Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship - How to apply




How to apply






How to apply Mentors



What type of research does the Fellowship support?

The Fellowship encourages work on emerging economies whether by region or country specific but always taking an international approach and looking at the bigger picture of how research in one area could be applicable elsewhere.

The Fellowship supports quantitative research on policy relevant topics. It does not support purely theoretical research or technical work. 


When can I apply?

The Fellowship typically holds two calls for proposal per year, one in the fall which opens around mid-October closing in mid-December and one in the spring which opens in mid-March and closes at the end of May. Interested candidates must apply during these calls through the OECD jobs page


Who is eligible to apply?

There is no “choice candidate” for the Fellowship in terms of background, experience or origin. The selected candidates should present an innovative research project which puts to use OECD data and knowledge base from PISA, PIAAC and/or TALIS. The Fellowship has to date recruited fellows from public and private research institutes and universities with backgrounds in economics, psychology, sociology and statistics but remains open to welcoming a variety of fellows at any stage of their career. To date the fellowship has welcomed a wide range of researchers in terms of experience from senior analysts to doctoral candidates.

There are no limitations for the Fellowship concerning candidates from non-OECD member countries and the OECD will assist with any necessary visa procedures for the fellow and his or her dependants provided sufficient time is given to arrange this process. 


What does the application look like?

This form can help you prepare your application. If you wish, you can complete your information here and then copy and paste the information into our formal application process when a call is open. 

We ask fellows to put forward a clearly defined project providing as much detail as possible so that the selection committee can assess the quality of the proposal and determine whether or not it is a good fit with the research interests and capabilities of the Organization. The Fellowship application presents itself as a series of questions about the applicant’s background, published works, and about the research proposal, its policy relevance, timeline and requested budget. 


What is the selection criteria for the Fellowship?

The selection committee looks at various aspects in the application. Firstly, does the project use OECD Data and knowledge base? Secondly, is topic relevant to developing or ongoing reflections within the international education policy community? Is the topic innovative and original? Does the proposal focus on equity? Then, does the OECD have the necessary resources to welcome the fellow and guide him/or her through the project? One of the essential parts of the Fellowship is the ability to work with a mentor from within the Directorate for Education and Skills so finding a good match is important. The committee carefully examines the quality of proposals taking into consideration the impact of outputs and the candidate’s capacity to work autonomously. 


Does the work need to be internationally comparative work? 

Yes, in general we are looking for work that is internationally comparative and/or examining issues of emerging economies. If the focus of the proposal looks at national or regional examples, it should seek to demonstrate how the approach can be applicable in an international setting and more specifically for emerging economies.



The programme provides funding for its fellows based on their needs. These vary depending on the length of residency in Paris, the length of time the final project will take to complete and the experience of the candidate. Please feel free to contact [email protected] for more information on funding.


When can I expect to hear back?

There is no deadline given for selecting new fellows. No proposals are reviewed until after the call has closed. After that point the selection committee meets and decide which proposals will be awarded. The typical deadline given is less than three months after the call closes, but please feel free to check-in with us if you are worried about not hearing back and we will be able to provide you with a status on the call. 



Who are the mentors?

Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship mentors are analysts working in the Directorate for Education and Skills on different topics. They are usually specialists on PISA, TALIS and PIAAC  datasets. Their activity as a mentor is done on a volunteer basis which helps to ensure that the individuals participating are truly interested in guiding TJA fellows. There is no obligation to mentor and mentors only do so when there is a fellow working on a project that interests them. If you are interested in working with a particular mentor you can also mention this in your proposal and where possible we will try to accommodate. 



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