The Population Reference Bureau (PRB) is accepting applications for its 2016-2017
U.S. Policy Communication Training Program. The program is funded by the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services—National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
(NICHD). It is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents pursuing
doctoral programs at reputable U.S. academic institutions that are affiliated
with a population center (www.popcenter.org); applicants should be in their 3rd to
5th year of studies. Priority will be given to applicants affiliated with a current NICHD
Applicants may be in any field of study, but their research focus must be related
to demography, health and productivity at the population level, or social and
behavioral research on reproductive health. Demographic topics include population
dynamics, distribution, growth, and decline; migration; fertility, nuptiality, and
family demography; mortality and morbidity; or the causes and consequences
of demographic change. Reproductive health studies of interest are limited to
behavioral and social science research. Population health areas include human
health, productivity, and development at the population level. The populations of
concern may be U.S. or non-U.S. populations.
The goals of the U.S. Policy Communication Training Program are:
■ To understand the process by which research informs the policy environment.
■ To learn various ways to communicate findings to U.S. policy audiences.
■ To improve participants’ ability to communicate in written and verbal formats.
The U.S. Policy Communication Training Program builds on PRB’s 40-year legacy
of training researchers to bridge the gap between research findings and the policy
development process. While research often has profound policy implications, it
must be communicated effectively to a variety of nontechnical audiences in order
to have an impact. The U.S. Policy Communication Training Program prepares
researchers to influence policy making through effective communication. To that
end, the core training sessions cover:
■ The research-to-policy gap.
■ The U.S. policy process.
■Communication strategies to link research to policy.
■Writing for policy and nontechnical audiences.
■ Effective content for and delivery of presentations.
The program has two components.
Washington Workshop: Participants will attend a week-long workshop at PRB
in Washington, D.C., scheduled for June 19–June 28, 2016. This workshop
focuses on the role of research in the U.S. policy process, and on techniques for
effective communication of research findings to U.S. decisionmakers, media, and
During the workshop, participants interact with PRB staff and outside experts active
in policy research and communications. The workshop begins with discussions
and exercises aimed at understanding the gap between research and policy,
why it exists, and how it can be overcome. The bulk of the training consists of interactive workshops and exercises where participants learn the skills necessary to communicate research to policy audiences. During the workshop, participants are asked to work with their own research results to identify the policy relevance of their findings. Participants learn how to draw implications from those findings
and how to communicate them effectively to U.S. policy audiences. At the end of the workshop, participants will give a brief policy presentation integrating lessons learned throughout the week.
The organizers will pay participant expenses including: travel to and from Washington, D.C.; hotel; food; and related expenses during the week-long, in-person training period.
Practicum: During the 2016-2017 academic year, participants will apply the
lessons learned at the Washington workshop to prepare two policy communication
materials (policy briefs, blogs, or op-eds) based on their dissertations or related
research topics. During the year, participants will receive feedback from PRB staff
on their work. Upon completion of the two policy communication assignments,
participants become eligible to apply for a travel stipend to present at a policyoriented
meeting or conference.
Who Should Apply
All participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents (green card holders)
currently enrolled in doctoral programs at reputable U.S. academic institutions,
between their 3rd and 5th year of studies at the time of application, and affiliated
with a population center (www.popcenter.org). PRB gives priority to applicants
whose research is focused on the topic areas noted above, who are in an early
stage of their research career, and who are current or previous trainees of
NICHD-supported population centers in the United States.
A list of current NICHD-supported population centers is included at the end
of this announcement.
The deadline for applying is 11:59 PM EST on Feb. 28, 2016. The training
program awards will be announced in April 2016.
Applicants must submit the following to PRB:
■ A completed application form.
■ A recent resume with a full list of educational and other professional activities.
■ Two letters of reference sent directly from the person writing the reference.
To apply, visit https://www.openconf.org/USPolicyTraining/ and submit all
required information and documents. Letters of reference must be e-mailed directly
to USPolicyTraining@prb.org. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
If you have questions or need assistance completing the application, please contact
Elizabeth Gay at USPolicyTraining@prb.org.