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.

The 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).

Summer 2021 project

Over the past decade King County has experienced dramatic changes in the size, the geographic distribution and the demographic make up of its population. Economic growth and migration influxes have led to rapid population growth and increases in property values and rental rates. For many, this has led to financial precarity as rents and mortgages make up a larger portion of income. For some, this has led to housing insecurity or homelessness. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has also shocked our social, health, economic and government infrastructures, further exacerbating these trends. The trends and shocks to our region’s communities have proven challenging for policy makers to understand and anticipate so as to meet the needs of everyone across the diverse array of communities found in King County.

The summer 2021 Population Health Project team will work closely with the King County demographer and Public Health – Seattle & King County’s Assessment, Policy Development and Evaluation Unit to estimate trends in household size and household characteristics across the county. Building on the work supported by the Population Health Initiative last summer, the team will explore the trending associations between household size, population and resources throughout King County across neighborhoods, cities and communities over time, from the past to the present.

Understanding indicator trends across time and space, and how those associated trends vary across age, race and space can provide useful insights for policymakers and future resource allocations. The team’s work will include researching the American Community Survey data and developing appropriate sources and an application plan for estimating household size. The team will also develop data sources that will add spatial layers to an existing mapping product to describe important events, facilities and infrastructure that may have influenced housing availability, household size and household precarity. These data layers, combined with housing trends, will be used by the team to explore the role of ‘shocks’ to King County’s housing distributions. Understanding how geographic distribution of population, household size and resources changed throughout previous shocks to our system will provide county policy makers with some insight into how current and future shocks may affect our county.

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 are currently expected to work remotely 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 11:59 p.m. Thursday, April 22, 2021
  • Interviews will be scheduled for the end of the week of April 26, 2021
  • Candidates will be notified about fellowship offers by early May, 2021
  • Fellowships are for a 10-week period over the summer, starting June 21, 2021 and ending August 27, 2021

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.

Past Fellows

View the previous cohorts, projects and project results for past summers.

Summer 2019
Summer 2020
Summer 2021