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Thomas J. Alexander fellowship (Job Number: 09236)

Please note that the closing date for this vacancy is
30 May 2014, midnight, Paris time.

The OECD’s mission – Better Policies for Better Lives – promotes policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. It provides a unique forum in which governments work together to share experiences on what drives economic, social and environmental change, seeking solutions to common problems.


The Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship Programme will support individuals in conducting quantitative, evidence-based research on education, particularly in emerging economies, and in linking that research to education policy and practice.

The programme, named after the former director of the OECD’s Education, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs department, will provide funding for one year, including time spent at OECD headquarters in Paris. Fellows will be expected to produce a publishable research paper or report at the end of their fellowship. Fellows will work in close collaboration with OECD analysts.

Fellows will be selected among individuals working at research institutions, government agencies or professional organisations. Candidates with a doctoral degree, who are familiar with quantitative research methods and the use of large-scale surveys, and who have published work in scientific journals are encouraged to apply. Selected fellows will be invited to work at the OECD headquarters in Paris, typically for six months. In exceptional cases, proposals of outstanding originality and promise -- which do not fully meet the criteria for a fellowship and residency in Paris-- may be considered for an innovation award.

Research proposals will be selected on the basis of their originality, potential and scientific rigour. All policy-relevant topics will be considered, particularly those focusing on equality of opportunity.

For more information on the Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship Programme, download our flyer or our description guidelines.
IMPORTANT: For more information on how to prepare this application and the research proposal before applying online, please click here.

Main responsibilities
Analysis and drafting
· Analyse policy issues related to education. For example, conducting statistical analysis of large OECD data sets, such as those from PISA, TALIS and PIAAC, identifying relevant policy issues and designing appropriate statistical analyses to develop tools to assist countries in implementing their education policies.
· In collaboration with other fellows, colleagues and external experts, draft and edit substantive papers, including synthetic reports, country case studies and analytical papers, where needed.

Collaboration and representation
· Help organise seminars, conferences and workshops in collaboration with the OECD and partners. Represent the Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship Programme in relevant international and national fora and deliver presentations and papers.

Candidate’s profile
Academic background
· An advanced university degree in education, psychology, social sciences, economics or a related field.

Professional background

· Proven experience in public policy analysis in an academic setting, an international or national agency or research institute.
· Proven experience in organising projects in research and/or policy contexts.
· Contacts within the education policy community would be an advantage, as would experience with education systems or developments in OECD countries and/or emerging countries.


·Sound knowledge of and proven experience in the application of statistical techniques involving large assessments of skills and large-scale survey data.
·Experience using statistical analysis software such as Mplus, R, STATA, SPSS or SAS would be an asset.


·Excellent oral and written communication skills in one of the two official languages of the OECD (English or French) and a very good working knowledge of the other language.

Research proposal

Policy relevance

· The proposal should address an important policy topic in education from a novel perspective. It should place the work within the current policy debate and briefly describe the potential contribution this research will make to the field of education and to policy making.

Data and methods
· The proposal should provide a strong rationale for the use of OECD datasets, such as PISA, TALIS, PIAAC or other elements of the OECD knowledge base, to meet the proposed research objectives. It should describe, in detail, the data that will be used to develop the research project, including which variables (for example, particular PISA variables or combinations of them) will be used to measure the concepts defined in the conceptual framework, and which sample(s) will be the focus of the analysis (e.g. groups used, exclusions to sample).
· The proposal should describe the methods and statistical procedures that will be used to develop the research project. The proposed methods should be clearly linked to the conceptual framework and research question(s).

· The proposal should outline the resources needed to achieve the proposed research goals and the proposed timeline.
· The aims of the research proposal should be achievable within the proposed time and the resources sought.
· The proposal should describe the length, reasons and expected benefits of carrying out part of the research project at OECD headquarters in Paris.

The duration of the fellowship is 1 year. The fellowship is non-renewable