For 70 years, Population Council fellowship programs have advanced the careers of thousands of public health, social science, and biomedical researchers around the world. 

Our fellows have gone on to hold influential positions in government and nongovernmental organizations, research institutions, and universities. Their work has shaped health and development policies, programs, and products. Our renowned former fellows include: 

  • Dr. Mercedes B. Concepción, who is widely recognized as the first Filipina demographer and winner of the 2005 United Nations Population Award. 
  • Dr. Carmen A. Miró, Founding Director of the Center for Latin American Studies of Demography and winner of the 1984 United Nations Population Award. 
  • Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, who was the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund. 

Learn more about our former fellows. 

Through our 2023-2030 Strategic Plan, we are building on this legacy to grow the next generation of leaders in our field. Current fellowships include: 

The Center for Biomedical Research Fellowships 

The Population Council’s first biomedical fellowship was granted in the 1950s. Over the years, our Center for Biomedical Research (CBR) has continued to provide a unique training environment for post-doctoral and other fellows to engage in interdisciplinary investigations related to the development of sexual and reproductive health drugs and delivery systems. CBR fellows gain experience and critical mentorship in formulation development and pre-clinical, translational, clinical, and social and behavioral science research all under one roof, with opportunities for publication and project management experience. Fellows work collaboratively with a team of scientists, project managers, and regulatory professionals at CBR, as well as Population Council researchers around the world. The Center for Biomedical Research offers several recurring fellowships, including the Ruth B. Merkatz Clinical and Biomedical Fellowships, the Jeiven Biomedical Fellowship, the Family Planning Clinical Fellowship, and the Tietze Fellowship. 

The Ruth B. Merkatz Fellowship allows postdoctoral researchers to gain in-depth experience and mentorship in formulation science, pre-clinical, translational, clinical, or social and behavioral science research. The position is an excellent opportunity for those seeking laboratory or clinical experience at our Center for Biomedical Research, with opportunities to develop hypotheses, generate data, and publish in peer-reviewed journals. Ruth Merkatz, former Director of Clinical Development at the Population Council, seed-funded the fellowship in 2020.   

The Jeiven Fellowship supports graduate students and scientists from Africa and other developing regions with the opportunity to work alongside leading scientists in the field. Following the three-month fellowship, fellows return to their home institution and help to establish collaborative projects between CBR and their home institution. The primary focus areas for this fellowship program are the development of new drug delivery systems and the identification of new drugs with contraceptive or anti-infective activity. Martin Jeiven, a long-time collaborator and former fellow at the Center for Biomedical Research, seed-funded the fellowship in 2019. Learn more. 

The Clinical Family Planning Fellowship supports medical students currently enrolled in a residency or fellowship program with a four-to-eight-week elective rotation opportunity to learn about contraceptive development research, clinical trial protocol and design, regulatory requirements, ethical considerations, and navigating Institutional Review Board processes. This fellowship provides the opportunity to gain exposure, learn, and engage in both domestic and international clinical settings.  

The Tietze Fellowship supports clinical research fellows with a one-year opportunity to engage in contraceptive development research and clinical trial design. This fellowship provides the opportunity to learn more about the contraceptive development process and builds upon their clinical knowledge and experience to enhance the development of patient and end-user products and materials. The fellowship also allows participants to learn regulatory requirements, ethical considerations, and navigate Institutional Review Board processes. The fellowship was created in honor of Christopher Tietze, renowned demographer and former Senior Consultant at the Population Council. 

The International Fellowship Program 

The International Fellowship Program seeks to cultivate the next generation of social and behavioral science research talent and leadership within the Council’s offices and affiliated organizations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Fellows are placed in selected country offices, affiliate offices, and/or through extended field placements where they learn and contribute to research, programmatic, and/or policy-related efforts while developing the technical and professional skills needed to make meaningful contributions to our mission impact. 

Gender and Education Initiative Post-doctoral Fellowship 

Inaugurated in 2023, Gender and Education post-doctoral fellows conduct innovative, rigorous, and relevant research to fill gaps in data and evidence, and to inform decisionmakers on what works to improve education and gender equality. Fellows are mentored by senior researchers leading the Council’s education work in collaboration with other researchers to support the Council’s growing research agenda on education. Fellows also gain experience disseminating research findings, developing and managing projects, and contributing to fundraising efforts.  

For further information on the Population Council’s fellowships, please contact