Pathways to Research and Doctoral Careers
Pathways to Research and Doctoral Careers (PREDOC.org) is a consortium of universities and research institutions that aims to remove barriers to access to research and doctoral careers. These barriers include asymmetries of information, education, credentialing, and affordability. Our initiatives foster a population in quantitative social science that is more talented, diverse, and inclusive.
PREDOC’s strategy is to leverage the booming market of full-time pre-doctoral research assistantships (“pre-docs”), working with our partners to expand the talent pool; reduce informational frictions; scout for talent; and engage, mentor, and educate students from any background. Our goal is to help pre-doc and PhD programs identify and admit those who are likely to move the quantitative social sciences forward, while simultaneously supporting those nascent scholars on their way to a research career.
Learn more about the pathway to a pre-doc with this video.
Pietro Veronesi: I am an economist, so when I see some issues like under -representation of minorities in economics, the first thing that comes to my mind are frictions. There is something that are keeping a number of talented students from the PhD pipeline. And so let's identify these frictions.
Raj Chetty: We have a term that we call lost Einstein's. There are lots of people out there who have an incredible amount of talent, where they could be incredibly successful and contribute a great deal to science and to society. But they don't end up coming through the pipeline just because they don't have access to the resources and the exposure that encourages them to pursue certain paths. And so I see initiatives like this, the pre -doc initiative is trying to bridge that gap and create more of those exposures, provide more of those pathways to find some of those lost Einstein's.
Pradeep Chintagunta: There are lots of activities that the pre -doc program is doing in terms of outreach but also then to support some of these candidates who show an interest. Knowing that existing faculty administrators are all interested in promoting doctoral education is also a good signal, I think, to our young folks to realize that, hey, maybe this is something that's worth pursuing.
Gregory Bruich: Opportunity insights and pre -doc collaborated on developing this summer class. So the class was based on a course that I teach here at Harvard with Raj Chetty called Using Big Data, Solve Economic and Social Problems. And the goal of the course was to inspire students to pursue a career in social science research and to equip them with some of the technical skills that they would need along that journey.
Frances Moore: If I had to describe the students using just a few words, I would..
Lauren Russell: First, I'd pick the word enthusiastic. You could just tell that they were all super excited to be a part of this program. The number of the students came with these big topic areas that they're interested in studying and just trying to figure out how do I make the research questions in this area?
Fatima Djalalova: The doctoral program was very valuable in like helping me confirm that yes this is what I wanted to do.
Pietro Veronesi: We want pre -doc to become the home of a number of students who want to do research or they are interested in research questions but they don't know where to start they don't know how to do that and so pre -doc education not only provide courses but they also connect students with each other.
Bea Rivera: I'm very very thankful for pre -doc. I can really say that pre -doc got me here. They saw me through as a rising senior and as a young adult who was given an opportunity and they made sure that I could arrive there with a program like pre -doc.
It gives you the skills it gives you the connections it gives you the exposure but I think above all what ties all of that together is it gives you the confidence to know that you can submit your name alongside everyone else and I know that I wouldn't be NRA here at Chicago Fed if it weren't for just an amalgamation of mentorship of all the people who were willing to invest their time and their resources to me and I'm very thankful that pre -doc was one of them.
Marionette Holmes: A member of the pre -doc executive committee came and spoke to our students about pre -doc and just knowing how pre -doc can prepare them we've decided to continue to do that so we applied for renewal of that grant as we do to nurture these young women to go and get PhDs or graduate economics and we're incorporating having pre -doc in that advising scheme intentionally into our program. That is something that we want all of our women to be exposed to.
Pietro Veronesi: For me, it's very important that we go out, scout for talent, and find them in order to channel them, the best possible in bright minds, into researching economics and business and quantitative social sciences.
Raj Chetty: If we can find those lost Einstein, so to speak, we can advance science much more quickly and create a better society forever.
The Pre-doc Track
Pre-doctoral opportunities (pre-docs) are full-time jobs supporting faculty research that typically last two years. They are a great option for people who are considering a PhD but aren't completely sure they're ready, or that a PhD is what they want. Learn how many opportunities a pre-doc—and a PhD—can prepare you for.Why do a pre-doc?
Overview of the Consortium
PREDOC is committed to cultivating research environments and workplaces that are diverse and inclusive. We actively recruit and mentor pre-docs who bring new perspectives to our academic disciplines and strengthen our ideas. Our practices include:
- Proactively reaching out to, mentoring, and recruiting individuals who are underrepresented in our fields.
- Expanding our engagement with diverse populations to increase and diversify the pool of pre-doctoral candidates.
- Establishing academic and professional development opportunities, including mentorship programs, research assistantships, and courses.
- Counseling hiring managers on best hiring practices.
- Establishing program-wide mentoring, as well as academic and professional development opportunities, for current pre-docs.
While consortium institutions are primarily business schools and economics departments, we welcome interest from individuals with a wide range academic backgrounds. The faculties at PREDOC institutions include economists, computer scientists, statisticians, psychologists, engineers, and sociologists, to name only a few fields. We are eager to engage with anyone interested in quantitative research in the social sciences.
Connect with PREDOC
Our newsletters share job openings, events, and all things pre-doctoral positions. Sign up today to stay informed.