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 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 two (2) qualified candidates to join our team as Michigan Data & Policy Fellows. Fellows will be placed at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service (MDHHS) to advance strategic policies and programs that strengthen Michigan’s system of maternal, infant, and early childhood home visiting programs. Fellows will jointly report to the YPL Senior Project Manager and a MDHHS supervisor.

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 improving maternal and infant health outcomes in Michigan. Fellows will gain direct mentorship and support from U-M faculty and MDHHS leadership. The Fellow will also participate in professional conferences, national trainings, and networking events. Currently, we have fellowship opportunities beginning in Winter/Spring 2022 in the following areas:

  • Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP) Quality Assessment and Improvement (MDHHS Maternal Infant Health Unit)
  • Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Systems Integration (MDHHS Division of Child & Adolescent Health)


•  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.

•  Be an essential liaison between MDHHS and UM, and build relationships with partners to achieve cross-departmental and strategic goals.

•  Work with MDHHS 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 program administration and policy-making

•  Help draft memos, presentations, briefs, and reports; help create and maintain web-based resources; work with graphic designers and printers to produce and distribute reports; present findings at public events; organize and manage public events.

•  Take on other responsibilities 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 (can perform complex functions), 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: 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 audience; using statistical analyses in non-academic writing; summarizing academic research and quantitative analyses into policy-relevant messages.
  • Public policy skills: Prior working experience with Michigan public agencies or social services agencies specifically with health and human services 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, or social welfare; coursework in program evaluation.
  • Quantitative reasoning: Demonstrated understanding of causal inference; 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:

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

How to Apply

  • 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.

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, including boosters when eligible, are required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working remotely.   More information on this new policy is available on the Campus Blueprint website or the UM-Dearbornand UM-Flint websites.