Application Deadline: December 1, 2021.

The Echidna Global Scholars Program is a visiting fellowship hosted by the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at the Brookings Institution. The program aims to build the research and analytical skills of NGO leaders and academics who have substantial experience and ties to developing countries. Echidna Scholars spend four to six months at Brookings pursuing research on global education issues, with a specific focus on improving learning opportunities and outcomes for girls in the developing world. Upon completion of their fellowship, CUE supports the scholars in implementing an action plan that applies their new skills and expertise in the developing country where they have demonstrated substantial ties.

During their residency at Brookings, Echidna Scholars work with CUE staff to develop a research project. They draw upon Brookings’ intellectual capital and convening power, as well as the extended public policy community in Washington through meetings and conferences, and through networking with the broader international development community. This program is made possible by the generous contribution of The Echidna Giving Fund.

The Fellowship consists of two phases:

  1. Pre-residency: sets the basis for the research training, leadership, and strategic impact components of the program. With the support of CUE fellows, scholars begin an intensive period of in-country data collection and analysis, accompanied by a series of virtual workshops, group working meetings, and individual advisory sessions. Scholars are introduced to the leadership concepts and tools that will be the focus of the leadership development program throughout the Fellowship and begin developing their impact strategy, identifying and engaging with local stakeholders.
  2. Residency: the residency period in Washington, DC focuses primarily on expanding Scholars’ reach and impact through publication and dissemination of Scholars’ research on Brookings’s multimedia platforms, strategic impact capacity building, leadership development, and networking. The residency phase is designed to help scholars strengthen their impact by teaching best practices for analyzing, communicating, and leveraging research for policy contexts and key audiences, as well as expanding Scholars’ networks and promoting visibility through Brookings convenings and strategic collaborations, culminating in the Girls’ Education Research and Policy Symposium.

Responsibilities

Once selected to participate in the Fellowship, Echidna Global Scholars will spend approximately two months in pre-residency, working remotely from their home countries, followed by three and a half months in residency at The Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. During this time, Scholars will work with the Center for Universal Education to complete a uniquely developed research project and strategy for policy impact designed to increase the evidence base and improve learning opportunities and life outcomes for girls and young women in their countries.

The Fellowship is a full-time, exclusive commitment during the residency period and a substantial commitment during the pre-residency period. The Program expects Echidna Global Scholars to:

  • Conduct professional, in-depth research, write an evidence-based policy paper, and present their research and policy recommendations at Brookings organized events.
  • Participate in capacity building activities, including the leadership development program, as well as individual and group reflections.
  • Develop a post-residency project proposal with the intent of expanding the impact of their research upon return to their home country.
  • Interact professionally with other Brookings scholars and community members and be active participants in Brookings events (organizational meetings, informal discussions, seminars, presentations, private and public events), particularly those of CUE and Global Economy and Development.
  • Engage with key actors from the extended research, practice, and policy community within their home countries, in and around Washington, DC, and globally, by participating in additional meetings and conferences, and networking with the broader development community. 

Following their time in residence in Washington DC, Scholars will be supported in the implementation of activities in their local context that build on the findings of their research and will join a growing alumni network of global leaders working to change the lives of girls and young women in countries and regions throughout the world.

Qualifications

Education/Experience Requirements:

A Master’s degree is required. Applicants should have a background in education, development, public policy, economics, or a related area, with a minimum of 10 years of professional experience in research/academia, non-governmental, community or civil society organizations, or government. Candidates with experience in both academic or government settings and community organizations are especially encouraged to apply. 

The Program selects professionals with substantial experience in and ties to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), a clear intent to return to an LMIC after completing the period of residency at Brookings, and a passion and demonstrated commitment to improving learning opportunities and life outcomes for girls and young women in and through education.

Knowledge/Skills Requirements:

Successful applicants will have an intimate understanding of education development issues and gender, strong analytical and writing skills, the ability to collaborate with others, openness to give and receive feedback, and the capacity and desire to learn with speed and flexibility.

All Echidna Global Scholars must demonstrate proficiency in English.

Priority Areas for 2022:

The Echidna Global Scholars Program welcomes applications from leaders in girls’ education from low- and middle-income countries throughout the Global South. In line with recent research on the status of girls’ education globally (for example, EGER, 2021), applicants working in the following areas will be given special consideration for the Program in 2022:

  • Geographic priorities: West Africa, South Asia, Central America; countries and regions marked by conflict and crisis, as well as those with high levels of gender-based violence, child marriage and early childbearing.
  • Targeted beneficiaries: Girls and young women living in poverty; homeless/street children; indigenous, migrant, displaced, or nomadic populations; out of school children; and LGBTQ+ youth.
  • Research priorities: Echidna Global Scholars’ research topics must be focused on education priorities for girls and young women, as they are relevant in their specific contexts, and build off a gender transformative framework, seeking to actively challenge discriminatory social norms and/or increase girls’ or young women’s agency. Special priority will be given to projects that focus on ensuring learning and skill development (as opposed to a primary or sole focus on access/enrollment/ attainment); improving life outcomes, for example by supporting transitions to higher education and employment; and research that focuses on the following key questions:
  1. What are the most important barriers to receiving a high-quality education, and how do those barriers differ for girls?
  2. What are the most effective policies or programs to address those barriers?
  3. How does Covid-19 change what we know about the barriers for girls and the solutions for addressing them?

Applicants who have not worked explicitly on girls’ education previously are welcome to apply but should include an explanation of how this focus on improving learning opportunities and outcomes for girls and young women can be integrated successfully into their current and future work.

Benefits

  • Please note that this position is a short-term fellowship at Brookings (it is not an employee position).
  • Applicants selected for the Fellowship will receive a stipend totaling $22,500 USD to support living costs during the pre-residency and residency periods (subject to U.S. tax withholding and reporting).
  • In addition, CUE will cover the costs associated with the visa process, single-occupancy housing for the three-and-a-half-month residency period, round-trip travel expenses, and a limited health insurance plan.

How to Apply: 

Please submit cover letter and CV or resume as one document when you apply, as instructed.

Initial application materials must include:

  1. cover letter that explains your goals and intent for the program, along with your CV or resume which should include your education and professional experience, as well as a list of your publications, and any fellowships, honors, awards, funded research, or foundation support that you have received. 
  2. The completed Echidna Global Scholars Program Application. (Click on hyperlink to access document and upload the completed document in the “Writing sample” section).
    • Documents must be saved with a format of Last Name_First Name_document name (for example: Doe_Jane_CV).

Note that letters of recommendation, writing samples, and transcripts are NOT required.

**Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted. Candidates selected for interviews may be asked to submit additional materials. Incomplete applications and any applications received after the deadline will not be considered. If you require visa sponsorship to participate in this fellowship program, your English proficiency will be verified via an objective assessment as required by the U.S. Department of State.

Timing and Application Deadlines:

  • Application deadline: December 1, 2021
  • Interviews: January and February 2022
  • Fellowship start date: July 1, 2022

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Echidna Global Scholars Program 2022

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