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ExStra Research Assistant

The Department of Economics uses the RA positions financed through the Excellency Strategy to individually support highly talented Master students at an early stage.

Early Integration into Research Projects

The RA positions give students the opportunity to be involved in research projects in which empirical work is carried out at an early stage of their academic career. The selected Master's students support the department's researchers in the preparation of data, in programming, and in the evaluation and preparation of current research literature. In this way, they gain knowledge and research experience helpful both in preparing the Master thesis and their own future research.

The RAs will be actively involved in the design and implementation of laboratory and online experiments; they will not only acquire conceptual skills with regard to the design and analysis of experimental studies, but also technical and methodological skills (programming and data analysis) and practical research knowledge. They will expand their existing knowledge of programming languages and learn programming techniques that can be applied to a variety of economic and econometric problems (Python, R, Stata, Matlab as well as programming experiments in html, Django, JavaScript, oTree, Amazon Mechanical Turk).

These skills are relevant for many areas, including applied microeconomics, econometrics, macroeconomics, computational economics, and financial market economics.


The selected Master studenst will also gain insights into the inner workings of small and large research projects, thus strengthening their empirical methodological knowledge and their scientific communication skills. The researchers they work with will take on a mentoring function; they will give feedback on the work of the research assistants and will support them in their further academic career with letters of recommendation, advice on career planning and the provision of contacts to other scientists.


Three of the five positions will be filled by women in order to actively support them in pursuing a career in science.

Selection Process

As the incoming Master students cannot be directly compared with each other due to their different bachelor's degrees other criteria must be used in the selection process. These include:


  • Graduation from a known research-oriented university or in a research-oriented study program.
  • Applicants are among the top five to ten percent of their cohort (grade distribution and/or reviewer assessment).
  • Evaluators' assessment of academic potential and suitability for the Master program
  • Final grade of the bachelor thesis
  • Initial research experience or research interests in the context of collaboration at institutes and/or in projects

Application Documents:

  • A short letter of motivation for your interest in one of the positions, also stating the goals you have for your Master's degree and beyond. Also state what you would ideally like to work on.
  • If it applies to you, please provide a bulleted list of the programming language(s) you have experience with. Please state precisely in which context you have used the language(s) and what you have achieved in applying them.
  • Academic transcripts
  • CV

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

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