Associate Researcher of Behavioral Economics

New York, NY
Overview of Future Laboratories

Future Laboratories is a Research and Development laboratory for social change.

Just as Bell Labs came to life a century ago to pursue the technical moonshots of their times, Future Labs exists to pursue moonshots for humanity. But what excites us most is how we do that—our core technology and, in our view, the most inspiring invention even in the digital age: you. People. And not just individuals, but brilliant teams made up of pragmatic idealists across every imaginable discipline who aren’t afraid to envision a new future and bring it to life.

Leveraging the power of collective genius, Future Laboratories identifies the world’s biggest problems, conducting original diagnostic work on society; turns those problems into massive opportunities in the form of products, policies, campaigns, concepts, or brand-new categories; and then builds solutions until they are scaled. Already, we are working on projects across the realms of the future of human potential, the future of America, the future of capitalism, and the future of social change itself. As more inspiring visionaries join our team, each exploration and project takes on new life, since people—above all—are the fuel for our problem-solving engine.

Future Laboratories grew out of The Future Project, one of the fastest-growing nonprofits in America, dedicated to unleashing the possibility and power of young people to change the world. Future Laboratories is practicing what The Future Project preaches—that there is no more important act in life than finding your passion and unique gifts and channelling these to build breakthrough solutions with others… not as a one-time action but as a lifelong practice.

As big as our dreams are, we believe in moving in sequence, step by step, and are laying the foundation for our 100-year plan. We were officially underway in mid-2017 and already have a staff of more than a dozen leaders across several marquee projects and funding for our first two years. We also are proud to be partnered with some of the most inspired institutions and philanthropists in the world. And we’re most excited that we’re just getting started (and, in so many ways, always will be).

Associate Researcher of Behavioral Economics

Future Laboratories’ Insights team is responsible for conducting innovative, original research with the goal of generating groundbreaking insights with the potential to positively transform society, in addition to supporting the various explorations spearheaded by our various project teams working towards this same lofty goal.

Future Laboratories is excited to invite an Associate Researcher to join their Insights team, with the goal of establishing a program of research in one or more of the following areas:

-Applied Microeconomics
-Behavioral Economics
-Judgment and Decision Making
-Theories of Behavioral Change

This program of research should have a translational and/or applied focus, with the goal of directly informing socially impactful inventions and innovations generated by the Lab.

As our Associate Researcher of Behavioral Economics, you have an undying passion for research and are constantly working to sate your curiosity with new information. You’re excited to contribute to the Lab’s creative exploration through your own research and analysis, and are already brimming with research questions on which you’re eager to bring the resources of Future Laboratories to bear. You have dreamt of working in an applied research setting, where you have the resources and support to pursue your research passions with the objective of ultimately contributing something tangible and beneficial to society. You’re highly organized and self-directed, and absolutely crave the opportunity to tackle lofty, open-ended research questions in a fast-paced environment and explicitly applied research context.

In addition to spending dedicated, uninterrupted time on your own research pursuits, you look forward to collaborating closely with a team of fellow researchers, all charged with capacitating the various explorations of the Lab with evidence and insights. The expectation will be for you to be responsible for your own work but be ready to share and collaborate as needed. You can expect an approximate breakdown of 40% collaborative work on research already in progress and 60% independent research related to your original program of research, and look forward to having the opportunity to engage in both.

You are a strong writer and clear communicator both verbally and on paper. Your reports display and break down information into clear, crisp ideas. You can write for an academic audience as well as you communicate to laymen who do not have access to the professional jargon you typically use for academic publications. You are comfortable, and indeed excited, when it comes to collaborating with interdisciplinary teams translating your findings to be understood by various audiences and leveraged by a diverse array of projects.

We’re looking for a recent PhD graduate in Economics or Psychology who is looking to continue pursuing research in a non-academic setting. You’re ready to work outside of a traditional research environment and look forward to leveraging a unique suite of resources to achieve your research aims. You have demonstrated an interest in applying your research to actionable realities, and are excited to channel your expertise and extreme curiosity in pursuit of a greater social good. You have seen real-life applications of research in your field (whether your own or that of your colleagues) that you can speak intelligently and enthusiastically about. You may be receiving teaching opportunities in academia but that’s not what excites you. You’re in pursuit of the path less taken in hopes of partaking in unconventional research with a visible, positive impact on society.

As our Associate Researcher of Behavioral Economics, you will be accountable for...

    • Establishing an independent program of research in one of the following: Applied Macroeconomics, Behavioral Economics, Judgment and Decision Making, and/or Theories of Behavioral Change.
    • Continuing your existing research or developing new research projects with relative liberty, and leveraging the resources of the Lab.
    • Supporting the Lab’s various ongoing explorations with research and analysis.
    • Generating actionable internal reports for the Insights Team at large.
    • Organizing findings for dissemination in both academic and non-academic publications
    • Sharing your expertise with your colleagues in the spirit of collaboration and mentorship.

We're looking for someone who…

    • Has a PhD in Economics or Psychology and deep passion / expertise in one or more of the following areas: Applied Macroeconomics, Behavioral Economics, Judgment and Decision Making, and/or Theories of Behavioral Change.
    • Has conducted their own independent studies.
    • Has authored their own articles and has been published.
    • Has independent fields of research they would like to pursue or are already pursuing.
    • Embraces ambiguity and is excited to tackle tough questions with messy answers.
    • Is dogged and persistent when pursuing answers to tough questions.
    • Loves learning and has a passion for research.
    • Can organize disjointed facets into coherent systems.
    • Is organized and methodical in all facets of their professional life.
    • Is a clear communicator, both in generating written content and in coordinating across a team.
    • Is capable of both communicating and collaborating effectively with interdisciplinary teams, including non-academics.
    • Is a self-starter that is equally happy and comfortable working independently and collaboratively.
    • Has a flexible attitude especially in regard to diverse work styles.
    • Is personable and team spirited.
    • Can keep pace with busy colleagues in a fast-paced environment.
    • Persists in the face of difficulty, past the point where most people would have given up.
There are many backgrounds, industries, and life experiences that give rise to leaders who can manage effectively. Backgrounds in science, business, technology, engineering, government, media, and design - or hybrids thereof - may all yield the right experiences for this role.

The Future Laboratories team is based in New York City, at our new HQ located on Union Square West (as of January 1, 2018).

What To Expect

You will be asked to submit, along with your resume and cover letter, your PhD dissertation and any relevant publications. You will see a file attachment option in the application portal. These materials are required. Upon review, our Talent Team will get in touch to schedule a series of conversations to share more about Future Laboratories and to explore areas of alignment. You may then be invited to present your past and proposed program(s) of research to our Insights Team in person.

We will begin application review in early February and look forward to having our Associate Researcher of Behavioral Economics in place as early as March 2018, but we will defer start dates to late summer for candidates with commitments through spring/summer 2018.

Future Laboratories is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and will not discriminate against an applicant or employee based on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, alienage or citizenship status, ancestry, nationality, national origin, marital or domestic partnership or civil union status, familial status, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, Future Laboratories will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.