The Population Reference Bureau is always looking for Visiting Scholars who would benefit from contributing their experience and expertise to PRB's intellectual environment. Reporting to the president/CEO of PRB, the term of the scholarship is generally from three to 12 months but we have accepted scholars for lesser periods of time and 12 month appointments can be extended. We do not have set dates for applications or for beginning a term. The Visiting Scholar position is unpaid and does not provide benefits, but we offer dedicated office space, a computer, and other office resources during the tenure with PRB.

PRB's Visiting Scholar Program allows experienced scientists, educators, and administrators with demonstrated research and/or program implementation capabilities to pursue similar projects at PRB so that both the Visiting Scholar and PRB staff may benefit from a close working and intellectual relationship.

Interaction with staff is one of the things that make a Visiting Scholar's presence a mutually rewarding experience, and the mix of activities may vary. We look forward to the Visiting Scholars being able to collaborate with PRB staff and other population experts in relevant research areas, being available on site approximately 50 percent of the time, and contributing to web articles, seminars, or other PRB activities.

We are looking for the following background and experience in candidates:

  • Master's/Ph.D. in a social science, or equal evidence of professional achievement, with 10+ years' experience in areas related to the type of work included within PRB's mission and objectives.
  • Experience in research and/or program administration in the United States and/or international demographic trends, including in one or more of the following areas: family planning; reproductive health; population, health, and environment; immigration; children and family indicators; youth; labor force trends; health disparities; gender; rural and regional analyses; or other programs related to population dynamics.
  • Specific research plan or project that will be worked on during the Visiting Scholar's tenure at PRB.

We invite candidates to submit a letter that expresses the reasons why you would like to be Visiting Scholar at PRB and what you would plan to do while you were here. Please include your availability and preferred dates.

All Visiting Scholar requests are reviewed regularly by the president and vice presidents. PRB's president is also available for consultation about the program. PRB may not be able to accommodate all qualified candidates who apply throughout the year due to space and administrative limitations, but we will communicate with all candidates who express interest in this opportunity.

Visiting Scholars

(October 2015) We have three Visiting Scholars at PRB:

John F. May

John F. May, a specialist in population policies and programs, is a Visiting Scholar at the Population Reference Bureau. He is also an adjunct professor of demography at Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C. For 15 years, he was a lead demographer at the World Bank. Prior to coming to the United States in 1987, he worked on many population projects around the world for UNFPA, UNICEF, USAID, and IUSSP. He was posted in Haiti, West Indies; and New Caledonia, South Pacific, for the United Nations. He also worked for the Futures Group International, a U.S. consulting firm offering services in population and HIV/AIDS modeling, policy, and program design. He has a doctorate in demography from the University of Paris-V (Sorbonne). His book World Population Policies: Their Origin, Evolution, and Impact (Springer, 2012) has received the 2012 Global Media Award of the Population Institute for best book on population. In 2013, he was elected an associate member of the Royal Academy of Belgium.

Tom Merrick

Tom Merrick has been a Visiting Scholar at the Population Reference Bureau since 2006. He has also served as an adviser for the Learning Program on Poverty Reduction, Reproductive Health and Health Sector Strengthening at the World Bank Institute. Prior to joining WBI in 2001, he served for nine years as the senior adviser for Population and Reproductive Health for the Human Development Network at the World Bank. He was president of PRB from 1984 to 1992 and director of the Center for Population Research at Georgetown University from 1976 to 1984. He worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1968 to 1971. From 1971 to 1976 he held teaching positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, and the University of Minas Gerais in Brazil, where he taught and conducted research as a Ford Foundation adviser. He has a doctorate in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Elaine Murphy

Elaine Murphy is a Visiting Scholar at PRB and an international health consultant. Her clients have included PRB, the Academy for Educational Development, Georgetown University, the World Bank, and the CORE Group. She has worked for 30 years in the areas of population and reproductive health (family planning, HIV/AIDS, maternal health, gender, and human rights) and has published and presented widely on these topics. She has worked professionally in 25 developing countries and has extensive experience in policy communications, research synthesis, information dissemination, behavior-change communication, project design and evaluation, education, and training. She was a professor of Global Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health and earlier she directed PATH's Women's Reproductive Health Initiative. Before joining PATH, she was director of International Programs at PRB. And at USAID's Office of Population, she designed, monitored, and evaluated large-scale family planning communication and training projects. She is a member of the editorial review board of the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives; a member of the board of Options for Youth, which serves the reproductive health needs of adolescents in inner-city Chicago; and a member of the board of the Willows Foundation, which promotes the reproductive health of poor women in Turkey, Ghana, and Pakistan.


For further information, please contact Judi Jackson, human resources director, jjackson@prb.org.