Brookings Establishment, Washington, D.C., USA, Echidna International Students Program 2022 ($22,500 USD stipend & absolutely funded)


Application Deadline: December 1, 2021.

The Echidna Global Scholars Program is a Brookings Institution visiting fellowship presented by the Center for Universal Education (CUE). The program is designed to help NGO leaders and academics with extensive experience and linkages to poor nations improve their research and analytical skills. Echidna Scholars work at Brookings for four to six months on global education challenges, with an emphasis on enhancing learning opportunities and results for girls in developing countries. After the scholars complete their fellowship, CUE assists them in formulating an action plan that uses their new skills and experience in the developing countries with whom they have proven significant linkages.

Echidna Scholars collaborate with CUE personnel to construct a research project during their time at Brookings. Through meetings and conferences, as well as networking with the broader international development community, they draw on Brookings’ intellectual capital and convening power, as well as the extended public policy community in Washington. The Echidna Giving Fund has generously donated to make this program possible.

The Fellowship consists of two phases:

  1. Pre-residency: establishes the foundation for the program’s research training, leadership, and strategic impact components. Scholars undertake a rigorous period of in-country data gathering and analysis with the help of CUE fellows, as well as a series of virtual workshops, group working meetings, and individual advisory sessions. Scholars are exposed to the leadership principles and techniques that will be the focus of the Fellowship’s leadership development program, and they begin crafting their impact strategy, which includes identifying and connecting 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.


Echidna Global Scholars will spend two months in pre-residency working remotely from their home countries after being selected for the Fellowship, followed by three and a half months in resident at The Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. During this period, Scholars will collaborate with the Center for Universal Education on a unique research project and policy impact approach aimed at expanding the evidence base and improving learning opportunities and life outcomes for girls and young women in their respective 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.

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


Education/Experience Requirements:

It is necessary to have a Master’s degree. Applicants should have a minimum of 10 years of professional experience in research/academic, non-governmental, community or civil society groups, or government, with a background in education, development, public policy, economics, or a similar field. Applicants with expertise in academic or government institutions, as well as community organizations, are encouraged to apply.

Professionals with significant experience and ties to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), a clear intention to return to an LMIC after completing their 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 are chosen for the program.

Knowledge/Skills Requirements:

Successful candidates will have a deep grasp of education development challenges and gender, as well as good analytical and writing abilities, the ability to cooperate with others, an openness to provide and take feedback, and the capacity and desire to learn quickly and adaptably.

All Echidna Global Scholars must demonstrate proficiency in English.

Priority Areas for 2022:

Leaders in girls’ education from low- and middle-income countries across the Global South are encouraged to apply to the Echidna Global Scholars Program. Applicants working in the following areas will be given special attention for the Program in 2022, based on recent studies on the situation of girls’ education globally (for example, EGER, 2021).

  • 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.


  • 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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