New Missouri Data Fellow Program

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Kati Abbott

The Department of Economics and Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri are pleased to announce the new Missouri Data Fellows program.

The Data Fellows program, supported by a three-year grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, will place quantitatively trained graduate students pursuing Master’s degrees in either economics or public affairs at state agencies in Jefferson City, with the first cohort of Fellows slated to start in Fall 2019.  These students will receive scholarships and a stipend while they are in the program.  Professor Cory Koedel is the program leader and the PI of the $477,747 grant from the Kauffman Foundation. Professors Mike Podgursky and Mark Ehlert were also involved in establishing the program.

Patterned on a successful program at Harvard University, the Data Fellows will work with MU academic mentors and research staff in the agencies to improve Missouri’s state data infrastructure and enhance capacity for data-driven policy decisions. The Data Fellows will earn academic credits in an “apprenticeship” style model while working at the state agencies, in addition to taking core classes in their Master’s programs at MU. Agency chiefs at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Missouri Department of Higher Education, and the Missouri Department of Economic Development – where the first cohort of Fellows will work – have expressed their enthusiastic support for the new program. “We are excited to work with our University of Missouri partners to make the Data Fellows Program a success” says MODESE Commissioner Margie Vandeven.

The program received support from the College of Arts and Science and MU.  “The program is important to MU beyond its benefits to the students. By building the infrastructure that connects data of different state agencies, the program will enhance our ability in conducting policy relevant scholarly research and providing policy analysis for the state government,” says the Economics Department Chair Shawn Ni.