Queen Rania Foundation

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) 2021 Fellowship at QRF – Evidence Generation

Main Job Purpose:

The role of the Fellow

The Queen Rania Foundation (QRF) is seeking an outstanding individual to become an Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) Fellow at QRF for one year. During this year you will contribute your expertise and energy to the generational task of improving rates of Arabic literacy in Jordan, and the wider Arab region.

This Fellowship is focused on evidence generation. Under this Fellowship, you will help QRF, and through QRF education systems in the Arab region, generate new evidence of ‘what works in the teaching and learning of Arabic literacy. This role will suit academic researchers who have an interest in the research-policy nexus, experimental evaluation methodologies, and the teaching and learning of Arabic literacy, especially in early childhood and school grades 1-6.

Alongside that, you will be passionate about nurturing the expertise of others through coaching, mentoring, knowledge-sharing forums and codifying ‘best-practice.

We will shape the detailed work-plan of the successful Fellow in light of their interests and expertise, but we expect it will include –

  • Supporting the successful independent evaluation of an intervention (‘Let’s Read Fluently!’) aimed at the decoding phase of literacy learning as it progresses from Pre-Pilot to Pilot, onto preparing for a Randomized Control Trial (RCT).
  • Proposing, designing, and undertaking innovative research and evaluative inquiry from the Pre-Pilot and the Pilot of ‘Let’s Read Fluently!’
  • Mapping the availability of school-aged literacy interventions in the region to understand the strength and nature of the ‘pipeline’ of interventions that could be evaluated by something such as an Evidence Centre for Arabic literacy.
  • Developing robust evaluation frameworks and approaches using relevant QRF programs as the material. For example, our ‘Karim and Jana’ series of app-based learning or our ‘Read!’ program that aims to supply schools with ideal libraries and to train teachers in how to make good use of these extra resources
  • Developing new knowledge assets around evaluation for QRF, its affiliates, and its partners, and support their dissemination and uptake.

The partnerships behind the Fellowship:

This fellowship is made possible through the generous support of The Education Endowment Foundation (the EEF). The EEF is a UK-based charity dedicated to breaking the link between student achievement and parental income in England. To advance this goal, the EEF summarizes high-quality evidence, generates new evidence?of ‘what works to improve teaching and learning, and supports the active uptake of educational research on the part of teachers and school leaders.

Website: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/)

QRF is a global partner of the EEF through its “building a global evidence ecosystem for teaching” project, which is delivered in partnership with the BHP Foundation. As a global partner of the EEF, QRF has localized and launched the EEF’s Teaching and Learning Toolkit in the region, is running an evaluation of ‘Let’s Read Fluently!’ and, the subject of this posting, hosting EEF Fellowships that advance the goals of generating new knowledge of ‘what works, making existing knowledge useful, and supporting its uptake by teachers and policy makers.

The 2021 Fellowship build on the success of the first EEF Fellowship at QRF which was held by Dr. Sandra Baroudi of Zayed University. Dr. Sandra Baroudi had this to say about her time as a Fellow at QRF:

“It was an honor to be a fellow for contextualizing the teaching and learning toolkit into the Arab region …

As a fellow, I was able to create an action plan which will ensure the delivery of the project on time. I collaborated with researchers and practitioners throughout the region and in the UK during my visit to EEF. As a fellow, I never felt I was on my own, especially during the most challenging times, when I was constantly supported and guidance was given to me to help navigate the obstacles.

This whole experience generated a feeling of reward knowing that my work will help impart the knowledge that was gathered to the teachers and education practitioners in the Arab region.”

How the Fellowship works:

Our hope is that the successful Fellows will hold the position from Summer 2021, for twelve months. If the successful Fellows are currently employed at an academic institution we will reimburse it for the salary costs of the Fellow. In the event that the Fellow is based outside of Jordan then, Covid permitting, QRF will cover the costs of visits to QRF’s offices in Amman, Jordan and any other travel that is needed in order to fulfil the Fellowship. For example, attendance at conferences or school visits.

For a conversation about the Fellow:

If you are interested in this opportunity and have some questions, please do get in touch with our Deputy Director for Research and Programmes, Mr. Mark Griffiths, who will be happy to speak to you. He can be contacted at [email protected].

Main Roles and Responsibilities:

Research:

  • Support QRF in successfully managing the evaluation of the Pilot of ‘Let’s Read Fluently!’ (LRF) by an independent evaluator. (The independent evaluator is expected to be recruited prior to the Fellowship start date).
  • Support QRF in readying for a Randomised Control Trial of LRF.
  • Understand the opportunities within LRF for additional research, which the Fellow will then lead on designing and undertaking.
  • Through desk and field work, map the existing landscape of literacy interventions in the region that would be candidates for something like an Evidence Centre devoted to Arabic Literacy to evaluate.
  • Create and populate a framework for analyzing this pipeline – e.g. by stage of innovation, level of evidence, or learning theme - and highlight key gaps in the pipeline in light of the wider literacy evidence base. Eg. what well-evidenced literacy practices are not present?
  • Develop robust evaluation frameworks and approaches using relevant QRF programs as the material. In particular -
    • QRF has indicative support for the ‘Read!’ intervention in 2021, which aims to address the absence of both reading material in schools and teachers/ librarians skilled in supporting student reading. The ultimate ambition is to deliver this program to every school in Jordan, but built into this plan needs to be a high-quality approach to evaluation.

After the pilot phase, this intervention is potentially suited to an experimental evaluation. We would ask the Fellow to support the design and development of an appropriate evaluation approach.

  • Karim and Jana’ is one of QRF’s flagship projects, encouraging literacy and numeracy development in Arabic through app-based learning.

We would ask the Fellow to create a robust evaluation framework for digital technology that would enable QRF to undertake innovative evidence development and support the EEF’s interest in developing this area of knowledge.

Partnerships:

  • Help develop QRF’s growing relationships with specialist impact organizations, including scoping available regional experience and appetite for scientific level impact evaluations in education in the region.

Knowledge transfer:

  • Use learnings from QRF projects and evaluations to create guidance notes and knowledge-sharing activities for both QRF, its affiliates, and its partners.

Qualifications:

  • A postgraduate qualification in a relevant field, such as education research, experimental evaluations, or Arabic literacy. (Essential)
  • Demonstrable interest in impact evaluation techniques and practice, including experimental approaches and preferably in the education sector. (Essential)
  • A strong interest in evidence-based practices and the research-policy nexus. (Essential)
  • Field-based experience and with a pragmatic, problem-solving approach. (Desirable)

Languages:

  • Arabic
  • English