PhD Traineeship in the Directorate General Economics


General Information

Type of contract PhD traineeship

Who can apply? EU nationals eligible for our traineeship programme

Grant The trainee grant is €2,120 per month plus an accommodation allowance (see further information section)

Working time Full time

Place of work Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Closing date 05.03.2024

Your team

You will be part of the Business Cycle Analysis Division in the ECB’s Directorate General Economics. Our Division consists of around 30 experts responsible for analysing and forecasting macroeconomic developments in the euro area. As part of our work, we develop tools for nowcasting economic activity, using state-of-the-art text mining and machine learning tools. We are also investigating the role of household and firm heterogeneity in driving aggregate fluctuations, the long-term impact of the post-pandemic transition on household and firm behaviour, and the macroeconomic impact of monetary and fiscal policies. The focus of our current analytical activities is on understanding the implications of the recent monetary policy tightening for business cycle dynamics, also taking into account i) real-financial interactions, through the nexus between households’ and firms’ decisions and credit supply shocks, and ii) the role of private sector balance sheets.

The ECB is an inclusive employer and we strive to reflect the diversity of the population we serve. We encourage you to apply irrespective of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or other characteristics.

Your role

As a PhD trainee you will:
  • conduct empirical and theoretical analyses using state-of-the-art economic and econometric models;
  • contribute to enhancing analytical, econometric and forecasting tools under the supervision of ECB experts; 
  • submit papers for publication in the ECB’s Working Paper Series and academic journals.

We are looking for two PhD trainees to work on either of the following projects.
A: Use firm-level survey data and financial statements to analyse the drivers of business investment, such as financing conditions, turnover and profits, across euro area firms of varying size in different sectors and countries;
B: Develop a Heterogeneous Agent New Keynesian model to investigate the aggregate and distributional impact of sector-specific and monetary policy shocks, taking into account their propagation through production networks.

As a successful candidate, you will be expected to complete your tasks using your own initiative and to work largely autonomously under the supervision of an expert. You will have access to the ECB’s library, as well as to computing and statistical resources. You will also have the opportunity to attend most of the conferences and internal seminars organised by the ECB.

The position offers you excellent opportunities to build on your skills using state-of-the-art modelling and econometric techniques. You will be part of a multicultural team that strives for continuous innovation to make a positive impact on the lives of European citizens.

Qualifications, experience and skills

  • a master’s degree and at least two years of PhD studies in economics, finance, statistics, data science, engineering or a related field;
  • a sound understanding of, and theoretical background in, macroeconomics and the economic and institutional context in which the ECB fulfils its mandate;
  • excellent knowledge and proven experience of state-of-the-art modelling tools and econometric techniques or data analytics;
  • programming skills in one or more software packages, such as MATLAB, Stata, R, Python or Julia;
  • a good knowledge of the MS Office package;
  • an advanced (C1) command of English and an intermediate (B1) command of at least one other official language of the EU, according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

  • experience in handling microdata and microeconometric methods and models; 
  • experience in solving and calibrating or estimating heterogeneous agent models.

You are curious and eager to learn, and want to further develop your ability to analyse complex information. You are keen to collaborate with others, pursue team goals and learn from other people’s diverse perspectives. You strive to know and anticipate stakeholder needs, and will signal any need for change and propose alternative solutions.

You are motivated to contribute to the ECB’s mission, to serve the citizens of the EU as a member of a public institution and to work with colleagues from all over Europe. You are keen to be part of our team and to use your skills and competencies to achieve the aims of this position.

Further information

Initial PhD traineeship of between three and six months, with a possible extension to up to 12 months in total.

Other details on the conditions applicable to traineeships at the ECB can be found on our website.

Application and selection process

The recruitment process for this position will include an online interview. 

Further information on how to apply is available on our website.

If you are not selected for this position but are still considered suitable, you will be placed on a reserve list for 12 months from the closing date for applications, from which you might be considered for other traineeship positions within the ECB.