Press Releases

Press Release
October 13, 2015 
2016 DHS Fellows Program accepting applications until December 1, 2015

2016 DHS Fellows Program for University Faculty from Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, and Zambia

ICF International is now accepting applications for the 2016 round of The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Fellows Program. The DHS Fellows Program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is designed to increase the capacity of countries to conduct further analysis of DHS data. The primary objectives of the program are:

  • To teach Fellows to analyze and conduct research with DHS data;
  • To strengthen skills that Fellows will use to integrate DHS data into their teaching;
  • To increase the ability of Fellows to build the capacity of others to use DHS data at their home universities

Eligibility and Requirements

Applications for 2016 are only being accepted from faculty members at universities in Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, and Zambia. All team members must be based full-time at the home university. Applications must be from teams comprised of three faculty members from the same university who teach in departments of demography, public health, economics, sociology, geography, or other social sciences. Individuals who have already participated in a DHS data analysis workshop conducted by ICF International are not eligible. However, individuals who have only participated in a Service Provision Assessment (SPA) or Geographic Information Systems (GIS) workshop facilitated by ICF International are still eligible to apply.

Teams must include one senior [1] faculty member. All three team members must be available to attend two workshops organized by ICF International (see anticipated timeline below). Each fellow must bring a laptop loaded with Stata and/or SPSS for the duration of each workshop.

The language for the program is English. Each team will be expected to jointly complete a publishable-quality manuscript in English on policy-relevant questions that are primarily related to one or more of the following topic areas: HIV/AIDS, sexual behavior, family planning, fertility, reproductive health, maternal and child health, or gender issues. Papers must primarily use data from DHS, SPA, or AIDS Indicator Surveys. Completed manuscripts that meet the required standards will be published by ICF International in their Working Paper series [2]. Fellows will be encouraged to submit their completed papers to peer-reviewed journals for publication.

In addition, each team will be expected to design a plan for building capacity in the use of DHS data for teaching and research to be implemented at their home universities. Teams are required to report back on the implementation of capacity-building activities prior to completion of the program.

Anticipated Timeline

December 1, 2015

Applications are due

Early January, 2016

Selected candidates are notified

February 29March 11, 2016

First workshop to be held in an African country (TBD) to prepare Fellows to use DHS datasets, refine research questions, and begin data analysis

April 11, 2016

Fellows submit interim drafts of their papers

April 22, 2016

Fellows submit first report on capacity-building activities implemented at home universities

April 25-May 6, 2016

Second workshop to be held in an African country (TBD) for Fellows to finalize their papers

June 6, 2016

Fellows submit final papers and respond to reviews and edits throughout the publication process

August 1, 2016

Fellows submit second report on capacitybuilding activities implemented at home universities


The DHS Fellows Program for 2016 will select four to five teams based primarily on the merits of their research proposal and on the applicants' potential for building the capacity of their home university to use DHS data. Additional factors considered will be gender balance and previous experience in statistical analysis.

Each fellow will be awarded a $3,000 stipend to cover research expenses, which will be paid in installments based upon satisfactory completion of the deliverables. In addition, ICF International will cover economy airfare from the home university in Africa, lodging, and per diem expenses for each fellow to attend both workshops. Teams may be eligible for a small additional stipend payment to cover expenses associated with preparing their paper for publication in a peer-reviewed journal prior to completion of the program.

Application Procedure

Each team should submit a single application that contains the following items in pdf format:

1. A completed team application form

2. A brief, original research proposal (3 to 4 pages) with the following sections clearly described 1) Introduction and rationale, 2) Literature review on the topic, 3) Research question(s), 4) Scope of analysis (including how DHS, AIS, or SPA data will be used to answer the research questions), and 5) Potential policy implications.

3. A brief plan for internal capacity-building (1 to 2 pages) that describes realistic activities the applicants will undertake during the fellowship. These activities should enable fellows to pass on knowledge and skills learned through the program to students and faculty at their home university. The brief description of each proposed activity should include a summary of objective, target group, timing, and measurement of progress or outcome. The proposed activities should be implemented before August 1, 2016, as detailed in the timeline.

4. In addition, the joint application should include the following from each team member:
  • A curriculum vitae with complete contact information, a list of publications, and names and contact information for three references
  • Proof of status as a current university faculty member and duration of employment

If selected, each candidate will be asked to provide evidence, such as a letter of approval from their department chairperson, that the university/department agrees to her/his participation in the fellowship program, including full-time participation in both workshops.

Contact Information

Please send applications and inquiries to Ms. Soni Fitzhugh, International Health and Development Division, ICF International, 530 Gaither Road, Suite 500, Rockville, MD, USA 20850. Email:

For information on Demographic and Health Surveys, AIDS Indicator Surveys, and SPA Surveys, please visit

Download the application>>

[1] A senior faculty member is defined as someone who: (1) Currently holds or has previously held a senior position at the university such as Head of Department, Dean of School/Faculty, Director of an Institute, and/or (2) Associate Professor (or equivalent) or higher.

[2] Please see and search for publication type "Working Papers" for examples.


Download our Brochure

DHS Program informational brochure