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The Census Bureau’s (Census) 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 is today the world’s largest and most comprehensive data gathering organization. Census is the provider of the Nation’s official economic, population, and demographic statistics. Monthly, quarterly, and yearly, Census plans, implements, and evaluates and updates over 100 sample surveys that mirror 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 Census, 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 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.

No commitment on the part of a Postdoctoral Researcher or Census 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.

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.

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 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 
FAX: (301) 763-8399


The Census Bureau is all about collecting and providing data about the nation’s people, economy, and places.  

General Areas of Interest for Research

Planning, collection, processing, analysis, making inferences, and disseminating data and data products that draw on deep knowledge and skills from statistical theory and methodology, survey methodology, statistical computing, data science, computer science, economics, demography, and social and behavioral science 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 to review applications on the basis of their stature and research experience in relevant fields of statistics, mathematics, computer science, statistical computing, data science, economics, sociology, demography, social science research and psychology. Their evaluation is the basis for Census Bureau selections.

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 supervisor's approval.

The Census Bureau has a 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. Subsidized 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.

Notification of Awards

Notification of awards will be made beginning mid-March.

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