Post-doctoral Fellow, GIRL Center

TITLE: Post-doctoral Fellow, GIRL Center

REPORTING TO: Associate I, GIRL Center

LOCATION: Nairobi, Kenya, New York, NY, or Washington D.C.


ASSIGNMENT LENGTH: 1 year, renewable for one additional year by mutual consent and funding availability

POSITION SUMMARY: The Population Council is seeking a Post-doctoral Fellow focused on adolescent research related to digital access, use, agency, literacy, and harms. The Council is embarking on a bold new Strategic Plan and global research agenda that aims to improve health and development outcomes by asking and answering strategic research questions to tackle pressing social, economic, health, and climate issues worldwide. The Council’s global and interdisciplinary research brings expertise in demography, epidemiology, biomedical research and product development, economics, public health, sociology, and science communications working across sexual, reproductive health, rights and choice, adolescent health and wellbeing, gender equality, and climate and environmental justice. Colleagues across the Council conduct rigorous science, generate high quality evidence and innovative data products, and communicate evidence strategically to influence social, economic and health policies and investments at national and global levels.

The Population Council’s Girl Innovation, Research, and Learning (GIRL) Center is a cross-cutting research hub that brings together today’s leading scholars in adolescence to generate, synthesize, and translate evidence effectively for decision-making. The Center envisions a gender-equitable world where girls and boys make a healthy and safe transition into adulthood and reach their full potential. We contribute to this vision by: 1) generating evidence on adolescence, 2) convening key stakeholders and communicating evidence to drive evidence-based policy and practice and 3) growing current and future talent and networks of adolescent researchers and scholars. In its first five years, the Center made critical contributions to the field, from conducting the most extensive mapping of gender and education players, leading innovative and critical research on child marriage, and studying causal pathways between education and health to launching a series of tools including the Evidence for Gender and Education Resource, the Adolescent Data Hub, and the Adolescent Atlas for Action. The Center has also convened – in person and online – researchers, donors, advocacy groups and policy makers to examine the evidence and think critically about what girls need as well as what works and what doesn’t to improve their lives. The Center recently launched a new Roadmap to 2030 which will guide its work for the remainder of the decade.

The Post-doctoral Fellow will have the opportunity to learn about and operationalize the Center’s research agenda. They will also learn about the greater needs, challenges, and players within the adolescent space. They will conduct innovative, rigorous, and relevant research on digital access, use, agency, literacy, and harms among adolescent populations. The Fellow will work under the leadership of the Director of the GIRL Center and the supervision of a GIRL Center researcher, in collaboration with other researchers to support the Council’s research agenda on adolescents. The fellow will be closely mentored by senior GIRL Center staff to ensure they build pertinent research skills and contribute effectively to the Center’s research agenda. The Fellow will also be responsible for disseminating research findings, project development and management, and contributing to or leading fundraising efforts.

This fellowship is limited to citizens of an African country.


Contribute to the Center’s innovative and policy/program-relevant research agenda:

1. Work with the Center’s leadership to define, lead, conduct, and manage cross-country research on the topic of digital access, use, agency, literacy, and harms

2. Assess the current research gaps and conduct research to address these issues through various techniques (e.g., systematic reviews/meta-analysis and secondary analyses of existing data sets, including from experimental studies).

3. Collaborate with collaborating researchers to develop and execute research that aligns with Council priorities.

Contribute to the development of the Center and the Council’s growing research program:

4. Develop and manage technical partnerships with internal and external stakeholders to mobilize resources for the Center.

5. Produce academic and non-academic publications that effectively communicate the Center’s research to internal and external audiences.

6. Support or lead the fundraising for research grants, including identifying and liaising with donors and contributing to proposal development.

7. Represent the Center and the Council at external meetings.

8. Manage and organize key events under the auspices of the Center.

9. Perform related duties as assigned by the Center’s leadership.


We understand that there are many paths to acquiring expertise and experience and strong candidates may not have every qualification listed here. We encourage applications from individuals with diverse and/or nontraditional backgrounds who bring passion, skills, and experience in many or most of these areas.


1. PhD in economics, demography, public health, sociology, or other social sciences/relevant disciplines

2. 3-5 years pre-doctoral work experience in a research organization

3. Track record as lead writer and/or co-author on scientific publications and grant applications


4. Fluency in quantitative data management and analysis (using STATA or other data analysis software) and demonstrated analytic capability using large, complex, and multiple datasets, including comparative analyses

5. Strong knowledge and application of quantitative research design and methodology and on the topic of digital access, use, agency, literacy, and/or harms.

6. Experience in supporting or writing research grants and proposals (track record of winning research grants is desirable)

7. Experience conducting own research studies and managing project from start to completion

8. Experience in interacting with external partners (e.g., policy makers, researchers, advocates, donors, practitioners) to use data and evidence to effect change

9. Experience working with under-resourced populations, especially marginalized women and girls


10. Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English, including ability to effectively communicate with internal and external stakeholders (strong record of scientific writing/publications is desirable)

11. Excellent time management and organizational skills

12. Highly developed skills to influence and persuade; ability to quickly and effectively build relationships with team members and stakeholders

13. Excellent computer proficiency (e.g., MS Office – Word, Excel and Outlook, other software)

14. Must be able to work under pressure and meet deadlines while maintaining a positive attitude and providing exemplary assistance to internal and external stakeholders

15. Ability to work independently and to carry out assignments within given parameters

16. Strong attention to detail, with a proven ability to handle multiple responsibilities at one time, successfully prioritize tasks and meet deadlines


17. Flexible, self-motivating with a team player attitude

18. A strong interest in building capacity of research staff

19. Result-oriented and committed to excellence

20. Fluency in English (verbal and written). French language skills a plus

Fellowships include a monthly stipend to cover cost of living expenses, J-1 visa sponsorship to work in the U.S., (if applicable), individual health insurance coverage, and relocation assistance (if required). Fellows will be provided with office space and use of a computer.

This fellowship is limited to citizens of an African country.

The Population Council is an international, nonprofit, nongovernmental institution that seeks to improve the well-being and reproductive health of current and future generations around the world and to help achieve a humane, equitable, and sustainable balance between people and resources. The Council conducts biomedical, social science, and public health research and helps build research capacities in developing countries. Established in 1952, the Council is governed by an international board of trustees. Its New York headquarters supports a global network of country offices. We are seeking an individual to fill the position described. If you know of a qualified candidate or are interested in this position, please apply at:

The Population Council provides equal opportunity; it does not discriminate against any person with regard to age, color, creed, national origin, disability, political belief, veteran status, religion, marital status, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Decisions on employment are based on an individual’s qualifications as related to the position for which they are being considered. The Council especially encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups including but not limited to Black people and people of African descent, Indigenous people, people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, including people who identify as transgender, non-binary, or gender expansive, people with disabilities, first-generation college graduates, and those from communities with the most to gain from expanded access to sexual and reproductive health services and information. The Population Council is international in the composition of its board of trustees and its staff, as well as in the nature and deployment of its activities.

How to apply

Please include 1. a cover letter with a brief description of your academic and professional qualifications, your research interests and career goals, and 2. a copy of your CV.

If you know of a qualified candidate or are interested in this position, please apply at:

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