2020/2021 PRB Policy Communication Fellows Program for emerging Leaders (Fully Funded)

Application Deadline: April 15th 2020

Population Reference Bureau (PRB) and the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) are now accepting applications for their 2020-2021 Policy Communication Fellows Program. The program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). It is open to individuals from eligible developing countries currently enrolled in academic institutions pursuing doctoral programs and who are between their 3rd and 5th year of studies. 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;
  • Learn how to communicate research to policy audiences in a way that encourages action; and
  • Improve participants’ communication skills using a variety of formats and platforms.

The Policy Communication Fellows Program seeks to train the next generation of leaders shaping policy in their countries. The fellowship is hosted in partnership with AFIDEP research and advocacy experts to encourage South-South collaboration and knowledge exchange. Fellows will learn, firsthand, local advocacy priorities and policy landscapes and how to tailor their research messages to relevant policy audiences. Fellows are mentored throughout the program on different strategies to effectively communicate their findings to non-technical audiences. The 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 week-long training workshop, complete instructional curricula online, and submit assignments throughout the fellowship.

The program has three components:
Online Coursework: Throughout the year-long 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 and AFIDEP 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.

Policy Communication Assignments: During the 2020-2021 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. Throughout the assignments, Fellows will receive individual feedback from policy communication experts on their work.


  • PRB and AFIDEP will cover 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 the 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.
  • The programme language of instruction is English, and applicants must demonstrate that they can effectively communicate their research in English through their application materials.

The deadline for applying is 15th April 2020. The Fellowship awards will be announced in May 2020.

Applicants must submit the following to PRB and AFIDEP:

  • A cover letter stating why you wish to participate in this program
  • An application form. (download)
  • 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)

Application forms, program information, and answers to common Frequently Asked Questions about the program can be found on AFIDEP and PRB’s website.

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

These are the countries that are supported by USAID Population funding as of December 2018, and therefore are the only countries from which participants are eligible for the Policy Communication Fellows Program.

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, India, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, and Zambia.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the 2020/2021 PRB Policy Communication Fellows Program


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