Institute for Research on Poverty                 Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation               Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation

National Poverty Fellows Program

Fellow Profiles

The National Poverty Fellows Program is a federal government-university partnership that seeks to build the capacity of researchers to conduct high-quality policy-relevant research on poverty and inequality in the United States and to contribute to the effective use of research and scientific knowledge in the formation of public policy.

The Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison administers the program with support provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) and the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).

In 2016, the fellows are in residence at ASPE or OPRE in Washington, D.C., conducting poverty-related research and analysis, contributing to planning and overseeing poverty-related research and evaluation studies, and working on their own related research projects.

In addition to their work at ASPE and OPRE, the fellows receive academic mentoring from senior IRP Affiliates and researchers, participate in IRP conferences, and give talks about their research at IRP's weekly seminar series.

2017–2018 National Poverty Fellows Recruitment

The Institute for Research on Poverty is calling for applications for two fellowship positions for 2017–2018. These fellows will be in residence at the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families (OPRE-ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Please see the position description for more information.

The fellowship positions are open to U.S. citizens who are up to 6 years post-PhD in the social or behavioral sciences with a substantive background in poverty, economic inequality, and social policy from any accredited educational institution.

Applicants should have strong research skills, experience with program evaluation, excellent communication skills, particularly in terms of translating research for policy audiences, and work well as part of a team. For more information and to apply, please see the full Call for Applications.


2015–2017 National Poverty Fellows

The current fellows are Nicole Deterding (PhD in Sociology and Social Policy, Harvard University), Megan Reid (PhD, Sociology, University of Texas at Austin), and Lincoln H. Groves (PhD, Public Administration and International Affairs, Syracuse University). The fellows' individual bios follow.

Nicole Deterding

Nicole Deterding

Nicole Deterding earned her Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy from Harvard University. Her work examines the relationship between education and the labor market for disadvantaged students. She is particularly interested in the role of the growing for-profit sector in educating returning students, which she examined in her dissertation, entitled "Start, Start Again: The College Pathways of Economically-Vulnerable Mothers."  Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Nicole worked on large implementation and impact studies of higher education interventions as a Research Associate at The Urban Institute and earned a Master's Degree in Education Policy Studies from The George Washington University. Nicole's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation IGERT Program, The RISK Project, The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and the Multidisciplinary Program on Inequality and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Nicole is a fellow at OPRE-ACF. She was mentored by Sara Goldrick-Rab during her first year in the program and will be mentored by Eric Grodsky during her second year.

Megan Reid

Megan Reid

Megan Reid earned her PhD in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011 and worked as a Project Director at the National Development and Research Institutes before beginning her position as a National Poverty Fellow. Her research focuses on social inequalities, families, housing, and disaster. In her dissertation, she focused on analyzing the experiences of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina and developed the concept of temporal domination to explain how time structures social inequalities. Her most recent project focuses on understanding parenting and partnering among low-income Black couples in New York City. In a recent article she identified the "vetting and letting" process of cohabiting step family formation. Megan is a fellow at OPRE-ACF and is mentored by IRP Director Lawrence Berger.

Lincoln Groves

Lincoln Grove

Lincoln Groves has an M.A. in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Syracuse University. He is interested in the human capital development of young adults at-risk of living in poverty, as well as the role of public policy in facilitating more favorable outcomes for these groups. In his dissertation, he investigates how three large-scale social insurance programs—AFDC/TANF, Medicaid, and Social Security's Student Benefit Program—affected the educational attainment and work experience of vulnerable young adults. Before his graduate studies in Syracuse, Lincoln worked as an economic research analyst in Washington, DC—with both the government (USDOJ, Antitrust Division) and a private sector consulting firm (MiCRA, Inc.)—and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Bulgaria. Lincoln is a fellow at ASPE and is mentored by Timothy Smeeding.

Previous National Poverty Fellows

Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell

Melinda Petre

Melinda Petre

Shomon Shamsuddin

Shomon Shamsuddin

Sharon Wolf

Sharon Wolf