Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content

Jobs @ Census

Postdoctoral Research Program

The Census Bureau’s mission is to be the preeminent collector and provider of timely, relevant, and quality data about the people and economy of the United States. Over 200 years ago, the United States Constitution laid the foundation for what is today the world’s largest and most comprehensive data gathering organization. The Census Bureau was founded in 1902. Today, the Census Bureau is the provider of the Nation’s official economic, population, and demographic statistics. Every month, quarter, and year, the Census Bureau plans, implements, and evaluates over 100 sample surveys that update and add to information from the economic and decennial censuses- information that mirrors the concerns of the people. The variety and magnitude of the surveys make the Census Bureau the world’s most sought-after source of information about the United States. These sample surveys would be impossible to conduct without continuous research and development.

The objectives of the Census Bureau Postdoctoral Research Program are to provide postdoctoral candidates of unusual promise and ability opportunities for research on problems, largely of their own choice, that are compatible with the interests of the Census Bureau, and to contribute to the overall efforts of federal statistical agencies.

Conditions of Postdoctoral Research Appointments

A Postdoctoral Researcher is a resident researcher and a temporary employee of the Census Bureau. Postdoctoral Researchers are analogous to fellows or similar temporary researchers at the postdoctoral level in universities and other organizations. Postdoctoral Research positions are not intended to be, or to compete with, permanent professional career positions.

No commitment on the part of a Postdoctoral Researcher or the Census Bureau with regard to later employment is implied or should be inferred by the offer or acceptance of an award as a Postdoctoral Researcher.

Postdoctoral Researchers must devote their full-time effort to the research program and must be in residence at the Census Bureau during the program. No period of tenure may be spent in residence at another agency or institution. No additional monetary aid or other remuneration may be accepted from another appointment, fellowship, or similar grant during the period of the program.

Eligibility and Consideration

Postdoctoral Research positions are awarded only to persons who have held the doctorate less than six years or are in the process of receiving a doctorate degree at the time of application. If a doctorate has been held for more than six years, refer to the ASA/NSF/Census Bureau Fellowship Program for another research opportunity.

Qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, creed, color, age, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation. United States citizenship is required.


Awardees are offered two-year appointments, but extensions are possible with special considerations. An evaluation is conducted after one year to ensure that the Postdoctoral Researcher is making suitable progress.

Education and Experience

Awardees must hold the Ph.D. or other earned research degree recognized in the U.S. as equivalent to the Ph.D. or must present acceptable evidence of having completed all the formal academic requirements for the degree before appointment. Applicants must have demonstrated ability for creative research.

An applicant’s training and research experience may be in any appropriate discipline or combination of disciplines required for the proposed research.

One-page Statement of Research Interest

Each applicant must submit a one-page statement of research interest. For fullest consideration, submit application by January 31. The one-page statement of research interest should include a summary of research interest.

Before writing the one-page statement of research interest, an applicant is advised to communicate directly with Dr. Tommy Wright, Chief, Center for Statistical Research and Methodology, who can provide specific information on current research and available technical facilities.

Contact: Dr. Tommy Wright
Chief, Center for Statistical Research and Methodology
U.S. Census Bureau Phone: (301) 763-1702
FAX: (301)763-8399

General areas of interest for research at the Census Bureau include statistical theory and methodology, statistical computing, economics, demography and social and behavioral science. Refer to the Suggested Research Areas section.

The Panel Review

The Human Resources Division of the Census Bureau receives all application materials and supporting documents. The Center for Statistical Research and Methodology conducts the competitive evaluation of applications.

The evaluation of Postdoctoral Research proposals will be conducted in February-March by a special panel convened for this purpose. Panelists are chosen to review applications on the basis of their stature and research experience in relevant fields of statistics, mathematics, computer science, statistical computing, economics, sociology, demography, social science research and psychology. Their evaluation is the basis for Census Bureau selections.

Salary and Benefits

For the 2012 program year, the annual base salary for a Census Bureau Postdoctoral Researcher starts from $74,872 to $97,333 with adjustments depending on qualifications and experience.

Sick leave, annual leave, thrift savings (401(k) equivalent), and health and life insurance are available.

Flex Time is available. With supervisor’s approval, starting time can be as early as 7:00 a.m. and ending time as late as 6:30 p.m. Alternate work schedules are available with supervisor approval.

The Census Bureau has a brand new 1.5 million square feet building in Suitland, Maryland (just outside of Washington, DC). Free parking is available on-site. A metro area subway station is located on-site. Subsized metro fare cards are available for metro commuters.

On-site recreational features:

  • New full service gym with shower and locker facilities
  • Softball/baseball diamonds
  • Intramural co-ed sport leagues

Initiation of Tenure

The Census Bureau will offer a limited number of awards annually. The date on which an appointment would begin is negotiable on an individual basis, but is expected to be between mid-May and the end of December.

Relocation Expenses

Cost of relocation to the Washington, D.C. area, within allowances prescribed by law, will be determined on an individual basis.

Application Deadline

To be eligible for review in February - March, completed application materials and supporting documents must reach the agency no later than January 31.

Applications will be accepted throughout the year until positions are filled.

Notification of Awards

Notification of awards will be made beginning mid-March.

Application Materials and Supporting Documents

Submit the following to the Human Resources Division of the Census Bureau:

  1. A curriculum vitae
  2. Official transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate credits
  3. Three reference letters
  4. One-page statement of research interest

Mailing address: Ms. Amanda McWhorter
Strategic Recruitment and Outreach Branch
Human Resources Division
U.S. Census Bureau
4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, D.C. 20233-1407
Phone: (202) 391-0256
FAX: (301) 763- 4706

Suggested Research Areas

  • Time Series Analysis
  • Data Editing and Imputation
  • Record Linkage
  • Statistical Computing
  • Sampling and Estimation
  • Small Area Estimation
  • General Statistical Methodology
  • Disclosure Avoidance
  • Experimental Design
  • Questionnaire Design and Measurement Research
  • Human Factors and Usability Research
  • Sociology
  • Demography
  • Economics

Postdoctoral Research Flyer PDF PDF [91.31 KB]

[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Reader®
This symbol Off Site indicates a link to a non-government web site. Our linking to these sites does not constitute an endorsement of any products, services or the information found on them. Once you link to another site you are subject to the policies of the new site.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Human Resources Division | (301) 763-3371 |  Last Revised: April 08, 2013