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Being a Research Analyst


RAs learn the ins and outs of creating economic research, develop marketable skills, and build human capital.

General Information

Research analysts (RAs) play an important role in the Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. RAs work alongside PhD economists and learn the ins and outs of creating economic research, develop marketable skills, and build human capital. RAs typically spend two to three years working at the Fed, and most pursue a graduate degree in economics upon departure.

The primary responsibility of RAs is to support the research of two or three economists within the department. Research economists at the Cleveland Fed are largely divided into four groups (microeconomics, macroeconomic policy, macroeconomic forecasting, and banking and finance), but RAs are not confined to a single group. This gives RAs flexibility to work with economists within or across groups. The economist pairings connect RAs with strong mentors and provide the opportunity to coauthor academic papers and Bank publications.

Research analysts also assist in preparing briefing materials before each meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), along with maintaining indicators and data that are published on the Cleveland Fed’s website.

Qualifications

Prospective candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in economics or a closely related field such as statistics, mathematics, or computer science. While interests in monetary policy and macroeconomics are preferred, they are not required. To effectively perform day-to-day tasks, working knowledge of econometric and statistical packages such as Stata, MATLAB, R, and/or Python is vital. Prior research experience in economics and a strong mathematics background are strongly preferred. Candidates must be US citizens, US nationals, or lawful permanent resident aliens (green card holders).

Research analysts at the Cleveland Fed posing on the East 6 Street steps

Meet the Current RAs

Browse the listing of analysts in the Research Department

Join our Team

Browse current openings for RAs by searching for “research analyst” in the Cleveland Fed’s Search Jobs page.

Questions?

For additional inquiries, email Human Resources.
4 pictures of Cleveland Fed Research analysts hanging out together

Research

The primary role of RAs is to work with economists on research projects. They also assist in developing presentations for briefings on economic policy. RAs use econometric and statistical packages such as Stata, MATLAB, R, and/or Python to perform statistical and econometric analyses. They collect and organize data from a variety of sources, review academic papers, and engage in discussions with economists. They may also summarize data and anecdotal information on regional economic conditions and prepare educational outreach materials.

Publications by Current or Former Research Analysts

Direct participation in economists’ research is a major benefit of being an RA. RAs often collaborate one-on-one with assigned economists to write in the Bank’s Economic Commentary series, and some RAs even coauthor working papers for publication in academic journals.

Cover of Working Paper

Working Papers/Journal Publications (2017 onward):

See more working papers

Policy Briefings

RAs may help prepare presentations that are used in briefing the Bank’s president before FOMC meetings. At the direction of the economist giving the briefing, RAs create charts and compile other materials per the briefer’s specifications.

A photo of a meeting room with Cleveland Fed research analysts and economists

Bank Indicators and Data

The Bank maintains a variety of indicators and data for public use, each of which has its own webpage:

RAs regularly update the data and charts on the website, maintain up-to-date documentation of the indicators, and, if needed, make changes to the code used to create the indicators.

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Join our Team

Browse current openings for RAs by searching for “research analyst” in the Cleveland Fed’s Search Jobs page.

Meet the Current RAs

Browse the listing of analysts in the Research Department.

Questions?

For additional inquiries, email Human Resources.
4 pictures of Cleveland Fed Research analysts in different work settings

What Are the Benefits of Living in Cleveland?

Average rent is $977 for one bedroom as of January 2019 — compare with $1,774 in Chicago or $2,081 in Washington DC

according to RentJungle

Neighborhoods

Cleveland is bisected by the Cuyahoga River running north/south and bordered by Lake Erie to the north. RAs most often choose one of the following six neighborhoods to live in, and all offer a variety of arts and entertainment opportunities.

A map showing the residential neighborhoods near downtown Cleveland, used by permission from Destination Cleveland
map used by permission from Destination Cleveland

Join our Team

Browse current openings for RAs by searching for “research analyst” in the Cleveland Fed’s Search Jobs page.

Questions?

For additional inquiries, email Human Resources.
4 pictures of Cleveland Fed Research analysts hanging out together at lunch

When and how can one apply for the RA position?

Hiring for the RA position usually occurs in the fall, in September and October. However, we occasionally post openings for RAs at other times of the year as well. You can search for “research analyst” in the Cleveland Fed’s Search Jobs page.

What Are the Application Requirements?

  • Resume
  • Transcript
  • Writing sample (related to economics or finance)

What Does a Typical Day for an RA Look Like?

A typical day for an RA primarily involves working with economic data and coding in various statistical computing packages, such as Stata, R, MATLAB, and/or Python. Other activities include meeting with economists, attending seminars given by visiting scholars, and attending classes at nearby universities, such as Case Western Reserve University.

Where Have Previous RAs Gone after Working for the Fed?

Recent next jobs or graduate programs:

  • Economics, finance, and statistics PhD programs: Boston College, Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University, Rice University, University of Kentucky, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Rochester, University of Washington, Washington University
  • Law school and other graduate programs: NYU, University of Michigan, and Case Western Reserve University
  • Other jobs in the Federal Reserve System and the private sector

What Are Some Benefits of Being an RA?

  • Opportunity to work with economists at the forefront of their field
  • Positive and collaborative work environment
  • Flexible work hours
  • Flexible work-at-home opportunities
  • Tuition assistance
  • Competitive salary
  • Excellent health insurance, 401(k), retirement benefits, and more!

How Is It Determined Which Economists an RA Will Support?

RAs are generally matched with economists based on their mutual research interests. However, pairings are subject to the constraint that all economists must have RA support.

Are there Opportunities for Undergraduates to Work at the Cleveland Fed before Graduating?

Yes, the Cleveland Fed has a summer internship program ideal for rising seniors. Interns get the opportunity to work closely with economists and RAs in the Research Department and to learn more about the research process. Some summer interns have gone on to become RAs in the department.

Does the Cleveland Fed Sponsor International Students through the RA Program?

At this time the Cleveland Fed does not sponsor international students. Applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

  • US citizen
  • US national
  • Lawful permanent resident (green card holder)

Is There a More Permanent Position in the Research Department RAs Can Move Into?

Yes, in addition to the RA position, the Research Department at the Cleveland Fed also has an economic analyst position ideal for candidates with at least 5 years of work-related experience. This position differs from the RA role in that economic analysts usually have more autonomy and greater responsibilities. In addition, a master’s degree is preferred for this role.

Still Have More Questions?

For additional inquiries, email Human Resources.

Join our Team

Browse current openings for RAs by searching for “research analyst” in the Cleveland Fed’s Search Jobs page.

Questions?

For additional inquiries, email Human Resources.
4 pictures of Cleveland Fed Research analysts socializing at work and outside of it