Funding Opportunity: Raising Learning Outcomes in Education


education book

ESRC and DFID are pleased to invite applications for a Programme Research Lead for the Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme (RLO).

The deadline for submitting applications is 16.00 (UK time) on 28 October 2016.

This £20 million programme is generating world-class, cutting-edge social science research that addresses key questions on learning outcomes within education systems in developing countries.

The aim is to provide policymakers and practitioners with concrete ideas on how to improve learning, and understanding of how these will translate to their specific contexts and institutions. Funding is being awarded through three annual calls, each with a different but complementary thematic focus.

The Programme Research Lead will help maximise the scientific value of the programme by identifying, promoting and supporting opportunities for collaboration and synergy between the portfolio of RLO research projects through a co-ordinated programme of activities they will design and deliver.

This role is a senior academic appointment which can be delivered by one or more individuals based in one or multiple research institutions. The Programme Research Lead will be funded for an initial duration of 24-months. The successful applicant(s) will offer a minimum of 20 per cent time allocation per person (FTE) over the period of the contract. Up to £300,000 is available at 100 per cent fEC to cover the cost of this role and the programme of activities it will deliver.

The contract start date will be 9 January 2017.

About the role

The Programme Research Lead is being appointed by the funders to deliver three programme-level aims:

  • support and evidence the scientific, conceptual and methodological contributions of the programme
  • maximise scientific quality and best practice between RLO grants across calls and around cross cutting themes
  • implement and strengthen cohort-building opportunities and activities within the RLO programme.

Role specification

The successful applicant(s) will demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • Be an experienced and internationally respected social science researcher(s), with demonstrable expertise relevant to the RLO programme, with a track record of working across disciplines.
  • Have well-developed networks relevant to education and development, including in developing countries and beyond academia.
  • Possess a track record of successful partnership-working, ideally in the area of scientific coordination and/or knowledge exchange, with evidence of managing stakeholder expectations and demands.
  • Excellent leadership, communication (oral and written) and relationship management skills, with the ability to summarise and draft clear and concise briefing material and reports, and to communicate clearly with people at all levels of understanding.

How to apply

All applications should be sent to by 16.00 on 28 October 2016. Applications received after this time will not be considered.

The application should address the expertise stated against the criteria in the person specification and demonstrate an understanding of the requirements of the work.