IPA Opportunities

The Social Security Administration (SSA) anticipates the availability of two research positions for up to a 2-year period under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) program. We are interested in the effect of structural barriers on economic security in retirement and on the incidence of disability by race and ethnicity. Structural barriers are policies, programs, and institutional practices that facilitate the economic and social well-being of one group—in this instance, White individuals and families—while impeding the social and economic well-being of another group—individuals and families of color. Of particular interest are structural barriers in education, health care, employment, housing, and wealth accumulation. We are also interested in broader research related to structural barriers that impede access to services, as described in the agency's Equity Action Plan or the agency's Fiscal Years 2022–2026 Learning Agenda. We encourage researchers who have experience studying racial, ethnic, and gender disparities, along with other social inequities, using a variety of methods to apply. We also encourage researchers with experience studying the intersectionality of race with other social categories such as disability to apply as well. Final project details are open to negotiation.

We may grant a researcher with appropriate clearances access to SSA administrative records. We maintain extracts of these records that can be matched to surveys, such as Census' Current Population Survey and Survey of Income and Program Participation, the University of Michigan's Health and Retirement Study (HRS), and Social Security surveys, as well as research files for SSA tabulations, such as the Continuous Work History Sample.

The positions are based in Baltimore, MD or Washington, D.C., with the option to telework or work remotely/virtually and would begin on a mutually agreeable date. To be eligible for the IPA program, a researcher must be employed for at least 90 days in a career position at a State or local government agency, nonprofit organization, university, Indian Tribal government, or federally funded research and development center. If your research expertise meets the current needs of the agency, we may contact you to negotiate an agreement with your employer that includes reimbursement for salary and fringe benefits while working on SSA projects. Travel expenses may also be available. Depending on the nature of the research, IPA assignments may be performed on an intermittent, part-time, or full-time basis.

Interested researchers are encouraged to submit a cover letter describing research interests, a résumé, and a recent research paper to ORDP.IPA@ssa.gov.

SSA is an equal opportunity employer.