Job Title: Research Professional – Steve Cicala (Full-Time, Benefits Eligible)

Location: Short-run: Work from home. Long-run: National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA and Tufts University, Medford, MA

Projects: Empirical projects related to energy, the economy, and pollution

Reporting to: Steve Cicala

Expected Start Date: ASAP

***Please note: this position is temporary with the possibility of extension through July 2021***

Job Summary:

The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) is seeking to hire a full-time Research Professional to work for Professor Steve Cicala on ongoing and new research projects related to energy, the economy, and pollution. It is possible to begin work immediately, and application must be available to work full-time by 1 July 2020 at the latest.

The Research Professional will be a key contributor to advanced empirical projects on the relationship between electricity and economic activity, and pollution from power plants. Specific activities include writing web scrapers in Python to compile electricity consumption data from online platforms, programs to pull and process raster images, basic geocoding, data management, website platform design, and database management & processing via Amazon Web Services. For examples of previous work, visit scicala/papers/papers.html . The RP will work in close contact with the Principal Investigator. The location of work is flexible during these unusual times--the RP may choose their preferred place of work through September. When normal workplace activities resume, the RP will be located at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA and/or Tufts University. Previous members of the team moved on to graduate studies in top-US institutions, including UC Berkeley.

The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) works with the Chicago Economics community to turn its evidence-based research into real-world impact. BFI takes a unique approach to bridging the divide between academic researchers and decision-makers in the business community and government by translating and packaging the rigorous work of the Chicago Economics community into accessible formats, and proactively sharing those findings with relevant decision-makers and thought leaders around the globe. BFI is a collaborative platform serving the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Law School. For more information visit

Unit-specific Responsibilities:
• Write programs in python to scrape and process data from satellites on meteorological conditions.
• Manage workload on Amazon Web Services
• Write programs in Stata to analyze large datasets
• Construct maps, figures, and tables for economics papers
• Identify new data sources
• Other duties as assigned.

Unit-preferred Competencies:
• Desired (but not required) skills include advanced familiarity with R and/or Python, and the ability to use Stata to manage and clean large datasets. Although previous experience with any specific language is not essential, familiarity with at least one scripting language is encouraged.
• Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects simultaneously
• Excellent organizational skills
• Attention to detail

Preferred Qualifications:

• Bachelor's degree in economics, computer sciences, engineering, or related STEM fields is highly desirable.

• Relevant research experience as a research assistant.

Technical Knowledge/Skills
• Knowledge of R and/or Python preferred
• Knowledge of STATA preferred

Required Documents:
• Resume/CV
• Writing sample describing a prior coding project.


The University of Chicago provides equal employment opportunities to all employees, applicants, and job seekers. No person shall be discriminated against in employment or harassed because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, marital status, parental status, ancestry, source of income, or other classes protected by law. This policy includes the commitment to maintaining a work environment free from unlawful harassment.  


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