SDP Fellowship

A two-year program that strengthens the capacity of education agencies to use data for improvement. We find and train data strategists to advance critical analytic initiatives, uncover valuable insights, and build a strong data culture in partner organizations.

Program Components

Talent Pipeline

Data fellows are recruited and screened by Harvard-affiliated researchers for partners, or data leaders enroll one or more of their leading employees as agency fellows to receive SDP tools and training to support the organization’s needs.

Relevant Training

Over the course of multiple workshops, SDP Fellows train in advanced research methods, leadership, education policy and effective communication. SDP Fellows bring lessons learned back to their organization.

Network Supports

Fellows and supervisors gain a network of professional colleagues who support one another in making evidence-based change in education. Program alumni and faculty lead and mentor new fellows throughout the experience.

Lasting Impact 

SDP Fellows take on a mission-critical project defined by their agency to vastly improve the culture of data use. Fellows and supervisors collaborate with first-class experts and experienced SDP alumni to move the needle for students. 

Finding and Cultivating Data Leaders

Data Fellowship

Data fellows are recruited by SDP via a nationwide search and matched to an SDP partner organization. They bring impressive credentials in statistics, data management, and research methods.  Data Fellows are placed in organizations that will benefit the most.

Learn more about the work of Data Fellow Shanna Ricketts

Agency Fellowship

Agency fellows are current employees who have been identified as analytic leaders in their organization. They are the rising stars of their organization who, with additional training and support from the SDP network, will carry out an invaluable project.

Learn about the work of Agency Fellow Michael LaMont

How we match Data Fellows

 

Application

SDP conducts a nationwide search for strong researchers and analysts with a passion for education and applied experience.

 

 

Phone Case

Candidates who demonstrate promise prepare a memo in response to a challenging analytic problem for a phone case interview.

 

Selection Day

Successful candidates are invited to present new case findings and a respond to a live challenge to a room of Harvard researchers.

 

Agency Interview

Admitted fellows interview with multiple SDP partners according to matched interests and skillsets. Once hired, applicants join the ranks of SDP fellows.

Rigorous and Relevant Curriculum

Fellows and supervisors participate in multiple, hands-on workshops and events to assess their organization's data use, develop analytic plans, and share key insights about evidence-driven change. Fellows also partake in remote learning between workshops to develop technical skills and deepen their understanding of key education policy topics. 

Year 1

  • Data Governance and Management
  • Education Policy Leadership
  • Statistical Programming
  • Descriptive Analytics
  • Data Visualization and Communication
  • Change Management

Year 2

  • Capstone Project Development
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Experimental and Quasi-experimental Design
  • Calculating Cost Effectiveness
  • Dashboarding and Advanced Visualization
  • Sustaining Change

A Network of Changemakers

 
  • "The highlight of my fellowship experience was being able to sit at the leadership table 
    and influence the decisions around the use of data."

    - SDP Fellow, 2015-2017

  • "The network was a really important part of the data fellowship for me; my colleagues were very good at data analysis but they also shared a commitment to improving education for all students."

    - SDP Fellow, 2013-2015