include a CV or resume listing your current university status.

Up to two students will be selected for the program and be invited to spend six weeks during the summer of 2023 at the SF Fed as Research Scholars. Students will present their work through internal brown bag seminars. They also will have the chance to discuss their work with others, receive mentoring, and build relationships with economists and other Bank employees. They will receive a stipend for participating in the program and a $1,000 award.

Subject to our review process, the work of Research Scholars will be shared and promoted on the SF Fed website and other channels.

How to apply

Interested graduate students should submit their research essay, reference letter, and a CV/resume to by February 28, 2023.

Research Scholars are required to

  • Satisfy the Federal Reserve’s employment eligibility and background screening requirements
  • Have authorization to work in the United States
  • Be available to work for the full duration of the six-week internship.

We will announce the selected student(s) by mid-March 2023.

If you have any questions about the program or application guidelines, please email