Becoming an SDP Fellow

The SDP Data Fellowship is a two-year program that develops PK12 and Higher Education data leaders to strengthen the capacity of the field to use data for improvement.

We find and train data fellows to advance strategic initiatives, uncover valuable insights, and build a strong data culture in partner organizations.

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.

Program Components



Over the course of multiple workshops and online learning modules, SDP Fellows train in advanced research methods, leadership, education policy, and effective communication. SDP Fellows bring lessons learned back to their organizations to build capacity and inform their work.


Fellows and their supervisors gain a network of professional colleagues who support one another in making evidence-based change in education. Program alumni and faculty mentor new fellows throughout the experience. Fellows are placed in collaborative working groups to tackle similar challenges and produce insights together and connect regularly with their cohort mates, SDP alumni, and others across SDP’s education researcher and practitioner network.

Lasting Impact

SDP Fellows take on priority data projects defined by their organization and honed in partnership with SDP to dramatically improve student outcomes. Fellows collaborate with world-class experts and experienced SDP alumni to move the needle for students. Learn more about our impact.

Rigorous and Relevant Curriculum

Fellows and their supervisors participate in multiple, hands-on workshops and online learning modules and events to assess their organization's data use, develop analytic plans, and share key insights about evidence-driven change. Key workshops include: 

  • Foundations of Data Strategy

  • Strategic Analytic Planning

  • Data Work is People Work

  • Embedding and Sustaining Change


Fellows also partake in remote learning between workshops and over the summer after their first year in the Fellowship to develop technical skills and deepen their understanding of key education policy topics.

Download the Fellowship flyer