Economic Research Fellowships

The Center for Economic Analysis maintains an Economic Research Fellowship Program that is intended to generate high quality publishable economic research on topics of direct relevance to the mission of the PCAOB.  The program provides a way for the Board to obtain an outside perspective in analyzing data collected by the PCAOB through its oversight activities.  Fellows have the opportunity to engage closely with PCAOB staff in the development of research projects and serve as a valuable resource to staff economists.

Ideal candidates for fellowship positions include:

  • tenured or tenure-track junior faculty members in economics, finance, accounting, or a related area
  • doctoral students who have completed all course work in a doctoral program in economics, finance, accounting, or a related area, and are actively performing research or writing a dissertation

Working papers developed by past and current fellows are available on the PCAOB’s website.

Topics of Interest

Fellows will conduct economic research on topics relevant to the oversight, standard-setting and other activities of the PCAOB in protecting investors and the public interest.  While not exhaustive, topics of particular interest to the PCAOB include:

  • The role of the audit in capital formation and economic growth including, for example, research on the costs and benefits of the financial statement audit and/or audits of internal control over financial reporting.
  • Applications of regulatory economics to auditing including research that may inform the need for and/or development of new PCAOB rules.
  • The market impact of audit regulation and oversight including research that may inform post-implementation reviews of PCAOB rules and standards.
  • The business model and industrial organization of audit firms including, for example, research on audit firm structure, the effect of competition and concentration in the audit profession, staffing of audit engagements, and staff to partner leverage.
  • Global networks including, for example, research on the consistency of audit quality practices among network affiliates and audits of multi-national companies.
  • Economic and social incentives and principal-agent relationships present in auditing.
  • Applications of behavioral economics to auditing, financial reporting and the formulation of auditing standards.
  • Effects of audit and financial reporting failures on financial markets, research related to the auditor’s consideration of fraud and noncompliance with laws and regulations and use of forensic specialists on audits and their utility in the detection of fraud.
  • Economic effects of the application of audit standards to audits of emerging growth companies.
  • Economic and audit quality impacts of international regulatory audit reforms.
  • Proxies for and indicators of audit quality and their potential usage and impact including, for example, research on audit quality indicators included in the PCAOB’s Concept Release.
  • The role of technology in audit quality and investor protection.

Candidates with questions about the scope of the PCAOB generated data available at the PCAOB may contact Center staff at CEA_Fellows@pcaobus.org.

Application Process

Interested candidates must submit the following information to CEA_Fellows@pcaobus.org:

  1. a curriculum vitae
  2. a cover letter that summarizes the applicant's qualifications and understanding and interest in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the mission of the PCAOB, including a description of the applicant's goals and expectations for the fellowshipo
  3. one or two research papers or recently published articles on topics relevant to the PCAOB
  4. two letters of reference sent directly to the PCAOB by the referees
  5. at least one research proposal that:
    1. Explains the proposed research topic, including the hypothesis to be tested if the project is empirical in nature
    2. Suggests why the research could be relevant to the PCAOB’s mission and work
    3. Demonstrates the scientific merit and rigor of the proposal, including a proposed methodology
    4. Describes the nature of data necessary to complete the research, if the research is empirical in nature
    5. Provides a research plan that includes an expected timeline of the project.
    6. Discloses the names of any co-authors
    7. Discloses any potential conflicts of interest

Selection

Applications should be submitted no later than December 20, 2016.  

In addition to the PCAOB’s internal review, applications will be reviewed by an academic proposal review committee comprised of distinguished researchers.  The PCAOB and academic proposal review committee will take into account applicant qualifications, research proposal quality, the nature of non-public data requested by the applicant, and the relevance of the proposed research to the PCAOB.

Finalists will be asked to complete an application through a listing on the PCAOB Careers Page and will be invited to Washington, DC, for interviews in January and February 2017. Successful applicants will be notified no later than March 31, 2017.

Compensation, Benefits, Timing, and Other Relevant Information

The Center will consider academics for full-time and part-time research fellowship positions. Fellows will receive a salary commensurate with experience as well as a competitive benefits package.  The Center will also consider academics who might not be in a position to take a paid research fellowship position but who are interested in performing research using PCAOB data.

Fellowships for the 2017-2018 academic year will start in August 2017 or a mutually agreed-upon date and will continue for 12 months with the possibility of a single one-year renewal.

All access to nonpublic data must be conducted at the PCAOB’s Washington, DC headquarters or a PCAOB regional office.

All Fellows will be required to abide by the PCAOB Ethics Code, which regulates employee conduct, requires financial disclosures, restricts certain outside activities while at the PCAOB, and prohibits the dissemination or disclosure of nonpublic information, among other requirements.

About the PCAOB

The PCAOB is a nonprofit corporation established by Congress to oversee the audits of public companies in order to protect the interests of investors and further the public interest in the preparation of informative, accurate and independent audit reports. The PCAOB also oversees the audits of broker-dealers, including compliance reports filed pursuant to federal securities laws, to promote investor protection.

Our Values

The PCAOB encourages a spirit of cooperation and teamwork, and fosters an environment of professional growth where employees can exercise their leadership ability, creativity, technical competence, and public interest focus in helping the PCAOB fulfill its mission.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The PCAOB is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to establishing a diverse workforce.