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Census Bureau Postdoctoral Research Program

The U.S. 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. The Census Bureau was founded in 1902 and today is the world’s largest and most comprehensive data gathering organization. The Census Bureau is the official provider of the nation’s economic, population, and demographic statistics. At regular intervals throughout the year, the Census Bureau plans, implements, evaluates, and updates over 100 sample surveys that reflect the concerns of the American 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 post-doctoral candidates of unusual promise and ability opportunities for research on subjects (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 Census Bureau employee. 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, nor to compete with, permanent professional career positions.

With regard to later employment, no commitment on the part of a postdoctoral researcher or the Census Bureau 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 6 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 6 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. U.S. citizenship is required.


Awardees are offered 2-year appointments, but extensions are possible with special considerations. An evaluation is conducted after 1 year to ensure that the postdoctoral researcher is making suitable progress.

How to Apply

Information on how to apply:

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.

For questions, please contact:

Dr. Tommy Wright, chief
Center for Statistical Research and Methodology 
U.S. Census Bureau

Phone: (301) 763-1702 
E-mail: tommy.wright@census.gov
FAX: (301) 763-8399

General Areas of Interest for Research

Planning, collection, processing, analysis, making inferences, and disseminating of data and data products that draw on extensive knowledge and skills from statistical theory and methodology, survey measurement methodology, and data science methodology applicable to censuses, large scale sample surveys, and other data sources (e.g., administrative data and big data).

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 from February–March by a special panel convened for this purpose. Panelists are chosen on the basis of their research experience in relevant fields of statistical theory and methodology, survey measurement methodology, and data science methodology.

Salary and Benefits

The annual base salary for a Census Bureau postdoctoral researcher is expected to be consistent with the GS-12 salary, with adjustments depending on qualifications and experience.

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

There is flexibility with daily work schedules and days worked each pay period, subject to supervisory approval.

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

On-site recreational features:

  • New, full-service gym with shower and locker facilities.
  • Softball/baseball diamonds.
  • Intramural coed 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, DC, area will be determined on an individual basis, within allowances prescribed by law.

Notification of Awards

Notification of awards will be made beginning mid-March.

Page Last Revised - August 3, 2022
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