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Qualitative Research Consultant

Contract Position, Based in India

Applications for this position are now closed.

About the role

This role will be a critical member of the Research Team, supporting the completion of an active research project.

Global School Leaders (GSL), in collaboration with our India partner, Alokit, has launched a two-year long (2023–2025) project,  Gender Equitable Schools Program (GESP), in Ranga Reddy District, Telangana, India.  The program is focused specifically on training school leaders on creating gender-responsive schools. School leaders from 160 co-educational secondary schools (Grades 6–12) will receive training and coaching to improve their leadership in ways that promote gender-safe and gender-responsive learning environments. Through this program, we also want to understand what kind of programming can improve gender equity at schools.


Monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning is a crucial, ongoing aspect of this program. We have already conducted a baseline study as part of our impact evaluation, in which we surveyed school principals (one per school), teachers (two per school), and students (approximately ten per school) before the start of the program in November 2023. We plan to follow it up with an endline study in 2025. In addition to this, we will conduct an in-depth study to capture the qualitative aspects of program design, implementation, and impact.

Scope of Work

As the program implementation progresses, we plan to conduct a series of qualitative research activities, which will aid us in capturing the impact holistically. As a research consultant, you will be mainly responsible for scheduling, conducting interviews/focus group discussions (FGDs), conducting classroom observations, and transcribing the interviews and FGDs in English. The activities are spread between April – June 2024 and will take up to ~44 person days in total. The details of each of these three activities are included below:

  • Learning Capture (April 2024): To understand the background know-how of designing and executing a complex program such as this, we plan to conduct 3 Focus group discussions & 1 interview with program staff members from Alokit and GSL  (can be done online using Zoom). We expect this would take up to ~ 6 person days of work to conduct and transcribe the interviews/FGDs (1 person day is 8 hours).

  • Qualitative Study (June 2024): To understand the program uptake and engagement, we plan to conduct Interviews with 12 school principals from the intervention schools (in-person). To see how the learning from the intervention is being translated into the classrooms, we plan to conduct classroom observations in 6 schools (in-person).  Additionally, we plan to interview 3-4 district and state-level education officials who are involved in the program to understand their perspectives (can be done online using Zoom or via phone calls). We expect this would take up to ~ 22 person days of work.

  • Diagnostic Study - Qualitative Research (Timeline - to be decided subject to government approval): Additionally, we will conduct a state-level diagnostic study in Telangana as part of the program to understand the synergies and gaps in the education system as a whole with special focus on gender and equity issues, and provide these insights to the government. This will involve interviewing 6 government officials, 12 school principals, 3–4 focus group discussions with teachers (can be done in-person, online using Zoom, or via phone calls). We expect this would take up to ~16 person days of work.

Candidate Qualifications
Required Qualifications 

(we will use these in our screening process)

  • Master's degree in education, sociology, anthropology, public policy, or other social sciences with coursework in qualitative research; current postgraduate/doctoral students can also apply

  • 1–2 years experience in conducting qualitative research, especially in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and transcribing

  • Fluent in spoken and written English and Telugu

  • Strong research and analytical skills

  • High proficiency in MS Office

  • Well-organized, honest, and diligent, along with great attention to detail 

  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills

  • Willing to travel to schools

  • The candidate must be based in India, preferably around Hyderabad, Telangana

In this role, you will be able to:
  • Manage: You will manage the scheduling and conducting of the aforementioned qualitative research activities. This may include reaching out to the respondents to schedule the activities (time, location/sharing meeting links), and following up to ensure that activities are completed in a timely manner.

  • Collaborate: You will work closely with the Research Team at GSL and Alokit, keep everyone informed, and seek guidance as needed. This may involve joining some meetings to coordinate with others in the team, as well as attending short inductions before a research activity begins to familiarize yourself with the instruments and the context.

  • Contribute: You will contribute to primary data collection that will feed into answering important research questions in the studies outlined above.

Work Location and Remuneration

The candidate should be preferably based in and around Hyderabad, Telangana (at least in June), and be willing to travel to other nearby districts as and when required. We require that candidates live in India.


We expect the assignments to take around 44 person-days to complete, which can spread over 3 months (April – June 2024). Remuneration will be commensurate with experience and competitive with the non-profit education sector in the country. It could be in the range of INR 3500 – 4500 per person-day.


Depending upon the quality of the consultant’s work, we may decide to extend the contract for future qualitative research that will be undertaken towards the end of the project. In case the researcher has skills and adequate experience in conducting qualitative data analysis, we will also discuss the possibility of extending the contract to include data analysis support. 

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 with 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.

Applications for this position are now closed.

What we look for


You believe passionately that students can achieve at high levels, that education systems can be designed to ensure that achievement, and that developing school leaders is a key element in doing so.


You love to learn - from others, from research, from your work - and you are open to saying that you do not know the answer to a question, but that you will go and find the answers. You are also willing to help others on the team learn and are generous with your knowledge.


You welcome opportunities to lead. Because we are a small team, everyone has a voice and has opportunities to lead meetings and projects. 


You set a high bar for yourself and for others both in the work you produce and in the way you form relationships. You demonstrate care for others, and you think about the impact you have on those around you. You seek out, listen to and value the voices of those closest to children - students, teachers, school leaders, and our partners.


You are a self-starter and great at managing your time. Because of our remote work, you will have a very flexible schedule but high expectations for what you accomplish during your work time. (Please note, though, that due to our team being spread across the globe, meetings may need to be scheduled at very early morning hours (5 or 6am) or very late evening/night hours (10 or 11pm).

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About GSL

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.

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 the 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.

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