Stephan’s research interests focus on the careers of scientists and engineers and the process by which knowledge moves across institutional boundaries in the economy. Stephan currently serves on the National Research Council Board on Higher Education and Workforce. She served on the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council, National Institutes of Health, 2005-2009 and served on the Advisory Committee of the Social, Behavioral, and Economics Program, National Science Foundation, 2001-2008. She was a member of the European Commission High-Level Expert Group that authored the report “Frontier Research: The European Challenge.” She has served on a number of National Research Council committees including the committee on Dimensions, Causes, and Implications of Recent Trends in the Careers of Life Scientists, Committee on Methods of Forecasting Demand and Supply of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers, and the Committee on Policy Implications of International Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars in the United States. Her research has been supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellow Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Stephan graduated from Grinnell College (Phi Beta Kappa) with a B.A. in Economics and earned both her M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan. She has been a visiting scholar at Katholeike Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, spring 2005, a Wertheim Fellow, Harvard University, February 2007, and an ICER fellow, Turin, Italy, fall 2009.
Stephan is a research associate, National Bureau of Economic Research. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2012 Science Careers selected Stephan as their first “Person of the Year.”
Stephan has published numerous articles in journals such as The American Economic Review, Science, The Journal of Economic Literature, Economic Inquiry, The International Economic Review and Social Studies of Science. She co-wrote, with Sharon Levin, Striking the Mother Lode in Science (Oxford University Press, 1992). Her book How Economics Shapes Science was published by Harvard University Press, 2012. It was translated into Korean in 2013 and is scheduled for release in Chinese in 2014.