SEC Academic Fellowships
(Updated April 2, 2012)
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) invites qualified accounting professors and new PhDs to express their interest in possible fellowship opportunities at its headquarters next to Union Station in the heart of Washington, DC for the 2012–2013 academic year. An Academic Fellowship at the SEC provides an unparalleled opportunity for accounting academics to be directly involved in the work of the SEC and to gain insight into the SEC's oversight and regulatory processes. An SEC fellowship is a remarkable way to spend a sabbatical year or a leave of absence and provides experiences that will greatly enhance subsequent teaching and publication activities.
Academic fellowships may be available in two areas within the SEC:
Office of the Chief Accountant
The Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA) functions as the primary advisor to the Securities and Exchange Commission on accounting and auditing matters. The OCA is interested in candidates with credentials in the area of auditing. The Academic Fellow serves as a research resource for OCA, participates in OCA projects which frequently involve the SEC's oversight of auditing standard-setting, and assists in auditor and registrant matters. The fellowships, which have been in existence for over twenty years, are for research-oriented professors with an interest in working closely with OCA leadership and staff on registrant and auditor issues. Requirements include a Ph.D., a strong research background in auditing and financial reporting and a CPA or equivalent technical expertise.
Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation
The Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation (RSFI) is chiefly responsible for risk and economic analysis, strategic research, and financial innovation in its roles of providing economic analyses of proposed Commission actions and providing expertise in analytical approaches and methods in support of the Commission’s enforcement and examinations program. RSFI is also responsible for leading the policies and standards to advance the use of interactive data (including XBRL, XML and others structured data formats) in Commission filings and supporting the analytic programs to use the resulting data from public companies and others.
At RSFI, Academic Fellows participate in research and analysis as members of the Division and provide economic guidance and research expertise to the Commission with respect to policy, enforcement, and regulatory initiatives. Opportunities exist to focus on specific policy/research areas or in litigation support. The Division is seeking candidates who have experience in areas including, but not limited to: financial accounting, disclosure policy, corporate governance, credit ratings and credit risk, financial intermediaries, securities issuance, financial derivatives, and litigation support. We are interested in tenured and tenure-track faculty, as well as recent Ph.D. graduates. The staff is expected to conduct high-quality research that both benefits the Commission and is publishable in academic journals.
Compensation, Benefits and Timing
Faculty members at U.S. universities are hired as Academic Fellows positions under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA), which allows the professor to continue as an employee of the university in that the employee continues to be paid by the university and receive its benefits package. The SEC, in turn, reimburses the university for the professor's salary and benefits. Under an IPA contract, relocation expenses to and from the Washington, DC area are generally reimbursed in accordance with Federal Travel Regulations and standard SEC policies which apply to IPA assignments. IPA appointments generally involve a 12-month period beginning August 1 each year. Compensation for SEC Academic Fellows is typically 12/9s of the professor's academic-year salary, up to a maximum of pay grade SK-16 (for 2010–2011 that amount was $198,333) plus related benefits. Academic Fellows on an IPA contract do not have a citizenship requirement other than possessing a valid work visa to be legally employed by the university.
For recent Ph.D.s who are not faculty members at a university or those wishing to become SEC employees can be hired by the SEC directly for a two-year term appointment that is renewable up to a maximum of four years in total. Relocation expenses are not reimbursable. In order to qualify for a term SEC appointment, the candidate must be a permanent resident or U.S. citizen to qualify. For information on employment eligibility for non-U.S. citizens, see http://www.usajobs.gov/ResourceCenter/Index/Interactive/NonCitizensEmployment#icc.
All positions are contingent upon all candidates passing a background check.
Application Information and Procedures
To apply, you must electronically submit a vita and a cover letter that summarizes your qualifications and indicates the specific fellowship(s) in which you are primarily interested. Applications for fellowships in all areas must be made electronically to Urton Anderson at AndersonU@sec.gov. Applicants should provide a copy of one or two relevant working papers or recently published articles. For positions at RSFI, please include three letters of recommendation as well as research sample(s). Application reviews for the 2012–2013 Academic Fellowships will begin as received and continue until April 18, 2012 or as needed. Interviews would be conducted at the SEC headquarters in Washington, DC. Candidates' interview travel expenses may not be reimbursed by the SEC.