Full-Time Research Assistant Position – for Recent Grad


Providing support for Law and Economics research under the supervision of Professor Daniel. L. Chen in a beautiful city Zurich, Switzerland at ETH where Einstein studied.

This position would entail assistance with all stages of empirical research, and potentially other research with the applicant skills and interest.

The position would provide a chance to gain crucial research training for a senior-year undergraduate or recent graduate. Prior research group members have matriculated to Ph.D. programs at MIT Economics, Harvard Economics, and Harvard Business School, JD programs at Yale Law School and Harvard Law School, and SM programs at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (Applied Math/Economics and Applied Math/Biology). They have been drawn from a variety of undergraduate disciplines, including math, applied mathematics, economics, and statistics.


Start immediately, for a period of one to three years, conditional on performance.


Great pay to work at ETH, Zurich, Switzerland for BA, MA, or Ph.D graduates. Salary is based on the qualification of the candidates; pay will be higher for those with especially relevant post-undergraduate training. Alternative arrangements might be possible.


Applicants must have strong programming and quantitative skills. Excellent grades are required, including econometrics or statistics as well as microeconomic theory. Previous experience at empirical research assistance, or comparable work experience with data analytics, is strongly preferred.

Applicants with a bachelor’s degree are considered if they have substantial experience with empirical research assistance.  Applicants with a few years experience doing empirical research in an economics consulting firm or government organization are also desirable.

Preference will be given to detail-oriented applicants with previous programming experience, particularly in working with large datasets. Specific programming skills required: Substantial experience in Stata, SAS, R, Python, and the ability to learn new programming languages, are essential.  Helpful skills: some experience with excel graphing and pivot tables, PERL, a low-level language like C#, and a database language like SQL.

The love of working with data and large data sets—cleaning it, understanding it, describing it, merging different data sources together, reshaping it with different units of analysis, and presenting it in enlightening ways—is crucial to the match to this job.  A knack and interest in relating theory and intuition to empirical facts is also very important.

The job requires the ability to work independently with exceptional research and analytical writing skills. This research is always empirically focused but often draws heavily on economic theory. The candidate is expected in all stages of research – brainstorming, literature reviews, model building, data hunting and collecting, simple estimation in Stata, more complicated estimation/modeling/simulation in Matlab, and writing. In addition,

It requires the ability to understand high-level instructions and translate them into specific programming tasks, and the ability to use a variety of resources (web research, manuals, sample programs, asking colleagues) to figure out how to accomplish a programming or data task.


The position would be a time-limited contingent staff located at ETH Zurich, Switzerland focuses on academic research designed for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

As it involves confidential data, a non-disclosure agreement would be required.


We have several topics focusing on all dimensions of law and economics.

  • Economic impacts of legal regulations.
  • Causes and consequences of pharmaceutical company payments to physicians.
  • Deterrent effect of the death penalty.
  • Testing theories of idea transmission through networks of legal opinions and scientific articles, the role of market forces on their respective evolutions.


Please email the following to Marianne Lampert (marianne.lampert@recht.gess.ethz.ch) as soon as possible, we are still accepting applications:

1.  Use “Professor Chen’s RA Position” as the subject line to ensure that your application is filed properly.

2.  A cover letter that includes:

  •  A description of your familiarity with various statistical and computer packages (e.g. STATA, SAS, Gauss, Matlab etc.)
  • A brief description of your experience as a research assistant and with any independent research (e.g. thesis or other research projects)
  • Send a resume, unofficial transcript, short writing sample, and at least two references with contact information. Standardized test scores (e.g. GRE, LSAT, GMAT) will be considered, but are not required.

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