About the Fellowship

SCEPA awards up to three, three-year fellowships within our Retirement Equity Lab (ReLab) focusing on the political economy of aging. Fellowships are awarded to outstanding scholars who want to pursue their PhD in economics focusing on issues of older workers in the labor force and retirement. 

The Schwartz Fellowship provides full tuition for up to 30 credits of PhD coursework in The New School for Social Research, up to six semesters of fees, and a $20,000 annual stipend for three years for working 20 hours per week as a SCEPA research associate. Additional hours are available during the summer and winter sessions based on project work. 


We offer our expertise in “real life” economics - taking into account human experience - to create a road map toward a more sustainable future. We do this through research and data analysis, public engagement and communications, and partnerships with other change-makers.


Academic Excellence

SCEPA produces mission-oriented research conducted under the gold standards of academic research and supervised by our faculty director Professor Teresa Ghilarducci. Our fellows learn how to use the core economic household surveys as well as a number of restricted administrative datasets, including ACS, CPS, HRS, SCF, and SIPP.  Fellows use the data to conduct state-of-the-art empirical research, write, and publish in the top academic journals. Fellows present their research at prestigious academic conferences, including AEA, APPAM, EEA, LERA, and NETSPAR, among others. 


Collaborative and Supportive Environment 

SCEPA provides a diverse and dynamic environment ideal for cooperation and teamwork. Fellows work closely together, learn from each other, and assist each other with their joint and individual projects.  


Alternative Approaches

The Economics Department of The New School for Social Research has been on the forefront of radical progressive thinking and academic research since its inception over 100 years ago. SCEPA has continued this tradition for 25 years by bringing economic reality to conventional economics and challenging economic doctrines that created economic inequities and insecurities for families, for economies, and for the climate. 

SCEPA and The New School’s conomics department take pride in their heterodox, multidisciplinary, and intersectional approaches to the most pressing issues facing our society, including climate change, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and inequality. 

Engaged and Impactful Research

We are dedicated to bringing up the next generation of progressive economists to ensure policy gains are supported in the future. Our research supports the progressive movements, unions, and coalitions moving the needle in local, state and federal governments. SCEPA fellows learn about engaging with policymakers, reporters, policy advocates, and other non-technical audiences with guidance from SCEPA’s communication team to translate research into policy briefs, practice talks, and press interviews. We testify in front of governmental bodies and work with elected officials, unions, and campaigns to shape effective and equitable policy. We engage with the media to amplify our voice in public policy debates. 


Global Network of Scholars 

We are a network of engaged scholars based at The New School for Social Research in New York City.  For example, SCEPA’s senior fellows (LINK) include prominent progressive economists Stephanie Kelton and Mariana Mazzucato and Brazilian economists Laura Barboas de Carvalho and Nelson Barbosa (the former finance minister under Lula da Silva), among others. We also connect our fellows with top scholars through our annual lectures (Heilbroner and Schwartz Lecturer) , seminars (Political Economy of Aging), and visiting scholar programs (we had Elsa Fornero, Nina, John Irons, and probably a lot more back in the days - we should make a list of these people). (photo of Kyle and Andrew with Case and Deaton, and maybe a couple of photos of Mika and Aida on panels. 


How to Apply

In addition to satisfying the admission requirements of The New School for Social Research’s (NSSR) doctoral program in economics, applicants should demonstrate a critical and inquiring mind, an interest in the economics of aging, strong math and writing skills, and some familiarity with statistical software and the analysis of micro datasets.  Applicants who pass an initial screening will be invited to take a short online test designed to evaluate programming, writing skills, and the ability to interpret statistics. Fellows are not required to be U.S. citizens.

Applicants must first apply and be accepted to the doctoral program in the Department of Economics at the NSSR. To apply for the fellowship, please send the following materials to ReLab Associate Research Director Siavash Radpour, Ph.D., at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:

1.      evidence of application to the doctoral program in economics; 

2.      statement of interest in the research topics of the Retirement Equity Lab; 

3.      evidence of familiarity with the statistical analysis of micro datasets, and

4.      a writing sample. 


About SCEPA’s Retirement Equity Lab

The Retirement Equity Lab (ReLab) is housed within The New School's Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), the policy research center of the university's economics department. SCEPA's research provides economic insights for a more equitable society. It aims to ensure working families’ security and access to equitable institutions, which will not only fuel the economy, but create the foundation for a just and sustainable world.


SCEPA’s Retirement Equity Lab (ReLab) is a team of economists led by institutional labor economist and political economy of retirement expert and Professor of Economics Teresa Ghilarducci. ReLab investigates the political economy of retirement income insecurity for all Americans, the causes of the retirement crisis in the United States, work options for older Americans, and political and economic forces pushing for an expansion of the labor supply of older workers. It also addresses intergenerational equity and the affordability of pension systems in the wake of other pressing public sector needs.  Outputs include academic papers, often co-authored with graduate students, and policy briefs.  


About NSSR’s Department of Economics

The New School for Social Research’s Department of Economics provides rigorous training in political economy, the history of economic thought, and economic methodology, alongside core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics.  The Department trains students to undertake an informed, critical, and passionate investigation of the central unresolved dilemmas of modern economic society.  Doctoral students at The New School are a part of the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium, which allows them to take graduate level courses at Princeton, Columbia University, New York University, and other area schools.  Graduates from the department work in a variety of professions and industries, including top positions in academia, government, consulting, and corporations.

Our Founder


Bernard L. Schwartz

Bernard L. Schwartz is chairman and CEO of BLS Investments, LLC, a private investment firm. He also manages the investments of the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Foundation, which mainly supports higher education, medical research and New York City-based cultural organizations. He promotes the development of U.S. economic policy initiatives through investment in educational institutions, think tanks and advocacy organizations. 

More on Our Founder