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GEM Report Fellowship

2021 Fellowship - Call for proposals is now open (deadline: 15 December 2020)


We would like to thank all those who applied and extend their congratulations the following who were awarded the GEM Report Fellowship in 2019 and 2020:

- Madhuri AGARWAL (India) - “Retain, promote or support - How to reduce inequality in educational opportunity: evidence from India

- Gabriel BADESCU (Romania) -  “Fostering inclusive education by enhancing cooperative skills

- Donny BAUM (United States) - “Non-State Actors in Early Childhood Education: Implications for Education Equity and Quality”

- Enrique VALENCIA-LOPEZ (Mexico) - “Improving and Aligning Measurement of Ethnicity in International Surveys

- Elizabeth BUCKNER (United States) - "The Non-State Tertiary Sector and Inequalities in Tertiary Attendance and Completion"

- Nicolas BUCHBINDER (Argentine) - “ICT in education in Latin America: have we been successful in expanding ICT availability and use through schools?”

- Wei ZHANG (China) - “Non-State Actors in Education: The Nature, Dynamics and Policy Implications of Private Supplementary Tutoring”


Global Education Monitoring Report

The Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report, formerly known as the Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR), is an editorially independent, authoritative, and evidence-based annual report that monitors progress in education in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have been adopted as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with special focus on SDG 4 on education. Its mandate was established in the Incheon Declaration of the World Education Forum in May 2015. The Education 2030 Framework for Action defined this mandate for the GEM Report as the mechanism for monitoring and reporting on SDG 4 and on education in the other SDGs” and for reporting “on the implementation of national and international strategies to help hold all relevant partners to account for their commitments”. 

The Report is funded by a group of governments, multilateral agencies and foundations. It is hosted and published by UNESCO and is widely recognised as an indispensable advocacy and technical tool serving the international community. It draws on the latest data and on evidence from a wide array of sources leading to recommendations on how to accelerate progress towards achieving the international education targets. Each report has two parts: one focusing on monitoring the international education targets and one focusing on a theme, which is selected jointly with its Advisory Board. The themes of the last four reports were education and the other development goals (2016), accountability (2017/8), migration and displacement (2019) and inclusion (2020). The 2021/2 report is on the role of non-state actors in education and the 2023 report will be on technology. In addition to the main report, the team also produces the summary, youth, gender and regional editions, four to six policy papers per year, and three websites: World Inequality Database on Education (WIDE), Scoping Progress in Education (SCOPE) and Profiles Enabling Education Reviews (PEER). It also commissions about 40 background papers per report cycle. 


Open Society foundations

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. The Open Society Foundations are committed to empowering young people by supporting efforts to increase access to quality education. From early childhood to higher education, the Open Society Foundations work to ensure young people from different backgrounds have equal access to education and to promote critical thinking, respect for diverse opinions, and free and open intellectual inquiry.


The GEM Report Fellowship Programme

The GEM Report Fellowship Programme supports researchers who aim to bring a fresh perspective to comparative and international education. It offers an opportunity to be part of a select group of researchers and scholars who are advancing knowledge in this field, while working with the GEM Report team. The 2021 Fellowship Programme is the third round and new fellows will join a growing community.


Selection criteria

Research proposals will be selected according to their originality, potential to influence the international education agenda, and scientific rigour. Proposals should aim to produce one background paper for the GEM Report team, which would be either linked to the forthcoming report and its theme or to other projects that support the Report’s objectives. The outputs may also include other deliverables, ranging from databases and programmes to materials to communicate the findings and help reach out to policy makers at the national, regional or global level. Preference will be given to proposals with a clear comparative element.

In particular, GEM Report Fellowship Programme research proposals may be:

- utilizing the GEM Report’s data resources, notably those household and school surveys linked to the World Inequality Database on Education, to strengthen analyses of global, regional and national education trends on issues of access, equity, inclusion, quality and learning;

- strengthening the content of the GEM Report with respect to its coverage of important issues at the global, regional and national level, through evidence-based analyses of education policy and practice;

- advancing the SDG 4 monitoring agenda, especially on issues related to the global and thematic indicator framework that have been highlighted in previous reports;

- supporting the themes of forthcoming GEM reports, i.e. the 2023 report on technology.


Main responsibilities

- Complete a relevant background paper for the upcoming GEM Report or other Report projects. The background paper should be based on original and previously unpublished analysis. Data can be drawn from multiple sources including national or cross-national learning or literacy assessments and household, school or labour force surveys. The background paper should include policy recommendations.

- Participate in GEM Report team activities to ensure a close fit between the research and the objectives of the team and to further explore and develop the research in line with the needs of the international education agenda and policy makers at the national, regional and global level



The research proposal should be placed within the current policy debate on SDG 4, the international education goal, and briefly describe the potential contribution this research will make to the field of education and to policy making.

Relevance to GEM Report

A successful proposal will provide a strong rationale for how the work would contribute to the GEM Report work:

- Explain the policy areas of interest, spell out the policy questions to be addressed, and indicate how the research will promote access, equity, inclusion, quality and learning in education systems.

- Show why GEM Report resources and research areas (thematic or geographic) are particularly well suited to address those questions.

- Show how the research relates to monitoring issues highlighted in past GEM reports or thematic issues of future GEM reports.

Data and methods

The proposal should describe:

- the data that will be used to develop the research project, including the main variables

- the methods and statistical procedures that will be used to develop the research project


The proposal should provide a feasible timeline.


Selection procedure

Applications must be submitted in English. They will be reviewed and assessed by the GEM Report team, based on the criteria outlined above and considerations related to quality, potential, and originality as well as the qualifications and track record of the applicant. Shortlisted applicants may be invited to discuss small adjustments to their proposal in a review meeting. The GEM Report team will not be able to provide feedback on proposals that were not selected.


- Deadline for proposals: 15 December 2020 (midnight, Paris time)

- Announcement of decision with successful applicants: 15 January 2021

- Review meeting: 15 February 2021 (tbc)

- Expected start to the fellowship: 1 March 2021


Applicants will need to provide the following information:

- CV in UNESCO format

- One page with brief project title, abstract (150 words), duration, budget

- Project proposal (maximum 5 pages / 2500 words) with the following information:

  • - research question / aim of the project 
  • - relevance to the GEM Report
  • - proposed data and methodology
  • - timeline and resources 


GEM Report team support to Fellows

The work will be carried out remotely. Each fellowship will last between 6 and 11 months, depending on the work to be carried out. The GEM Report team will provide:

- A stipend (up to US$19,500) for the duration of the fellowship (up to 11 months).

- A mentor from the team of GEM Report researchers. The GEM Report staff will allocate 2-3 hours per week to remotely mentor and guide the fellows.


To apply email gemreport.fellowship@unesco.org  (please note that only submissions with a complete project proposal will be considered).

Click here for more information.


Download UNESCO CV format form.