Academic Experience for Research Fellows

The Research Fellows Program is designed to help you decide if a career in academic research is right for you and to prepare you to excel in your doctoral studies in the future.

Throughout your two-year experience, you will learn how to conduct research firsthand by working closely with faculty as a research assistant. Dovetailing with your research assistantship, you will engage in world-class academics at Stanford by taking coursework and participating in seminars to acquire new skills.

Research Assistantship

Our research fellows participate in research projects and assist with empirical papers initiated by faculty in a variety of fields and interdisciplinary topics. You’ll be encouraged to think critically, and be active participants in the research process.

Projects generally involve manipulation of large data sets and sophisticated statistical modeling that require strong programming skills. Day-to-day work will mostly utilize statistical packages such as R, Matlab, or Stata.

Choose a Track

There are two distinct tracks of research assistantship, both of which provide 40 hours per week of research experience. You can expect to work closely with faculty mentors and receive individual instruction on the techniques required in either track.

A group sitting around a meeting table in discussion

Rotate between projects with different faculty each quarter based on project availability and your interest.

A young man and woman talking to a faculty member

Provide dedicated research support to specific faculty members for the duration of the program.


As part of your fellowship, you will be able to take one graduate-level course in business, economics, statistics, math, or related field each quarter. Coursework can strengthen your application to a PhD program by helping you to fill gaps in your knowledge, expand your areas of interest, and acquire new skills. 

You will consult faculty when selecting your coursework and, when you finish the program, you may have completed up to eight courses at Stanford. 

Seminars & Boot Camps

To prepare you for your research work, you will participate in two boot camps at the beginning of the program, which are focused on programming and econometrics. Each boot camp is taught by a PhD student for one to two hours per day over the course of one week.

You will then attend weekly seminars throughout the program with other research fellows to present your research, exchange ideas, and share progress reports. Faculty mentors and doctoral students jointly conduct these sessions to facilitate a free flow of exchange and a supportive research environment. In these sessions, you will build your skills for synthesizing, discussing, and answering questions about research. At the end, you will also have the opportunity to ask faculty about their research, careers, and advice.

There are also research seminars offered across Stanford GSB that you are welcome to attend. These seminars showcase the latest research, and are a good opportunity to engage with and learn from the research community.

Faculty Spotlights

Hanno Lustig
The Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance

“In the process, people will discover that there are some holes in their own background. So, we encourage our fellows to take classes here at Stanford, either classes offered at the GSB or in the broader Stanford community.”

Adina Sterling
Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior

“You can, over a two-year period of time, really get to know if a PhD is right for you. You get to work with faculty on a day-to-day basis doing research in a way that you can’t any other way.”