New NBER affiliates - research associates (tenured faculty members) and faculty research fellows - are appointed through a highly competitive process that begins with a call for nominations in January. Candidates are evaluated based on their research records and their capacity to contribute to the NBER's activities by program directors and their associated steering committees. New affiliates must hold primary academic appointments in North America. In 2019, 246 researchers were nominated for faculty research fellowships; 47 were appointed. On January 1, 2020, there were 1,581 NBER-affiliated researchers based at 180 institutions.