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Credit: Sanja Knezevic/Open Society Foundation

2022 Fellowship Frequently Asked Questions

1. Application content

What are the submission requirements?

The details of the call for proposal specify what needs to be submitted – (1) a CV in UNESCO format, (2) a cover letter, and (3) a proposal. We have outlined the details of what the proposal should entail, the selection criteria, and the background of the GEM Report. Please send all the relevant information to the email address gemreport.fellowship@unesco.org by the 14 January 2022 deadline for our consideration.  

Can you provide further details so I can apply?

Beyond the information on the Call for Proposals, we will not be able to provide further details to keep the selection an open process. We expect to be able to further discuss proposal specifics with those selected to interview. We encourage all prospective Fellows to engage with the GEM Report products and our previous Fellows’ work.

If the application does not include a full research proposal, we will not consider the application or follow up for questioning.

Is there one application form?

We have not specified an application form, but just the information that should be addressed in the proposal – abstract, proposal including introduction, literature, data and methodology, timeline, and GEM Report alignment. Please send a proposal that addresses those points in a clear manner to ease our selection process.

Does the proposal have to be limited to 4000 words?

We would like to encourage succinct examinations and writeups of the research questions, objectives and data. Please ensure that the core contents for consideration are in the proposal. Research instruments could be in the Appendix, and will not count towards the 4000 words suggested limit.


2. Fellowship details

Is this Fellowship a full time role?

The Fellowship is for one project. It would ideally form part of the Fellows’ core research agenda and interests, and be a part of the Fellows’ core time responsibility, but is not expected to become a full-time job.

What is funded as part of the Fellowship?

The fellowship includes $19,500 and may include an additional two-week duration in Paris, if sanitary conditions allow. This total Fellowship amount is expected to cover all costs linked to the Fellowship over a maximum 11-month period.

Please note that the goal is to support new facets of existing work since feasibility within the time frame is a key consideration. The goal is not to support exploratory analysis.

When will the Fellow start?

While our first cohort had separate starting points, the past two cohorts have had the same timeline and deadlines. We have decided to have the same starting point and timelines for all Fellows in order to foster a Fellow network for peer exchange. Therefore, all Fellows are expected to start in early February 2022, if the contracting process permits it.

What is the expected end date?

We expect the Fellow paper to start in February 2022, and be completed and approved by early January 2023. We expect to have a first draft for review mid-way through the program, around August or September, 2022; and a near final draft by December 2022.

Are there specific focus areas for the GEM Report content that the Fellow needs to address?

Our core selection criteria note that the work does not need to focus on any thematic areas. They can cover large topics of policy relevance, education monitoring or accountability issues that fall under SDG 4 and Education’s role in Sustainable Development. Since we are only 9 years away from the end of the 2030 agenda, we welcome any research papers that are focusing on issues that matter for educational progress, and to improve our understanding of SDG 4 implementation in practice.

With respect to thematic areas, we work on an 18-month cycle of global report development. In addition, we have several related products including our gender review, regional report series and policy papers. Our upcoming thematic areas are technology in education (2023) and education leadership (2024). Our technology concept note is available here. Our education leadership related work will start in the next few years. Each year, we take a broad descriptive, critical and analytical perspective on these pressing global issues.  Fellow papers that focus on these thematic areas could be among the selection criteria. Our past work – including non-state actors in education or migration and displacement – may be less relevant for selection since we have thoroughly engaged with those topics for a long duration in recent years.

When and how will the Fellow paper be published?

The Fellow papers are published here. They are expected to go online at the end of the Fellow year/duration. The 2021 Fellow papers will be online around March 2022.


3. Applicant Profile

Who can apply for the Fellowship? Can it be an individual or joint fellowship?

Ideally, the Fellowship will support one individual’s research output to foster their individual professional development and engagement with the international education community.

In the exceptional event that there is more than one researcher on the project, the fellowship amount specified will be divided amongst the co-authors.

What is the profile you are looking for? What are the degree requirements?

The Fellowship is looking for a diverse national profile, and for rigorous researchers who can also come from diverse institutional backgrounds – including universities, think tanks, civil society backgrounds, or independent consultants.

We also invite Fellow applications from diverse disciplinary fields, as long as they link to our GEM Report objectives, approach and the Fellowship development process.

Can the person be employed elsewhere?

As long as the individual can enter into a contract with UNESCO, they can be employed elsewhere. We expect that they have the flexibility to incorporate the fellow paper within their professional activities, and will be able to produce a rigorous piece of research within the time frame.


4. Fellowship Community

I am unable to apply this year. Will there be another round of the Fellowship program next year?

Yes, we expect that the Fellowship program will continue. In particular, if your project and primary data collection is in the initial phase, we would encourage your application for the 2023 Fellowship round so that the GEM Report team can work with you in that period.