Short-term Consultant, 
Research (Literature Review)


School Leadership is a vastly understudied area of research in low and middle-income countries.

The research consultant will conduct a comprehensive literature review on the evidence of whether and how school leadership affects foundational literacy and numeracy (FLN) outcomes for learners and what kinds of SL training contents are most effective at causing shifts in teaching practices to improve teaching and learning at school. We will emphasize specific practices that school leaders in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) can use to influence FLN outcomes of students and how education systems can support school leaders to adopt these practices.


This work will draw on the various facets of our research, including building on Global School Leaders' 2020 Evidence Review Report, background research for the RCT on the effectiveness of school leadership training we are launching in India, and what we are finding from ongoing systemic research on school leaders’ roles and responsibilities. 

School leaders have the potential to make incredible changes in the lives of students by building a strong school culture and helping teachers provide great instruction. Yet, school leadership has not been prioritized in low and middle-income countries. GSL works to change that through the following workstreams:

  1. We catalyze and support local partner organizations to deliver and scale high-quality training to school leaders. 

  2. We generate insights from our partners and the broader research community to inform education policymakers, researchers, and practitioners on the best ways to support and develop strong school leadership. 

  3. We connect our partner organizations with each other for deep learning between themselves and amongst the broader school leadership community - governments, funders, and policymakers.

We are a small but mighty remote team spread across the globe. We care about each other and we care about the work. You can learn more about our culture here. In five years, we have: 

  • Partnered with organizations in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, and Brazil that work with over 3,500 school leaders, impacting approximately 920,000 students.

  • Published an evidence review on what is known about school leadership globally, as well as two surveys that help the policy community hear from teacher and school leader voices.

  • Become one of the leading voices in conversations about school leadership in the global south, being asked to speak at conferences and webinars throughout the world, and being recognized for our work. In 2021, HundrED in partnership with the World Bank recognized GSL as one of top ten impactful and scalable solutions that support teachers’ professional development. 

  • Established the School Leadership Network with the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 hosted by UNESCO and the Varkey Foundation to convene online meetings with 100+ experts and 400+ school leaders from 50+ countries to foster peer learning, share innovative practices, and strengthen school leaders’ voice in policy circles.

  • Expanded our work to support needs during COVID in the Philippines, Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria and Peru.

Background on the role: 

​School Leadership is a vastly understudied area of research in low and middle-income countries. GSL aims to address this challenge by collaborating with our partners, researchers, practitioners, and other similar organizations. GSL research consists of two broad functions: Program Research and Ecosystem Research. Our program research focuses on generating practice-based evidence to strengthen school leadership to improve student outcomes through our innovative school leader training programs. Our Ecosystem Research aims to understand better the educational contexts and systems within which school leaders are operating. We conduct and review research to understand school leader stories and what enabling factors make the most significant difference.

Scope of Work:


This literature review will result in a report that aims to:

  • Identify new evidence on mechanisms through which school leadership influences student outcomes in LMICs.  

  • Deep dive into some of the literature on ways through which school leaders can improve their instructional leadership and more effective teaching and learning of the FLN. 

  • Identify studies on how education ecosystems influence school leaders' ability to focus on teaching and learning.

  • Utilize gender lenses on all of the above to identify differences between male and female school leaders' characteristics and their respective impacts on student outcomes, as well as causes of the systemic underrepresentation of females in school leadership positions and how this underrepresentation impacts student outcomes.


We will disseminate the report and accompanying thought pieces in global education forums and to networks of education-focused organizations and governments globally.

We are looking for an inquisitive and organized individual to join our team as a Research Consultant. In this role, you will be able to:

  • Manage: You will conduct a literature review on school leadership in low and middle-income countries that will build on this Evidence Review and other reports focusing on the role of gender in school leadership and the role of school leaders in improving foundational literacy and numeracy across girls and boys. 

  • Collaborate: You will work closely with the Research Team at GSL, research teams in other organizations, and academics in universities around the world. 

  • Contribute: You will contribute to shaping how GSL research answers important learning questions for our network. The results of your work, knowledge, and expertise will benefit public-good resources for school leaders and organizations that support school leaders in low and middle-income countries.

  • Publish: You will co-identify key findings from the literature review and co-write publications. 

Candidate Qualifications

  • You should have a Master’s degree in a relevant field with a strong understanding of quantitative and qualitative research. 

  • You have completed a few literature reviews, ideally in education, public policy, or development. We very much welcome current PhD candidates whose research interests align with this work. 

  • You are willing to share an example of a literature review you wrote, and you will be asked to demonstrate your ability through an assignment. 

  • You have excellent English proficiency. Mastery of written Spanish or French will be preferred. 

How to Apply

Please apply by sending the following documents to gautam@globalschoolleaders.org :

  • Updated resume

  • A cover letter explaining how your skills and experience align with the work

  • A writing sample, preferably a literature review that you have conducted in the past

Work Locations, Duration, and Remuneration

The candidate can be based in any country. The candidate must have work authorization in their place of residence as GSL is not able to sponsor employment visas. Travel is not part of this consultancy. 


We expect the literature review to take around 75 person-days to be completed, which can be spread over 4-5 months (October 2022 - February 2023). Remuneration will be commensurate with experience and competitive with the non-profit education sector in the country in which candidates are based. The remuneration range for this position is 10,000 - 15,000 USD, depending on the cost of living of the candidate’s home country and their level of experience.

Commitment to Diversity

GSL is an equal-opportunity employer.  We value diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all employees - across nationalities, races, ethnicity, religions, economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, disabilities, languages, ages, genders, and prior experiences. In our hiring, we seek those who have an inclusive mindset and who notice and correct inequities when they arise. 

Child Safeguarding

GSL is committed to safeguarding children. Background checks may be conducted as part of the hiring process. All team members are asked to agree to a safeguarding policy.