Data & Policy Fellow - Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunities

  • United States of America
Start Date (Earliest):


The University of Michigan Youth Policy Lab, a joint research center between the Ford School and the Institute for Social Research, helps community and government agencies make better decisions by evaluating and strengthening programs intended to address some of our most pressing social challenges. Using rigorous evaluation design and data analysis, we work closely with 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 Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, the Michigan Justice Fund, and the Public Welfare Foundation, the University of Michigan Youth Policy Lab seeks a qualified candidate to join our team as a Michigan Data & Policy Fellow focused on improving employment outcomes for justice-involved individuals. You will begin in Winter 2024 and be embedded within the MDLEO Office of Prosperity.

Fellows will gain exposure to policymakers and program administrators across the State of Michigan, as well as direct mentorship and support from U-M faculty researchers. You will also participate in professional conferences, national trainings, and networking events, as available and applicable. This position is a two-year, time-limited fellowship. You will jointly report to the MDLEO Deputy Director for Prosperity and the Youth Policy Lab Deputy Director. You will also work closely with YPL faculty co-directors and the YPL Executive Director to coordinate work in MDLEO with other YPL priorities and projects.  

Why Work at Michigan?

In addition to a career filled with purpose and opportunity, The University of Michigan offers a comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and your family and plan for a secure future.

Benefits include:

  • Generous time off
  • A retirement plan that provides two-for-one matching contributions with immediate vesting
  • Many choices for comprehensive health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Long-term disability coverage
  • Flexible spending accounts for healthcare and dependent care expenses
  • Paid parental leave


Project Development:

During the first 3 to 6 months, the fellow will work closely with their supervisors at YPL and MDLEO - as well as other key partners including the Michigan Justice Fund, the Public Welfare Foundation, and more - to refine and focus the specific projects the fellow will pursue

Project Management:

  • Plan and manage all phases of projects undertaken in partnership with the State of Michigan
  • Research best practices, conduct literature and landscape reviews, adhere to timelines, gather and analyze data, coordinate the work of others, and ensure completion of project deliverables

Agency Relations:

Serve as key liaison between MDLEO and other state agencies serving justice-involved individuals; build and maintain relationships with both internal and external partners to achieve strategic project goals

Data Analysis:

  • Help obtain relevant administrative data to support analyses
  • Analyze longitudinal data, create indices and other summary variables, and perform both basic and complex social science statistical analysis

Data Visualization:

  • Interpret and visualize data for non-technical and policymaking audiences.
  • Incorporate the use of data and research into programmatic and policy decision-making within state government

Findings Dissemination:

  • Draft memos, presentations, briefs, and reports
  • Create and maintain web-based resources
  • Produce and distribute reports, present findings and public events

Required Qualifications*

  • Graduate-level degree in public policy, education, public health, social work, political science, economics or a relevant social science discipline, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Associate level: undergraduate-level degree in public policy, education, public health, social work, political science, economics or a relevant social science discipline
  • Familiarity and/or lived experience with criminal legal systems and social service systems, including knowledge of relevant legislation and awareness of state/federal funding sources.
  • Applicants directly or indirectly impacted by the criminal legal system are encouraged to apply.
  • Familiarity with local/state/federal policymaking processes, funding mechanisms, and social program delivery.
  • Experience writing for a public and/or public-sector audience and synthesizing academic research and quantitative data into coherent and policy-relevant messages.
  • Knowledge of social science research methods and concepts; understanding of program evaluation concepts and practices.
  • Strong statistical analysis skills; experience translating statistical analyses for non-technical audiences.

How to Apply

How to Apply

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.

This is a two-year term-limited appointment.The Ford School is committed to providing a positive and inclusive work environment. This includes providing employees with flexible work opportunities. This position follows a hybrid schedule. 4 days/week will be largely remote, but the position will require regular travel (1 day/week) to U-M's Ann Arbor campus

Commitment to principles of social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

For more information on the University's commitment to these principles, please visit: Statement

This position may be filled at the associate level, with a salary range of $48,000 to $53,000, depending on the candidate's qualifications and experience

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.