Evaluating Applications


Interested in applying to be a LEAP Fellow to accelerate education solutions?

Submissions are Closed

What is LEAP?

MIT Solve and the Jacobs Foundation have a shared goal of supporting and accelerating education solutions that have the potential to impact learners at scale. To help achieve this goal, we are launching LEAP (Leveraging Evidence for Action to Promote change) to provide organizations with the expertise to strengthen the evidence base of their learning solutions. 

LEAP pairs education organizations with a team of expert researchers and social entrepreneurs - LEAP Fellows - who lend their best-in-class expertise to the organization for a 12-week part-time sprint (a “LEAP project”), providing them with tailor-made solutions to strengthen the evidence base of their product, program, or business model and scale effectively. 

What is the role of a LEAP Fellow?

Fellows are staffed on a project with 1-3 other LEAP Research or Social Entrepreneur Fellows and work part-time (6-16 hours per week for 12 weeks) to address the project host’s challenge. Fellows use their shared expertise to create strategic assets for the organization such as product roadmaps, strategic plans, or research frameworks and agendas.

When not staffed on a project, until the Fellowship period comes to a close in June 2023, Fellows will be invited to participate in virtual network engagement opportunities with the LEAP network in order to share their expertise, reflect on the LEAP experience, and learn from the wider cohort of education and impact experts.

Who is eligible to apply?

We are seeking two distinct profiles for the LEAP Fellowship:

  • Researchers: LEAP Research Fellows should have completed their PhD and have expertise in the learning and development field and have at least one year of post-degree experience as an active researcher in a related area.

  • Social Entrepreneurs: LEAP Social Entrepreneur Fellows should have completed their Masters/MBA in Social Entrepreneurship, Social Impact, Social Innovation or a related field, or have held a leadership role in an entrepreneurial venture (for example, as a founder or co-founder). Applicants should have at least 3 years of professional experience and a strong interest or experience in the general learning and development field. 

How will my application be evaluated?

After an initial screening by Solve, a panel of subject area experts will score the screened applications and select finalists, who will be invited to attend an Interview Day Q&A session with the review panel. 

For applicants who meet the eligibility requirements stated above, your application will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Cross-sector collaboration: The applicant has a strong interest or experience in collaborating across sectors to create impact, one of LEAP’s core values.

  • Advisory experience: The applicant has a strong interest or experience in advising organizations.

  • Peer-to-peer learning: The applicant is committed to engaging with the wider LEAP cohort, learning from and sharing their knowledge with other LEAP Fellows, the Jacobs Foundation, MIT Solve, and the cohort of project hosts when appropriate throughout the Fellowship year.

  • Motivation: The applicant has a clear idea of how participating in LEAP will benefit their professional and/or personal trajectory at this particular moment in time.

What will I receive if I am selected?

Selected LEAP Fellows will attend a three-day LEAPathon event where they will meet with newly-selected project host organizations, participate in mentorship and design thinking sessions, and be matched with a team of Fellows and a host organization. The 12-week project sprints will kick off in two waves: one wave will begin in October 2022 and another will begin in February 2023. 

As a LEAP Fellow, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Apply your field of study to high-impact social challenges and help strengthen evidence-based education solutions across the world;

  • Network and collaborate with other LEAP Fellows, industry professionals, impact partners and leading development organizations; 

  • Increase your professional visibility by working on critical, timely projects with leading education innovators and enhance your CV;

  • Supplement your income with interesting, meaningful projects and participate on a schedule that is flexible to you.

Is the Fellowship paid?

  • Fellows are compensated for their work when staffed on a LEAP project. If accepted, we will confirm your payment amount in the acceptance letter. 

What is the time commitment?

  • The Fellowship is a 12-month engagement, with higher and lower periods of activity depending on when the Fellow is staffed on a project (October - January or February - May). Fellows will only be staffed on one project. When staffed on a project, the time commitment is between 6-16 hours per week for approximately 12 weeks. When not staffed on a project, the time commitment is ~2 hours per month.

Will the commitment be virtual or in person?

  • All LEAP projects are virtual and Fellows are staffed from around the world. Some of the work will be collaborative at set meeting times, but the independent work is flexible and can be done at times that work best for your schedule. 


  • June 21, 2022: Application deadline

  • Week of July 25, 2022: Applicants selected to interview will be notified

  • August 1-3, 2022: Applicant Interviews

  • Week of August 15, 2022: Selected Fellow Notifications

  • August 31, 2022: Fellow Onboarding Session

  • September 28, 29 & October 5: Virtual LEAPathon Event

  • Mid-October 2022: Wave 1 of LEAP Project Sprints Begin (12 weeks)

  • February 2023: Wave 2 of LEAP Project Sprints Begin (12 weeks)

  • June 2023: LEAP Virtual Closing Event

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