Blueprint Labs is a fast-paced research environment with a team of passionate, impact-minded colleagues. Interested in joining our team? We post all job opportunities on this page and invite you to read about our application processes.
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For all roles at Blueprint Labs, you can expect a multi-stepped application process. After submitting your application materials, our team will reach out to selected candidates to learn more.
For selected candidates, the following stages include individual interviews with multiple members of the team, including Research Staff, Fellows, and Faculty Directors, as well as task-based assignments designed to examine your skills in critical areas relevant to the role.
Our application process is designed to allow candidates to inquire about their questions and to engage with our team and our research.
Does Blueprint Labs sponsor visas?
If you are not a US citizen, a US work visa is required to work in most staff positions at MIT, where Blueprint Labs is housed. Some employers can sponsor visas for eligible positions. We regret that we are unable to sponsor a US work visa for our staff positions. Individuals who are OPT-eligible must provide proof of OPT eligibility at the time of application. If you're applying as a Research Fellow, your OPT must be valid for the duration of the fellowship.
How long after I submit my application can I expect to hear back?
Our response time varies by position. To ensure a fair hiring process, we review most applications at one time using a semi-blind double review process. Regardless of whether you proceed to the next round of the hiring process, you will hear back from us after your application has been reviewed.
Why does Blueprint Labs require tasks as part of the interview process?
In our research environment, staff are often asked to present to stakeholders, write policy briefs, and interpret data. At Blueprint Labs, we know that conversation-based interviews cannot give a perfectly accurate picture of these skills. We value different skills for different positions and ultimately want to see our top candidates in action. Each task will always be timed in a way to limit the burden required by the candidate and structured to give candidates a taste of our day-to-day work. Perfection is not expected.
Can I request an informational interview?
In the interest of equitable searches, our team does not conduct informational interviews. We encourage you to explore our website, apply for the role you're interested in, and bring your questions to the interview process if you are selected to progress.
I'm interested in working at Blueprint Labs in the future. How can I stay in touch?
The best ways to hear about new opportunities are to follow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletter, and check our careers page online.
Do I need to have majored in Economics to apply?
No, an undergraduate degree in Economics is not required for this position. We look for qualified candidates who have majored in computer science, public policy, mathematics, statistics, and other relevant fields. That being said, we tend to prefer candidates who have taken courses in econometrics and/or labor economics.
If I already have a PhD, can I apply to be a Research Fellow?
Unfortunately, no. The Research Fellow role is a pre-doctoral role. However, not all of our Fellows always go on to PhD programs.
Do I need to have formerly worked as a research assistant in Economics?
Definitely not! While previous experience working as a research assistant is great preparation for this position, any independent research experience (e.g., a senior thesis or capstone project) or professional experience (e.g., consulting, policy work) is highly desirable as well.
Where can I learn more about MIT Blueprint Labs and the Fellow position?
The job description offers a detailed look at the job requirements and functions. Our website also offers more details about our research.
What is the anticipated start date for a Fellow?
Please review the job description to learn about the anticipated start date. Historically, we have many current undergrads apply for Research Fellow roles, and you're welcome to apply using coursework, internships, and more as experience for the role. We understand that our application process and pre-start lead time is lengthy.
What are you looking for in the writing sample?
The purpose of requiring a writing sample is to make sure the candidate can effectively communicate through writing, especially writing in an academic or policy setting. RFs often contribute to grant proposals, policy briefs, and research publications. If you have any research papers from your undergraduate or master’s studies, these materials are great ways to showcase your writing skills. We request that you do not write something new for a writing sample!
Does this position require letters of recommendation? Who should I ask to serve as my reference?
No. Applicants will be asked to supply three references (full name, title, organizational affiliation, email address, phone number, and how you know your reference). We have a strong preference for your most recent direct supervisors, thesis advisors, or professors who have taught you in coursework related to the position (e.g., econometrics, labor, economics of education, etc.). References should be able to speak to the applicant’s ability to conduct research, execute difficult tasks, communicate effectively, and problem solve. Please check with your references prior to sharing their contact information with us and confirm they are willing to provide a reference. Please do not send unsolicited references – they will not be read.
What is the interview process like?
The first-round interview is a 30-minute conversation with a Blueprint manager and one or two of the Research Fellows. The interview is an opportunity for us to learn more about your background and interest in the position. It’s also a great opportunity for the candidate to learn more about the position and the day-to-day responsibilities. The interview questions are fairly standard; we may ask you to talk about some experiences listed on your resume (especially any quantitative research experiences) and why you are interested in Blueprint Labs. If you move on to the next round, you will interview with the Principal Investigators who are supervising the project you would work on as a RF. Be prepared to talk about your previous research and professional experiences, your academic interests, your future goals, etc. This conversation is also a great opportunity to hear more about the project you could be working on as a RF! All interviews will be conducted via Zoom.
Where do Research Fellows generally go after their term?
It is a mix of PhD / master’s graduate programs (economics, public policy, education, operations research, finance), consulting, teaching, and government, among others. The typical path is some sort of graduate school program, but that is absolutely not limited to Economics and there is a rich history of superstar RFs who have not pursued graduate school programs after their tenure.
Is it common for RFs to take classes at MIT while working?
Yes, absolutely. This is extremely common and encouraged. Typically, RFs audit classes in the MIT Econ department in areas they are interested in or want to shore up their knowledge in. Many RFs take Real Analysis while they are working in preparation for application to PhD programs in Economics.
What kinds of STATA tasks are Research Fellows responsible for?
RFs are responsible for the full pipeline of the empirical side of the research project. Specifically, data cleaning, pulling of publicly available data, data checks, sample creation, econometric analysis, simulation analysis, descriptive analysis, figure creation, and table creation. They are tasked with managing the codebase of the project and implementing all of the empirical work of the project in STATA (or another language). The Lab seeks to ensure that new RFs receive adequate time to learn the codebase from more tenured-RFs before they are responsible for the codebase as a whole.
I have other questions, who do I contact?
Email [email protected] and we will respond to your question.
Blueprint Labs is based in the MIT Economics Department. All positions are expected to work on-site from our Cambridge, MA office.
The Blueprint Labs culture values non-partisanship, problem-solving, collaboration, diversity, and transparency.
Our uniquely skilled and diverse team uncovers insights that can level the playing field by closing achievement gaps, bringing resources to under-served communities, and reducing income inequality. We answer questions like:
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