Job Title: Research Professional

Location: Chicago, U.S.A – BFI-China

Full-time or Part-time: Full-Time


Reporting to: Zhiguo He

Expected Start Date: 7/1/2020, but flexible

Job Summary:

The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) is seeking a Research Professional to work on new and ongoing development economics research projects connected to BFI-China and Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management.

In November of 2018, Tsinghua University and the University of Chicago announced the formation of a Joint Research Center for Economics and Finance (the Joint Center). The Joint Center is led by the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management (SEM) and the Becker Friedman Institute. Aiming to both produce and disseminate frontier research on the Chinese economy and Chinese economic policy issues, the Joint Center has developed a robust process for motivating and investing in new, collaborative research jointly led by faculty at both universities over the past years.

The Research Professional will provide academic support to frontier economic research through the Joint Center. The Joint Center released its inaugural Call for Proposals in late 2019, and it has to date resulted in a total of 10 new economics research projects led by faculty at both Universities. These research projects cover a wide range of topics, from the U.S.-China trade war to China’s housing market, environmental economics, the commercial banking sector, and even the reform of judicial system. The detailed list of projects is available at the bottom of this job posting. 

The Research Professional is expected to work closely with BFI faculty members and provide research assistance for BFI-China funded research projects, as well as receive mentoring. Occasionally, the Research Professional is also expected to perform some administrative duties in cooperation with the Senior Research Professional.


In addition to providing academic support to BFI-China funded projects, the Research Professional will also engage in the intellectual environment of the University of Chicago through workshops, presentations, seminars, and collaboration with faculty and other researchers. The position will provide excellent preparation for PhD programs. 

The Research Professional will report to Professor Zhiguo He, the Fuji Bank and Heller Professor of Finance at Booth School of Business, University of Chicago. The salary will be competitive.

Unit-Preferred Competencies:

  • Advanced knowledge of research technique and methods in relevant scientific field.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet tight deadlines.
  • Ability to work both independently and as a team member required.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in economics, mathematics, computer science, finance, statistics, or comparable field. Bachelor’s degree required.
  • A minimum of one to two years of relevant research experience required.
  • Experience gained in school counts towards this requirement. Proficiency in Stata and Matlab required, and Python preferred.  

About the Unit:

Over the past three decades, the Chinese economy has experienced a transformation that is unprecedented in scale and speed. Since 1990, per capita income has increased by more than 900 percent, creating a robust and growing middle class. Poverty has plummeted, and innovation has soared—China now ranks second only to the United States in international patent applications. This remarkable growth has not come without serious challenges, however. From financial market and banking reform to environmental regulation, Chinese policymakers today are confronting a wide range of issues that will be critical to address in order to sustain further progress.

In 2018, the Becker Friedman Institute (BFI) launched BFI-China to bring the rigor of Chicago Economics to the forefront of addressing these challenges. This groundbreaking partnership between UChicago economists and Chinese researchers and institutions will produce new insights on the most critical policy challenges facing China today, and will share those findings with the world. For more information, visit

BFI-China includes three distinct initiatives, each focused on a specific issue: the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, China (EPIC-China); the Macro Finance Research Program, China (MFR-China); and the Initiative for the Study of the Chinese Economy.

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