The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in cooperation with the American Statistical
Association (ASA), under a grant from the National Science Foundation
(NSF), offers our Research Fellow Program. The program's objective is to
facilitate collaboration between academic scholars and government
researchers in survey methodology, statistics, economics, and social
sciences. Research Fellows are provided the unique opportunity to address
some of the complex methodological problems and analytic issues relevant
to BLS programs. Fellows will conduct research in residence at BLS, use
BLS data and facilities, and interact with BLS staff.
Fellowship applicants should have a recognized research record and
considerable expertise in their area of proposed research. Applicants must
submit a detailed research proposal, which will be evaluated on the
applicability of the research to BLS programs, the value of the proposed
research to science, and the quality of the applicant's research record.
We encourage potential applicants to contact
us before submitting a proposal to discuss how to best focus their
work to meet BLS research needs. Qualified women and members of minority
groups are especially encouraged to apply.
We are looking for professionals in the fields of statistics,
mathematics, economics, survey methodology, behavioral science, and other
related fields to participate in the ASA/NSF/BLS Fellowship Program.
Fellows travel to our Washington, DC office to work directly with BLS
staff on complex issues of significant interest to BLS, such as small area
estimation, non-sampling error, or item imputation.
The short-term projects provide professionals with a unique and
challenging experience outside their normal work environment. BLS gains
input and solutions from experts with the specialized training and
experience needed for these efforts.
We encourage applicants to contact BLS well in advance of the deadline
to discuss potential projects. Although not required, this early
collaboration is very helpful in ensuring that the proposal effectively addresses the complexities often encountered in BLS
All proposals are reviewed first by internal BLS staff, then by an external panel of experts. Reviewers consider a number of factors, including whether the proposal is (1) relevant and important to BLS (2) of sound scientific merit, and (3) feasible, given the resources available. This process ensures the fellowship program provides high-quality research that benefits both BLS and the Fellow.
Fellows are reimbursed by the ASA and are on a guest worker arrangement
with BLS. Salaries received by Fellows will be commensurate with their
qualifications and experience. Fringe benefits, travel, and relocation
support are negotiable. Arrangements can usually be made to retain fringe
benefits with the permanent employer.
Who is eligible?
Applicants should have an established research record in their field.
They must be affiliated with a U.S. institution, but do not need to be a
U.S. citizen. Fellows must pass all the requirements for a National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI) background check and provide adequate forms of identity documentation.
U.S. government employees are not eligible.
We will consider
proposals from applicants working on their research independently or with
a qualified graduate student.
What's the best way to find a suitable project?
We have listed possible
research topics on our web site. In addition, there are ideas for
projects on our “Challenging
Research Issues” page.
We find the greatest benefit when applicants work with BLS staff
members to identify a mutually agreeable project before submitting a
proposal. Applicants who want to know if their area of expertise is needed
at BLS should contact
Jean Fox who can identify an appropriate BLS contact.
How long does a Fellowship last?
Fellowship appointments typically range from 4 to 6 months, but can
last up to a year, subject to the availability of program funds.
Appointment terms are flexible and can be full-time, part-time or split
into multiple terms. Applicants should specify approximate dates for
Do Fellows have to come to Washington, DC?
We prefer this arrangement so that Fellows and BLS staff have an
opportunity to learn from each other. Further, some BLS datasets can only
be accessed on site. However, there is some limited flexibility regarding
work and travel arrangements.
What does the Fellowship funding cover?
Budgets submitted for Fellowships may include the following:
- Fringe benefits
- Travel necessary for the work and to attend conferences
- Travel to and from Washington, DC
- Housing while in Washington, DC
Budgets may not include:
- Indirect costs
- Computer or software (these will be provided to Fellows for use
while at BLS)
- Books or other reference materials
- Fees for dissemination of research
Fellows will have access to resources at BLS including technical
support and library facilities. They will also have access to in-house
databases and computer facilities including a laptop computer, a UNIX
workstation, micro-to-mainframe communication links, and statistical
software. Funds are available to accommodate specialized needs for
software and hardware.
How do I apply?
the ASA Brochure for specific information about where to send your
application. You will need to provide the following:
- Curriculum vitae
- Names and addresses of three references
- A detailed research proposal that includes:
- A short descriptive project title
- An abstract (one-half page or less)
- A proposed project term (approximate dates)
- Background information on research topic, references, etc.
- A statement of relevant work already accomplished
- Proposed research with sufficient detail for evaluation of
- The significance of expected results
- The benefits of the work to BLS
- The advantages of conducting the research at BLS
- Resource requirements (including salary, estimated relocation and
travel expenses, and research support)
The application deadline is January 20, 2013. Final
decisions will be made in the late Spring.
Jean Fox, the BLS coordinator, for further information about the
Dr. Jean Fox
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Office of Survey Methods
2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Room 1950
Tel: (202) 691-7370
Where can I find more information?
information, see our brochure
(PDF) on the American Statistical
Association web site.
Last Modified Date: September 20, 2012