Call for Applications:
NBER Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Program on the Economics of an Aging Workforce

To encourage research on the economics of labor market activity by older workers, the NBER, with the generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, is sponsoring a program of dissertation fellowships for doctoral students in economics. Each fellowship will be awarded for a one-year period, with renewal for a second year conditional upon satisfactory research progress. The selection panel will be chaired by David Card, the Class of 1950 Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. The other members of the selection panel are: Damon Jones (University of Chicago), Kathleen McGarry (UCLA), Olivia Mitchell (University of Pennsylvania), and Robert Willis (University of Michigan). Fellows will be selected based on the panel’s assessment of their potential to make an important contribution to our understanding of work behavior at older ages.

The subject matter for fellowship research can be any labor market issue that affects older workers, such as the determinant of work and retirement behavior of this group, the role of public policies or workplace attributes in facilitating or discouraging work, age discrimination, or the economic impact of older workers on workplace productivity or broader economic aggregates.

Fellows will have an opportunity to attend and participate in the NBER Summer Institute workshops on Aging and Labor Studies, which are held in Cambridge, Massachusetts in late July.

Four fellowships will be awarded for the academic year 2019-2020. Each fellowship will provide a stipend of $34,000, will include $3,500 for research support such as travel expenses, and will cover the fellow’s tuition at his or her home institution, up to a limit of $12,000 for the academic year. Awards will be announced in January 2019. Each fellowship will be renewable for the 2020-2021 academic year, subject to satisfactory progress as judged by the selection committee, and funding availability.

To be eligible for fellowship support, an applicant must be enrolled as a full-time Ph.D. student at a U.S. or Canadian college or university. NBER strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, people with disabilities, and veterans. Applicants should upload proposals of no more than three pages of text and one supplemental page of tables or graphs, and a c.v., to In addition, applicants should ask their dissertation supervisor to upload a letter of recommendation to the same website. All components of the application must be received by 11:59 pm (EST) on Sunday, December 9, 2018. Applicants are responsible for verifying that their letter of recommendation has been submitted by the deadline. In fairness to all applicants, the submission deadline is strictly enforced. Applications that are not complete, including the letter of recommendation, on December 9 will not be considered for support.

By May 1, 2020, fellows must provide the selection committee with a copy of at least one research paper on the economics of labor market activity by older workers that was completed during the fellowship period.

NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us