Visiting Research Fellowship

The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) helps individuals take action to improve their economic and financial well-being by providing factual, unbiased research and analysis.

We strive to be a trusted source for economic information that serves people. Broadly speaking, we produce two types of economic material.

First, we study and report on basic information that allows people to understand large economic forces and their consequences. We are interested in understanding, for example, how the overall economy is affecting employment, production, productivity, trade, investments, and inflation. Having this background knowledge helps people generally understand the world around them. But, the macro focus of our work also allows people to more fully understand many public issues that are of concern to citizens Among our research interests in this vein are monetary and fiscal policies, the degree to which the U.S. economy is internationally competitive, and whether the country is making the infrastructure investment decisions that will keep the U.S. economy strong into the next generation. This list of research topics is suggestive, not exhaustive. However, they hold in common an applied, rather than theoretical perspective.

Second, we have a focus on individuals, households, and businesses. That is, we believe that in addition to a foundational understanding of the economy, people need economic information in order to make better decisions as consumers, small business owners, workers, independent investors, parents, and citizens. This is particularly important when those decisions are high-impact/low-frequency. High-impact/low-frequency decisions are those that individuals do not make often, such as home purchases, investments in career and education, decisions regarding starting one’s own business, or saving for retirement and managing those assets. Despite these being decisions that people make infrequently, they have the potential to have a high impact on the quality of life for individuals and their families.

We are now looking for social science researchers trained in economics and allied disciplines.  Our general areas of research interest are:

  • behavioral economics,
  • business cycles,
  • technology and innovation,
  • regional economics,
  • small business economics.

As a Visiting Research Fellow (VRF) you are required to contribute to this research agenda. The research questions that you pose would be expected to yield results that are of practical significance and use to ordinary people. 

In particular, within the above mentioned fields, we are interested in research in the following areas:

  1. Macroeconomics: business cycles, industrial competitiveness, or technology and innovation.
  2. Personal-finance and behavioral economics.
  3. Housing finance.
  4. Education and careers: decision-making at the household level. For example, research regarding the inputs to decision-making regarding career choice, career development, investments in education, and training.
  5.  Small-business economics: start-up decision, an evaluation of alternative investments, collaborative and cooperative arrangements for reducing small business costs, and the uses of credit and debt.

These questions are intended to suggest the Department’s areas of interest, and to provide candidates with clear and specific examples of what we mean by the research areas of interest and the types of research results we are interested in.  That is, this is not an exhaustive list.  We are interested in all creative and clearly articulated research proposals that advance this research agenda.

Authors of selected research proposals will be invited to spend time on our campus in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and to participate fully in the research life of AIER. We expect Visiting Research Fellows to give seminars on their research while they are visiting AIER, to submit a working paper for the AIER Working Papers series, and to write 1-3 research or issue briefs, based on their research, for our membership and readers.

Timing
Visiting Research Fellows may start at any mutually agreed time during the year. See application deadlines below.

Duration
Research visits generally run between one and three months.

Visa Support:
AIER does not sponsor visa applications for foreign nationals. However, foreign nationals are welcome to apply if they have employment authorization in the United States.

Computer facilities and desk space
Visiting Research Fellows will be provided with an AIER login and email address, enabling them to use computer facilities at AIER. We will provide a desk space as well as access to all AIER facilities, including data, computer resources and information resources at the Institute library.

How to apply
Visiting Research Fellow applications are considered three times a year.  The deadline for the Fall term is 11:59 p.m. EST on May 1; the deadline for the Spring term is 11:59 p.m. EST on October 1; the deadline for the Summer term is 11:59 p.m. EST on February 1. Applications should be submitted electronically to VRF[at]aier[dot]org.

Proposals must be received by AIER by the deadlines outlined above and must be submitted following the guidelines contained in Appendix A. You will be advised of the outcome of your application within four weeks after the deadline.

Level of Funding
AIER will provide VRF the following: monthly stipend, one round-trip transportation from VRF’s home, housing on campus, lunch on weekdays.

Evaluation of Proposals
Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Alignment with RFP goals
  2. Research design
  3. Innovation

Incomplete proposals, proposals received after the deadline, or proposals that do not respect the format defined in Appendix A will not be considered.

To download the application, click here.