During a six-month fellowship, Echidna Global Scholars conduct individual research focused on improving learning opportunities and life outcomes for girls, young women, and gender non-conforming people, develop their leadership and evidence-based policy skills, build substantive knowledge on gender and global education issues, and expand their pathways for impact. Learn more about the program here and the application process below.

The visiting fellowship

The Echidna Global Scholars fellowship consists of three distinct phases:

  1. Pre-residency (in home country): With the support from the Center for Universal Education (CUE), scholars begin an intensive period of in-country data collection and analysis, accompanied by a series of virtual workshops, group working meetings, and individual advisory sessions. Scholars are introduced to the leadership concepts and tools that will be the focus of the leadership development program throughout the fellowship and begin developing their impact strategy—identifying and engaging with local stakeholders from their home country.
  2. Residency (Washington, D.C.): Scholars focus on expanding reach and impact through publication and dissemination of their 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 and key audiences, as well as expanding scholars’ networks and promoting visibility through Brookings convenings and strategic collaborations—culminating in a virtual symposium on gender equality in and through education research and policy.
  3. Post-residency (in home country): During the two-year post-residency period, the CUE team provides targeted support to alumni as they implement impact plans that build off their research. Through strategic advisement, group working meetings, and leadership development support, scholars leverage the knowledge, skills, and connections built throughout the fellowship to catalyze change in their local contexts.

The Echidna Alumni Network

Upon completion of the fellowship residency in Washington, D.C., all scholars transition into the Echidna Alumni Network, a social impact network that provides ongoing guidance, support, and opportunities for significant, sustained, and collective influence on gender-transformative education in the Global South and on the broader global education ecosystem.

The Echidna Alumni Network administers the Echidna Scholar Collaborative Research and Impact Fund and hosts the Echidna Global Scholar Dialogue series, quarterly workshops that bring together researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and advocates to engage in evidence-informed conversation around pressing issues related to gender equality and education in the Global South.

Alumni scholars meet virtually three times per year to review strategic priorities, learning needs and interests, and hear from Network working groups. In addition, bimonthly “Solidarity Sessions” offer a space for scholars to give and receive the psychosocial support so necessary for those at the forefront of social and cultural change.

Think you’d like to be an Echidna Global Scholar?

Echidna Global Scholars entering the fellowship are mid-career leaders with experience in and a demonstrated commitment to improving learning opportunities and life outcomes for girls, young women, and gender non-conforming people in and through education in the Global South.

Specific criteria for eligibility:

  • Substantial experience in, ties to, and a clear intent to return to a country in the Global South.
  • Background in education, development, public policy, economics, or a related social sciences or humanities area; a Master’s degree (or higher) is required.
  • 10+ years of professional experience in research/academia, nongovernmental, community, or civil society organizations, or government.
  • An intimate understanding of education development issues and gender.
  • Ability to collaborate with others, openness to give and receive feedback, and capacity and desire to learn with speed and flexibility.
  • All Echidna Global Scholars must demonstrate proficiency in English.

In addition to a cover letter and CV, all applicants answer a questionnaire and submit a 3-5 page proposal for a uniquely developed research project designed to increase the evidence base and improve learning opportunities and life outcomes for girls, young women, and gender non-conforming people in their countries.

*** The application for the 2024 Echidna Global Scholars Program is now closed.***

Program timeline


Echidna Global Scholar Application Process