Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship Programme




The OECD Directorate for Education has launched the Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship Programme. Mr. Alexander (11 March 1940 - 22 January 2012) was the Director for the OECD’s Education, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Directorate from 1989-2000. He steered the launch of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which he conceived as a tool for governments to build relevant skills for all children and to turn these skills into better social and economic outcomes. The programme is funded by the Open Society Foundations, where Mr. Alexander launched several education initiatives after leaving the OECD in 2000.


Aims of the programme

The programme seeks to develop and support improvements in education quality and equity, particularly in emerging economies, in three ways, namely by:

  1. supporting quantitative research to provide evidence-based analysis relating to education policy and practice;
  2. strengthening the use of such analysis in policy making; and
  3. helping education leaders modify their practices to maximise its impact on student learning.


Expected profile of the fellows

Thomas J. Alexander Fellows will typically come from research institutions, governmental agencies (e.g., research centres, ministries) or professional organisations. Ideally they will a hold a Ph.D., have experience with quantitative research methods and using large-scale surveys, and have had articles published in scientific journals. The programme encourages applicants from a variety of disciplines.


Applying for a fellowship

Applicants should complete and send the application before the deadline. Successful applicants will define their policy areas of interest, identify policy questions, and indicate the intended research methods, explaining why OECD data (from PISA, TALIS, PIAAC, etc.) are particularly well-suited to address those questions. Proposals focusing on improving equity in education are particularly encouraged. Applicants should explain how their work would benefit the broad public and promote quality and equity in their their countries’ education systems. A call for proposals will be issued twice a year.


The selection process

Applications will be considered by a group of experts in the field of international education assessment. Candidates will be selected on the basis of the originality, potential, and technical quality of the proposals as well as on the qualifications and experience of the applicant and the value added by their time working at OECD headquarters in Paris.


 What does the OECD offer fellows?

Fellows will have the opportunity to work at OECD headquarters in Paris with the team of analysts. They will be expected to spend at least three months and up to a maximum of 12 months in Paris. Fellows will be expected to produce a publishable research paper or report at the end of their fellowship.



For a more detailed description of the aims of the programme, click here.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to direct them to edu.fellowships@oecd.org.


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