The Strategic Data Project (SDP) is an initiative of the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University. The SDP Fellowship program helps school system leaders use data and evidence in strategic decision-making to improve public education. By placing fellows in school systems and education organizations across the United States, SDP provides a unique entry point for passionate quantitative researchers and data strategists who want to make a difference.  

SDP Fellows are placed in full-time roles at host agencies including school districts, charter management organizations, state education departments, institutions of higher education, postsecondary systems, foundations, and education nonprofits. As a fellow, you and your host agency will develop clear priorities and plans for using data and build organizational willingness to use data for decision-making. Over the course of two years, fellows participate in a series of tailored workshops, both virtual and in person, to develop their measurement, leadership, communication and education policy skills. Training is delivered by Harvard-affiliated researchers and practitioners and fellows are supported by faculty advisors, Fellowship alumni mentors, and their colleagues across the SDP network. 

Fellows are paid an annual salary of $75k-90k plus appropriate benefits by their placement agency. The Fellowship lasts two years (fall 2022-summer 2024) with the possibility for longer-term employment. 

In the past, fellows have tackled strategic data projects in one of the following focus areas: 

  • program evaluation 
  • data visualization 
  • early warning indicator systems 
  • data management governance 
  • survey design and analysis 
  • data dashboards 
  • student pathways and postsecondary success 
  • teacher quality   

Join a powerful, growing community of forward-thinking data advocates and leaders across more than 37 states and 160+ education organizations.  READ MORE TO BECOME AN SDP FELLOW (2022-2024) AT:

The SDP Fellowship networks include PK12 and Higher Education partnerships. SDP partner organizations may join the network by hiring an SDP Fellow or nominating an existing staff member as an SDP Fellow. Both types of fellows participate in the same training and receive the same support to execute on their key strategic data projects. 


SDP seeks candidates who possess: 

  • a strong background in applied quantitative analysis, 
  • an advanced degree (Master’s level or higher), 
  • at least four years of relevant work experience, 
  • a demonstrated passion for education reform 
  • a track record of collaboration, humility, and ability to guide change 
  • an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit     
  • flexibility, adaptability, and persistence 
  • ability to communicate complex information to various audiences   

SDP seeks candidates who possess: a strong background in applied quantitative analysis; an advanced degree (Master’s level or higher); at least four years of relevant work experience; a demonstrated passion for education reform; a track record of collaboration, humility, and ability to guide change; an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit; flexibility, adaptability, and persistence; and ability to communicate complex information to various audiences.

Currently, placement opportunities exist in California, New Jersey, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, and Illinois. Remote opportunities are also available, and this list is subject to change. SDP is also recruiting for data science-specific roles in Texas and New Mexico, as well as a handful of other states, and encourages candidates with data science skills to apply for this round.

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