Foundational Learning Research Expert

Foundational Learning Research Expert

Part time 0.4 FTE | 12 month contract | USA, Europe or Africa | £55,000-65,000 per annum

Deadline: 9am EAT, 11th September 2023

The role

We’re looking for…

Brink is looking for a world-class thinker in foundational learning to join us on an exciting new fund delivered in collaboration with the fantastic team at Laterite.

We will soon be launching a research fund, dedicated to implementation. The goal of the fund is to support existing work in foundational learning with implementation research - essentially making learning live and ongoing through implementation to deliver impact at increasing scale. We’ll be doing this through a combination of financial and technical support.

We believe it’s often during implementation and the nitty gritty of what happens in the real world that makes all the difference to learning outcomes. This includes things like: why aren't teachers using guides and what can we do about it? Is it optimal to alternate remedial topics by day or spend half the time on literacy and half on math every day? And what does it take for teams on the ground to ask questions like these and iterate their implementation based on short term feedback?

Our package of support to our selected grantees will include funding and technical assistance in implementation research approaches, but it won’t end there. We will also offer support on the cultural and social factors that make teams tick and we’ll bring them together to learn from one another’s lived experience and others who are doing similar work in this space.

We’re looking for someone who’s been there, done that in the world of foundational learning research to join us and support this work from day 0 and keep our thinking at the forefront.. If that might be you, read on.

Role and Responsibilities:

You will play a pivotal role in providing expert guidance and advisory support to our team. Key responsibilities include:

  • Research and Expertise: Offer expert insights and knowledge of previous initiatives, successful practices, and existing research in foundational learning. Provide strategic advice on research directions and potential opportunities for impactful implementation.
  • Strategy Development: Work with us and our funding team to develop a comprehensive strategy for the fund, focus areas, grant amount and portfolio structure.
  • Collaboration: Advise on building strong partnerships with existing programs and other initiatives that we could learn from and vice versa. Facilitate connections and offer insights to support these efforts.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Advise on robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to track impact. Offer insights for effective data analysis and interpretation.
  • Capacity Building: Be a source of insight for our team as we support grantees, pointing them in the right direction, offering critical friendship and advice.
  • Knowledge Dissemination: Offer advisory support on how we might best share findings and engage in collaborative learning with others in the sector.


The ideal candidate should possess the following qualifications:

  • Expertise: A strong background in global foundational numeracy and literacy research.
  • Experience: 10+ years leading and/or providing advisory support for research projects, preferably related to large scale implementation of education projects/reforms such as reading/math efforts supported by USAID/FCDO and partner governments.
  • Knowledge: In-depth understanding of evidence-based foundational learning solutions and successful practices in complex environments.
  • Collaboration: Ability to provide advisory support and work collaboratively with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and cultures, fostering a team-oriented approach.
  • Analytical Skills: Proficient in assessing research methodologies required to deliver on desired research outcomes. Provide strategic advice on translating evidence to action.
  • Communication: Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to provide advisory guidance and facilitate discussions.

Time Commitment:

This is a part-time role requiring 2 days per week.


The initial contract will be for 12 months, with the possibility of extension based on project needs.

Contract type:

If you are based in the UK, Rwanda or Kenya then we are able to offer this as a 12 month fixed term contract. This means you will be an employee with Brink for the duration of the contract.

If you are based in the US then we are offering this role as a 12 month self employed contract only.

If you are in Europe or Africa (not including Rwanda or Kenya), then we will consider your application and preferred employment type on a case by case basis.

How to apply

If you’re interested in joining us, please click on our ‘apply here’ button below. This will take you to an online application form where we will ask you to upload your CV as well as a response to the following question:

Please tell us about 2 or 3 pieces of work that you think are relevant to this role.

You are encouraged to be as creative as you are comfortable with and choose any structure or layout to present your information, as long as you share it in PDF format and keep it under 50mb.

📅  The deadline for this application is 11th Sep 2023 9am EAT. You will receive an email from the system to confirm your application has been received and we will be in touch (we aim for within 2 weeks) to let you know if we’ll be taking it further.

🔗 Our commitment as Brink

Diversity is in our DNA at Brink and we’re proud of the broad range of Brinksters we have on board. We also know there is always room for improvement which is why we track diversity in all its guises to see how we’re doing, and make efforts to cast our hiring net as wide as possible. Our latest survey shows we could do better in some areas, so we’re particularly encouraging applications from people of the Global Ethnic Majority, people over 50, parents, neurodiverse people and/or those living with a disability.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability or age. We are happy to discuss any reasonable adjustments individuals may require in the recruitment process, on commencement, or once in post.

Where is this role based?

Brink is a remote team and we work all over the place from London, Nairobi, Cape Town, Kigali and Amsterdam. For this role our preference is for USA, Europe or Africa based applicants.

Please note that we are unable to employ anyone that does not have the right to work in the country they live in and work from. If you plan to work on an existing visa, there is a section on the application form where you can let us know the type and expiry date.