Charlotte Ellertson Social Science Postdoctoral Fellowship in Abortion and Reproductive Health

Abortion is increasingly politicized and polarizing, leading many researchers and policymakers to shy away from addressing it. Now more than ever social science research on abortion is critically important to inform policy debates and improve abortion services and access, yet few organizations and researchers conduct abortion research. In 2003, Ibis launched the first cohort of the Charlotte Ellertson Social Science Postdoctoral Fellowship in Abortion and Reproductive Health to support researchers in the beginning of their careers. From 2003–2010, 14 Ellertson fellows received salary support, mentoring, and communications and advocacy training to develop research projects that would inform abortion and reproductive health policy and build their careers in abortion research.

The fellows came from a cross-section of social science disciplines, with doctoral degrees in demography, sociology, anthropology, epidemiology, public health, and psychology. They completed their fellowships at Columbia University, the Guttmacher Institute, Ibis Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins University, and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where they generated new knowledge and offered critical insight that has informed public debate and policy discussions in the US and internationally. The fellows have gone on to take prestigious jobs at universities and at private research institutions and their cutting-edge work will continue to improve reproductive health policies and advance abortion and reproductive health research.

Though the fellowship program has ended, Ibis continues to support emerging researchers both internally, with mentoring and career development for each staff member and intern, and externally through activities like the annual Social Scientists’ Networking Meeting, which brings together social scientists who focus on abortion to share their work and catalyze new projects and collaborations.