Doctoral Fellowship

Location: New York, NY or Oakland, CA
Job Code: 7102-24F


As part of its Gueron Minority Scholars Program, MDRC will offer one doctoral fellowship in fall 2017 to a Ph.D. candidate who is pursuing independent, self-directed research on economic and social problems affecting low-income Americans. The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for graduate students to gain exposure to social policy research, understand employment options beyond the academic and public sectors, and get the advice and support of MDRC’s staff in completing their dissertations. The Gueron Minority Scholars program seeks to engage and encourage individuals from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the education and social policy research communities.

Dedicated to learning what works to improve the well-being of low-income families, MDRC has created this special financial assistance program for students enrolled in doctoral programs in economics, psychology, sociology, child development, child welfare, family relations, criminal justice, education, public policy, or related fields.

The fellow could work in either MDRC’s Oakland, CA, or New York City offices. The fellowship is expected to begin in early fall and last for approximately two months, though there is some flexibility in the timing. The recipient will work on his or her doctoral dissertation on topics of mutual interest — and will participate in the intellectual life of MDRC by attending seminars and project meetings and by working with key MDRC research staff. Our project work is conducted in five policy areas: Family Well-Being and Child Development, K-12 Education, Young Adults and Postsecondary Education, Low-Wage Workers and Communities, and Health and Barriers to Employment. The fellow will also be expected to give a presentation of his or her research.

A stipend and office space will be provided to the fellow.


Who: Any student enrolled in a doctoral program in economics, psychology, sociology, child development, child welfare, family relations, criminal justice, education, public policy, or related fields who has had a dissertation proposal or prospectus approved by his or her academic department.

Why: To pursue independent dissertation research on a policy issue related to low-income individuals, families, and communities while sharing in the intellectual life of MDRC.

How Much: The fellowship includes a stipend of up to $5,000.

Deadline: Applications should be submitted by Thursday, August 31, 2017.

To Apply:

Using the on-line application, please submit:

  • A résumé, including work and academic experience.
  • A proposal (up to 2,000 words) that discusses the rationale for the research project you plan to pursue. Include a statement of the research question, the data you will be using, the analytic approach you are taking, its relevance to education or social policy, the steps needed to complete the project, and how you believe a doctoral fellowship at MDRC will aid you in meeting your proposed research goals.

Please submit the following directly to MDRC’s Human Resources Department (contact information below):

  • A copy of your graduate school transcript(s), which must document your status as a registered student.
  • A letter from the academic department or registrar confirming that the applicant’s dissertation proposal or prospectus has been approved by his or her academic department.
  • Two letters of recommendation, including one from a sponsoring faculty member. Peer recommendations are not acceptable.

Genevieve Williams, Human Resources Associate
Human Resources Department
16 East 34th Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Attn: GMS Doctoral Fellowship Program

Only candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted. Candidates are expected to secure their own housing.

MDRC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. MDRC does not discriminate, and all qualified applications will receive consideration without regard to race; color; national origin; religion; creed; sex or gender (including sex stereotyping and gender identity or expression); sexual orientation; citizenship status; pregnancy; disability; age; military or veteran status; marital or partnership status; genetic information, genetic predisposition, or carrier status; prior unemployment status; consumer credit history; status as a victim of domestic violence, sex offenses, or stalking; or any other category protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws. Legal work authorization is required.

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