International Monetary Fund

Please send us your feedback

IMF Recruitment

Economist Program (EP)

September 23, 2015

What is the Economist Program?

The Economist Program (EP) is the primary entry point for young economists to join the IMF soon after completion of their graduate studies.

Participation in the program lasts three years during which participants are given two departmental assignments. One assignment is in an area department dealing with country-specific issues; and the other assignment is normally in a functional department dealing with fiscal, monetary, balance-of-payments, debt or other issues.

At the end of the program, successful participants can be offered a permanent ("open-ended") staff position.

What do EP participants do?

The EP offers a structured development program in a highly collegial environment where participants can apply their research and analysis to policy work that impacts the Fund's 188 member countries. In this way, the EP provides an opportunity to make a direct contribution to fostering global monetary cooperation, securing financial stability, facilitating international trade, promoting high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reducing poverty.

From the start, participants work closely with experienced members of the staff and are given considerable responsibility in carrying out operations-related analysis and research. Assignments are designed to provide a well-rounded experience in regional and country-specific issues, as well as in fiscal, monetary, balance of payments, debt, or other issues. In conjunction with their duties, participants normally take part in at least two missions (business trips) during each assignment period where they will interact with country authorities. See Economists for more details on the work of IMF economists.

Participants can also access training courses on IMF policies and operations, software applications, written and oral communications, and may receive language instruction. Participants also have the opportunity to participate in an extensive range of in-house economics training seminars from in-house to enhance their professional skills and support career development.

Why Join?

The IMF EP provides a superb grounding for a career in economics and related fields. Many graduates of the program have gone on to have long and successful careers at the IMF while others have high profile roles in areas such as academia, central banks and ministries, international development and financial intuitions.

If you are looking for an international career in a renowned global institution, where you can make a real contribution to worldwide issues and events, the IMF’s EP could be the right place for you.

As an EP participant, you can expect to:

  • Immediately apply your academic studies to current, real-life policy work that impacts our 188 member countries.
  • Perform a combination of analytical, research and operational work.
  • Undertake varied assignments and work on different countries and regions.
  • Work in an intellectually, challenging, highly collaborative and diverse environment, alongside some of the world’s best macroeconomists. (Over 1500 economists work for the Fund)
  • Travel to member countries to help develop and implement real life policies
  • Receive world-class benefits and working conditions.

Who is Eligible

EP candidates must be recent PhD graduates or expected to complete a PhD within a year (or less) of joining. Candidates should have advanced training in economics with graduate coursework in macroeconomics and areas of relevance for work in the Fund, such as international economics, monetary economics, public finance, econometrics, labor economics, poverty issues, and political economy.

Candidates must also meet all of the following criteria

  • Possess a superior academic record.
  • Fluency in English (both written and oral).
  • Have strong analytical, quantitative, and computer skills.
  • Be from one of the Fund's member countries.
  • Be available to join on a full time basis on Tuesday September 6, 2016.
  • Be below the age of 34 at the point of joining i.e. born on or after September 7, 1982 for the 2016 entry round. (Candidates who are a few months short of this may be considered on an exceptional basis)

In addition to the above criteria, the ideal candidate would:

  • Be interested in undertaking a combination of analytical, operational, and research work.
  • Understand and value the work of policy-oriented institutions.
  • Be strong in their field of expertise, but versatile and flexible in learning other areas.
  • Have a strong understanding of macroeconomics, be able to work within a clear conceptual framework, and be comfortable navigating around the different sectors of an economy, and understand the linkages between these sectors.
  • Be capable of writing high quality policy papers as well as shorter targeted notes to guide the work of the Fund and its member countries.
  • Be able to work in teams toward a common goal, making a significant contribution to the team's work, sharing information within the team.
  • Be prepared to travel.
  • Have foreign language skills or be willing to learn another language, if needed.

What are the Salary and Benefits?

Economists selected for the EP are offered a competitive salary and benefits – please see Working for the IMF.

How and when to apply?

Acceptance into the EP is a highly competitive process; over 1,000 candidates apply annually for about 20 -30 positions.

A job advert seeking applicants for the next EP will be placed on the IMF Current Vacancies in late September. Only applicants who apply though this advert can be considered. Please see the selection timeline for expected advertisement dates.

Successful candidates will receive offers in the following February and be expected to start on in September of the same year.

Please also see the selection process and criteria webpage.