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


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.

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

How we match Data Fellows



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 respond to a live challenge in a room with 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.

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