Science of Learning Initiative


The IBRO Science of Learning Initiative is the result of IBRO’s efforts to establish a global partnership that recognizes neuroscience research as crucial to increasing our understanding of how the human brain learns and to informing education practitioners, policymakers, and governments how this knowledge can help address urgent international concerns ranging from curriculum development and learning to migration and equitable development.

Identifying the ways in which the brain learns and how this influences human learning and behaviour in general has never been so relevant and necessary. Scientific research today has reached a point where discoveries can provide reliable findings with significant implications for the different stakeholders aiming to achieve effective and impactful teaching and learning systems.

Past efforts in this field include the U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Science of Learning Centers Program established in 2003, the OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation “Brain and Learning” project launched in 1999 and the work of UNESCO’s International Bureau of Education (IBE-UNESCO), whose mission is to offer support and innovative solutions to ministries of education and governments wishing to improve the equity, quality, and development-relevance of their education and learning systems. IBRO’s initiative recognizes the advancements made by these organizations and others, and plans to keep the same level of commitment through partnership and collaboration, building on previous lessons learned and knowledge sharing.

IBRO and IBE-UNESCO have established a program that offers at least 3 joint IBRO/IBE-UNESCO Science of Learning Fellowships each year. The selected Fellows pursue research projects that help to translate key neuroscience research on learning and the brain to educators, policymakers and governments in order to address the global learning crisis. They are hosted annually at the IBE-UNESCO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

More about the IBRO/IBE-UNESCO Science of Learning Fellowships

Senior and mid-career scientists practicing in the field of neuroscience with a focus on the science of learning are eligible to apply for a fellowship. IBRO and IBE–UNESCO consider researchers from all regions of the world. Fellows are hosted at IBE–UNESCO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, so they can learn about policymaking in an international context, as well as receive support with policy vocabulary and messages.