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Job Summary


  • This is a two year term-limited appointment.  
  • This position will be primarily based in Lansing, Michigan, but will also require regular travel to UM’s campus in Ann Arbor.
  • A cover letter and resume are required for consideration for this position.  The cover letter should be included in the same document as your resume and should specifically address your interest in this position and highlight related skills and experience.

The University of Michigan Youth Policy Lab, a research center sponsored by the Ford School and the Institute for Social Research, helps community and government agencies make better decisions by measuring what really works. We’re data experts who believe that government can and must do better for the people of Michigan. We’re also parents and community members who dream of a brighter future for all of our children. At the Youth Policy Lab, we’re working to make that dream a reality by strengthening programs that address some of our most pressing social challenges.

We recognize that the wellbeing of youth is intricately linked to the wellbeing of families and communities, so we engage in work that impacts all age ranges. Using rigorous evaluation design and data analysis, we’re working closely with our partners to build a future where public investments are based on strong evidence, so all Michiganders have a pathway to prosperity. For more information, please visit us at  

As part of a partnership with the State of Michigan, the University of Michigan Youth Policy Lab seeks up to four (4) highly qualified candidates to join our team as Michigan Data & Policy Fellows. The goal of this fellowship program is to provide strategic research and policy support to State of Michigan agency leadership, while allowing Fellows to gain in-depth data and policy skills working in state government. Projects undertaken by the fellows will be determined in partnership with both Lab leadership and state agency leadership, but will all focus on improving usage of data in policy making and program implementation. Fellows will gain direct mentorship and support from U-M faculty and top staff within a state agency. They will also participate in professional conferences, national trainings, and networking events. Currently, we have fellowship opportunities beginning in Fall 2021 in the following areas:

  • Maternal & Infant Health (Michigan Department of Health & Human Services)
  • Employment & Training for Justice-involved Michiganders (Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity)
  • Post-secondary degree and credential attainment (Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity)


This position is a two-year fellowship. The Michigan Data & Policy Fellow will jointly report to the YPL Executive Director and a specific supervisor from the assigned state of Michigan agency. The Fellow will also work closely with YPL faculty co-directors and YPL staff to coordinate work in Lansing with other Lab priorities and projects.

Fellow responsibilities include the following:

  • Project Management.  Plan and manage all phases of research projects undertaken in partnership with the State of Michigan, including timeline, data gathering and analysis, coordinating the work of others, project deliverables.
  • Agency Relations. Serve as key liaison among assigned state department and UM, and build relationships with both internal and external stakeholders to achieve cross-departmental and/or strategic goals.
  • Data Translation & Visualization: Work with state agency leadership, YPL Principal Investigators and other team members to interpret and visualize data for non-technical and policy-making audiences, and work with state agency staff to incorporate the use of data and research in programmatic/policy decision making
  • Dissemination.  Responsibilities include assisting in drafting memos, presentations, briefs, and reports; assisting in creating and maintaining web-based resources; working with graphic designers and printers to produce and distribute reports; presenting findings at public events; organizing and managing public events.
  • Other duties as assigned:  Fellows may also take on special projects at the state’s direction.

Required Qualifications*

  • Graduate-level degree in public policy, education, public health, political science, economics or a relevant social science discipline, or equivalent.
  • Excellent computing skills. Proficiency with Excel, PowerPoint (or other presentation software), and familiarity with at least one statistical computing software program such as Stata or R.
  • Knowledge of all the following areas with at least two years of experience in  them:
    • Project management: managing all phases of a research project (project design, scheduling, personnel and resource management, data collection and analysis, delivery and dissemination); managing client relationships and expectations; managing risk.
    • Writing and communication:  Drafting non-technical briefs and reports for a public and/or public-sector audience; using statistical analyses in persuasive, non-academic writing; synthesizing academic research and quantitative analyses into coherent and policy-relevant messages.
    • Public policy skills: Prior working experience with Michigan public agencies and/or social services agencies specifically with health, human series and/or workforce development programs Or, basic understanding of local/state/federal policymaking processes, funding mechanisms, and social program delivery.
    • Research and evaluation: Knowledge of social science research methods and concepts; understanding of program evaluation concepts and practices, Experience could include coursework in public policy of education, health, social welfare, or criminal justice; coursework in program evaluation.
    • Quantitative reasoning:  Demonstrated understanding of causal inference; strong statistical analysis skills; experience translating statistical analyses for non-technical audiences.
  • Commitment to principles of social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. For more information on the University’s commitment to these principles, please visit:

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.


U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations are now required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all three campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working or learning remotely.  More information on this policy is available on the Campus Blueprint website or the U-M Dearborn and U-M Flint websites.