PRB Policy Communication Fellows Program(2017-2018)

Population Reference Bureau (PRB) is now accepting applications for its 2017-2018 Policy Communication Fellows Program. The program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). It is open to individuals from developing countries currently enrolled in academic institutions pursuing doctoral programs and who are between their 3rd and 5th year of studies. Developing-country applicants may be in any field of study but their research focus must be related to one or more of the following:

  • Family planning and/or reproductive health (FP/RH).
  • Contraceptive use/behavior.
  • Maternal and child health (MCH), specifically family planning/MCH integration.
  • Population growth.
  • Adolescent reproductive health.
  • Poverty, health equity, and connections with reproductive health.
  • Gender issues, specifically gender-based violence (GBV), early marriage, and male engagement in family planning.
  • Population, health, and environment interrelations.

The goals of the Policy Fellows program are:

  • To understand the process by which research informs the policy environment.
  • To learn how to communicate research to policy audiences in a way that encourages action.
  • To improve participants’ communication skills using a variety of format and platforms.



The Policy Communication Fellows Program seeks to train the next generation of leaders shaping policy in their countries. Recognizing the wealth of expertise and experience that exists in the Global South, the program has undergone a redesign process to bring participants closer to the communities they seek to impact in the future. This new era of the program will host the fellowship in a sub-Saharan African country to allow for greater South-South collaboration and knowledge exchange. Fellows will connect with local research and advocacy experts and learn, firsthand, relevant advocacy priorities and policy landscapes. The Policy Fellows program is committed to providing an enriching, cutting-edge experience for participants that reflects the diverse and constantly evolving landscape of policy and communications.

The year-long fellowship program engages participants through a blended learning approach. Fellows are required to attend a weeklong training workshop, complete instructional curricula online, and submit assignments throughout the fellowship.

The program has three components:

Online Coursework: Throughout the yearlong fellowship, participants will be required to attend short online lectures and complete associated assignments to supplement the in-person training. Fellows are expected to join one orientation webinar prior to the summer institute, as well as attend post-institute online lectures throughout the year.

Summer Institute: Participants will attend a weeklong policy and communication workshop focused on the role of research in the policy process and on techniques for effective communication of research findings to decisionmakers. At the summer institute the participants will interact with PRB staff and local experts active in policy research and communication. During the training, participants are asked to work with their own research data to identify the policy relevance of their findings; Fellows will learn how to draw implications of those findings and how to communicate them effectively to policy audiences through a variety of platforms. The date and location of the summer institute will be announced in March, 2017.

Policy Communication Assignments: During the 2017-2018 academic year, Fellows will apply the skills learned at the workshop to prepare written assignments and an oral presentation for policy audiences, based on their dissertation research. Fellows will also maintain an online presence in relevant communities of practice through blog posts, social media engagement, and online coalition building. Throughout the assignments, Fellows will receive individual feedback from policy communication experts on their work. The fellowship year will culminate with a participant-lead policy and advocacy webinar series highlighting research-to-action gaps and opportunities relevant to the Fellows’ research.


Travel, lodging, and per diem expenses for each Fellow to attend the workshop.


All participants must be citizens of developing countries that are supported by USAID population and health funding. You can view the list of eligible countries online.

In addition, participants must be currently enrolled in doctoral programs at reputable academic institutions, and between their 3rd and 5th year of studies. PRB gives priority to applicants whose dissertation research is focused on the topic areas noted above and who are in an early stage of their career. This program takes place in English, and applicants must demonstrate that they can effectively communicate their research in English through their application materials.


The deadline for applying is Feb. 12, 2017. The Fellowship awards will be announced in March 2017.

Applicants must submit the following to PRB:

  • A cover letter stating why you wish to participate in this program.
  • An application form.
  • An updated resume with a full list of educational and other professional activities.
  • A two- or three-page summary of the applicant’s dissertation research.
  • Two letters of reference sent directly from the person writing the reference (via e-mail).


Completed applications, letters of reference, or questions about the program should be sent via e-mail to:

Frequently Asked Questions

PRB Policy Communication Fellows Program(2017-2018)


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