Economist Service (ES) Research Assistant Programme
The Economist Service (ES) offers internships to students under the ES Research Assistant Programme. By joining us, you will participate in applied research, expand your professional network, and learn more about the ES.
Interns typically work on an empirical research project with supervision from economists in the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) or other government agencies. The project is usually assigned by an ES officer, but we are open to considering project ideas that you may have. Over the course of the project, you will receive training and mentorship on how to conduct rigorous analyses, apply economic theories and principles to public policy issues, and develop clear policy recommendations. At the end of the internship, you will present your research findings to the Chief Economist and/or other senior ES officers.
Typical Internship Periods
Although we typically offer internships during the summer (May to September) and winter (December to March) cycles, we also encourage applications for start dates throughout the year.
We expect interns to commit at least ten weeks for the internship for a meaningful and enriching experience.
All internship applicants should be Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents, with a strong interest in applying Economics to public policy. We accept applications from pre-university, undergraduate or graduate students. We are especially interested in applicants with a strong and demonstrable interest in Economics, and preferably prior experience in undertaking a quantitative/Economics-related research project. Candidates with the following skills will have an advantage:
- Familiarity with statistical/mathematical tools or general-purpose programming languages (e.g., Stata, R, Python);
- Familiarity with general techniques used for programme evaluation and causal inference (e.g., instrumental variables, difference-in-differences, regression discontinuity designs); and
- Familiarity with basic data science techniques (e.g., machine learning) and/or web-scraping.
As places are limited, priority will be given to penultimate-year university students.
Submit your application or queries to MTI_ES@mti.gov.sg with the subject "ES Internship – Your Name”.
We review applications on a rolling basis – applications for the summer and winter internship cycles should reach us before March and October, respectively, while applications for off-cycle internships should reach us at least 1½ months before your proposed start date.
Your application should include the following documents:
- A completed Basic Information Form
- Curriculum Vitae
- Most recent academic results – e.g., latest academic transcripts for undergraduates; A-Level/IB certificates for pre-university applicants
- A writing sample (optional) – You may choose to supplement your application with 1-2 examples of your written work on an Economics-related topic (e.g., research papers and project reports for school coursework). Although we prefer writing samples that are research-oriented, discussion papers (e.g., think pieces) may also be submitted
- A research proposal (optional) – Applicants are welcome to suggest ideas for empirical research, including the use of proprietary or publicly available datasets to answer policy-relevant questions
A cover letter is not required.
Selected applicants will be invited to sit for a virtual written test. Applicants who score well will proceed for an interview with senior ES officers.