Fellowship for Independent Research

The Weiss Fund for Research in Development Economics invites applicants for a postdoctoral fellowship. This funding is to support researchers who will be based in a developing country for the duration of the fellowship and will be conducting research in development economics.


Position Description

The Weiss Fund invites postdoctoral fellowship applications from students on track to complete their Ph.D. in economics or a related field by July 1, 2021, and who have not secured a faculty position. Successful candidates will have exceptionally strong research proposals in development economics and will be based in developing countries for the duration of the fellowship.


Each post-doctoral fellow will be hosted by an institution eligible to receive grant funding from the Weiss Fund. Initial one-year appointments will begin July 1, 2021, renewable for a second year assuming good performance. Postdoc recipients may not engage in any other employment during the term of their postdoctoral appointment, nor have accepted a faculty position or academic offer with a delayed start date.


The Weiss program will provide funding over two years to support research and cost of living expenses commensurate with the country of choice. (Note:The Weiss Fund rarely awards grants over $75,000). Proposals will be assessed based on alignment with the Weiss Fund’s aims.

We especially encourage applications from candidates with backgrounds that are under-represented in economics. Selection is based in part on need and we strongly encourage applications from PhD students from developing countries.

Application materials:

  1. A current curriculum vitae

  2. Three letters of reference, including at least one from a faculty member eligible to apply for Weiss Funding, or faculty in economics at a Weiss Fund institution (a Weiss Fund school, NBER Development group, BREAD, CEPR Development group). The latter reference must confirm the faculty member’s willingness to continue advising the applicant during the postdoctoral fellowship

  3. A research proposal for project(s) to be worked on during the fellowship, including budget;

    • Research proposal: Maximum 8 pages total, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12-point font, 1-in margins. The proposal should use this template. All projects must meet eligibility criteria for research that the Weiss Fund supports.

    • Budget: Proposed budget in Excel, to be included as part of the application. A budget template is available for your use here. Postdoc salary costs and/or research costs may be included.

  4. Job market paper

  5. Name and brief description of institution where the postdoc will be hosted. This institution may be different from where the Weiss faculty recommender is based, and different from the one at which the postdoc completed their PhD.

Position requirements:

  • On the job market in 2020-21 and has not accepted another position

  • PhD in economics or related field by July 1, 2021

  • PhD level training in the methods of economics

  • Based in a developing country and no other employment for the duration of the postdoc

  • Conducting research that meets eligibility criteria for support from the Weiss Fund

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for fellowships without regard to race, color, religion sex, national origin, age, protected veteran status or status as an individual with disability.

Application materials should be submitted by February 28, 2021 to weissfund@uchicago.edu. Early applications are encouraged, as decisions will be made on a rolling basis. Final decisions will be announced by April 1, 2021.



The Weiss Fund is in the process of transitioning to the University of Chicago. This transition will be completed in February 2021.