Population Health

Applied Research Fellowship

Image of students working on a white boardThe Population Health Applied Research Fellowship Program supports multidisciplinary teams of students to work on real-world population health challenges. Projects are sourced from external clients who play an important role in structuring project deliverables.

Each Population Health Applied Research Fellowship team will consist of three graduate students and two undergraduates, with supervision by a faculty expert. The project team receives training in research skills and data collection, analysis and presentation to deliver a work product that meets the external client’s needs.

This program is run in partnership with the University of Washington Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology (CSDE). Meet the 2019 cohort of fellows and learn about the results of their summer project.

Summer 2019 project

The summer 2019 project team will work with the Community Health Services Division (CHSD) of Public Health – Seattle & King County to analyze the disparities in birth outcomes between racial groups in King County, accounting for socio-economic and population trends and investigating possible causes.

Since 1990, Washington State has supplemented standard prenatal care for low-income parents by providing additional Maternity Support Services and Infant Case Management through a program known as First Steps. In King County, CHSD is the largest provider of First Steps services. Despite successes in improving care for low-income pregnant women, First Steps has not been able to comprehensively achieve race equitable birth outcomes in King County, with mortality rates for black infants remaining higher than those of white infants.

Fellows will work on analyzing birth outcomes (e.g., low birthweight, preterm birth) by race over time in King County to understand how First Steps participation might further impact birth outcomes. Fellows will also undertake a cost-benefit analysis of the impact of improving birth outcomes and reducing disparities. This work will help inform CHSD’s plans for redesigning and refining its delivery of prevention-based services for pregnant and parenting families.

Student eligibility

Graduate students at the master’s and doctoral levels and professional students from all UW schools and colleges are eligible to apply. Applicants must be enrolled in a degree-granting program at any UW campus (Seattle, Tacoma and Bothell) and not graduating in June.

All undergraduate students with junior- or senior-level status who are enrolled in a UW degree-granting program at any UW campus and will not be graduating in June are eligible to apply.

Students will be expected to work at a location on the UW’s Seattle campus for the duration of the fellowship


Graduate students will be paid an hourly Graduate Research Student Assistant summer rate for 20 hours/week over a period of 10 weeks. The undergraduate student will be paid an hourly rate of $20 for 19.5 hours/week for 10 weeks.


  • Applications are due by Wednesday, April 3, 2019
  • Applicants will be notified about fellowship interviews by Friday, April 12, 2019
  • Interviews will be scheduled for the week of April 15 and April 22, 2019
  • Candidates will be notified about fellowship offers by April 26, 2019
  • Fellowships are for a 10-week period over the summer, starting June 24, 2019 and ending August 30, 2019

Application instructions

All applicants must submit the following documents:

  • Recent CV or resume
  • Unofficial transcript
  • One- to two-page cover letter outlining why you are interested in the fellowship program and how your skills will enable you to contribute to the success of the project
  • One statement of support from a faculty member or other mentor who can provide examples of your research abilities, independent and professional approach to learning, and your collaborative and communicative skills.

Please combine the CV/resume, transcript, and cover letter into a single .pdf file and submit this file via email to pophlth@uw.edu. The subject line of the email should be, “Applied Research Fellowship.

Your statement of support must be emailed to pophlth@uw.edu directly by the person you are requesting this statement from. The subject line of the email should be, “Applied Research Fellowship” and reference your name.

Review criteria

Applications will be reviewed by representatives of the Population Health Initiative and the Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology. Candidates will be notified whether they have been selected to interview for the fellowship according to the published timeline.

Interviews with select candidates will be scheduled based on the dates listed in the timeline. Interviews will be for approximately 30 minutes, and the panel will consist of faculty and staff from the Population Health Initiative, the Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology and other departments or external partners as relevant.

Applicants will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated technical skills in research methods, data entry, database management, data collection and/or analysis
  • Some knowledge about, or experience working on, issues of social inequality, race, health or program evaluations
  • Academic performance to date
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to work well within in a team environment


Please contact pophlth@uw.edu with questions regarding this fellowship program.