Become an SDP Fellow

For two years, work for a school system or education organization, participate in high-impact professional development with Harvard-affiliated faculty, and use your data and leadership talent to improve the lives of students.

Apply to Become a Fellow



Inspiring Leaders

Learn from fearless, mission-focused education advocates across the sector.


Faculty Advisors

Receive expert advice from renowned faculty members on your capstone projects.

alumni support

Alumni Mentors

Alumni provide guidance to each new fellow on methods, leadership, communication and more.

What You'll Learn

Education Analytics and Data Governance

Elevate your statistical programming, advanced research techniques, and data management skills. 

Policy Leadership and Management

Engage with education leaders and learn leadership best practices for leading evidence-driven change. 

Visualization and Communication

Develop the ability to tell a visual story with your data and support non-technical stakeholders.

Are you a future data changemaker?

We are looking for researchers, analysts, and professionals with strong analytic capabilities, familiarity with research design, and evidence of leadership.

There are two pathways into the SDP Data Fellowship: education data leaders can apply to be placed as full-time employees within one of SDP’s partner organizations or they can be nominated by their current employer to enroll as a fellow. Over two years, SDP Fellows work within an education agency, institution, or organization and participate in high-impact professional development with Harvard-affiliated staff and faculty. Fellows will have access to a cohort of colleagues and resources in either the PK12 or Higher Education networks.



1. Application: A candidate’s supervisor will complete the SDP Partnership application, proposing a key strategic data project that the candidate will complete and providing evidence as to why the nominated employee would make a strong candidate. A strong candidate for nomination is someone who:

  • Works with data and strategy as a core function of their role
  • Is positioned to move critical initiaves forward and share their learnings across the organization
  • Is exhibiting growth potential within the organization
  • Is excited to learn and continue their growth
  • Is committed to remaining at their organizartion for the next two years, at minimum, given this opportunity 

2. Invitation to Apply: Upon review of the SDP Partnership application, the SDP team will extend an invitation for the nominated candidate to apply, where they will explain their readiness for the program and goals for completing the project. Candidates will be screened for fit based on their experience, current role and exposure to data and leadership, and project proposal in conjunction with their supervisor/organization.

3. Phone Screens: The SDP team will conduct a phone screen with the candidate to discuss their analytic experience and learn more about their background. The SDP team will also conduct a phone screen with the candidate and their supervisor together, to discuss the proposed project and partnership goals in depth.

4. Agreement: If the organization and project are accepted, the organization and Harvard will execute an agreement and SDP will accept the nominated candidate and their organization to the Fellowship.


Start Your Fellowship Application

1. Application: SDP conducts a nationwide search for excellent researchers and analysts with a passion for education and applied experience. Fellows will apply through an online application process. To be eligible, candidates must have:

  • a strong background in applied quantitative analysis
  • an advanced degree (Master’s level or higher) by summer 2022
  • at least four years of relevant work experience by summer 2022*
  • a demonstrated passion for education reform
  • a track record of collaboration, humility, and ability to guide change
  • an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit    
  • flexibility, adaptability, and persistence
  • ability to communicate complex information to various audiences
  • We regret that SDP does not provide Visa sponsorship
  • *In some cases where a candidate will have a completed PhD, the work experience requirement can be reconsidered


2. Memo: Candidates whose applications demonstrate promise prepare a memo in response to a challenging analytic problem for review by Harvard researchers.

3. Phone Case: Candidates whose memos demonstrate promise participate in a phone interview, which includes a discussion of their case memo, with a Harvard researcher and SDP team member.

4. Selection Day: Successful candidates are invited to present new case findings and respond to a live challenge in a room with Harvard researchers.

5. Agency Interview: Admitted fellows are matched to SDP partners for interviews based on skillset and interest. Once hired by an SDP partner, applicants become a full-time employee of their placement and join their SDP Fellowship cohort for the two-year program. SDP partner organizations and their locations change year by year. Many fellows remain at their placement organizations after completing the fellowship.


Start Your Fellowship Application