The Fellowship Program

The Fellowship Program of the PCAOB’s Office of Economic and Risk Analysis (OERA) focuses on integrating academics into PCAOB projects to provide valuable external perspectives. The program provides a way for the Board to obtain outside perspectives in analyzing data collected by the PCAOB through its oversight activities, as well as a way for academics to work with PCAOB data for key projects and research papers and to understand PCAOB’s role in the classes that they teach.

The Board approved revisions to its existing program to further align the work of the Fellows with the Board’s mission and strategic goals. Under the revised Fellowship Program, Fellows will have the opportunity to work primarily on applied tasks linked to specific OERA projects supporting the PCAOB Strategic Plan. As a secondary focus, they would develop high quality, publishable research papers linked to key areas that would inform PCAOB’s oversight activities and efforts. Fellows are expected to divide their time between working with PCAOB staff on projects supporting the PCAOB Strategic Plan (65 percent) and developing research papers linked to key areas (35 percent).

The application deadline for 2020 fellowships has passed.

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

Read working papers developed by former fellows.

Topics of Interest

The PCAOB is interested in receiving research proposals that will inform the Board's oversight activities and efforts to promote continuous improvement in the quality of audit services. These efforts are highlighted in its 2019-2023 Strategic Plan. In particular, the PCAOB is interested in receiving research proposals in the following areas:

  • Audit firms’ quality control systems
  • Audit quality indicators
  • Critical audit matters
  • Audit expectation gap
  • Development of econometric models for key projects

Fellows will engage closely with PCAOB staff on key projects supporting the PCAOB’s Strategic Plan and in undertaking the development of research projects in the areas outlined above. Candidates with questions about the project/research areas of interest and the scope of PCAOB-generated data available at the PCAOB are encouraged to contact staff at [email protected].

Application Process

Interested candidates are asked to submit the following information.

  1. A curriculum vitae
  2. A cover letter that summarizes the candidate'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 fellowship
  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. Is related to the key topics in the PCAOB Strategic Plan and suggests why the research could be relevant to the PCAOB's mission and work
  2. Explains the key objectives/questions of the research project and includes a proposed methodology and the nature of the data necessary to complete the research
  3. Provides a research plan that includes an expected timeline of the project
  4. Discloses the names of any coauthors
  5. Discloses any potential conflicts of interest


Applications are reviewed by the PCAOB and selections are made based on applicant qualifications and the linkage of research proposals to the PCAOB Strategic Plan, as well as underlying quality (methodology, etc.).

Finalists will be invited to Washington, DC, for interviews, and successful applicants will be notified. 

Compensation, Benefits, Timing, and Other Relevant Information

The PCAOB considers candidates for full-time research fellowship positions. Fellows receive a salary commensurate with their academic position.

Fellowships will start on a mutually agreed-upon date and continue for 12 months with the possibility of a single one-year renewal.

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

All fellows are 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

As presented in the Board's Strategic Plan for 2019-2023, the PCAOB will be a trusted leader that promotes high quality auditing through forward-looking, responsive, and innovative oversight. At all times, we will act with integrity, pursue excellence, operate with effectiveness, embrace collaboration, and demand accountability.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The PCAOB is an equal opportunity employer committed to establishing a diverse workforce.

    Prior Economic Research Fellows