AERDF honored as one of Fast Company’s 2024 World Changing Ideas


Your opportunity to lead a $25M initiative to prove the impossible in education.

Our 2024 Program Executive Director application cycle is now closed. Scroll to learn about the selection process and subscribe to be kept in the loop for future opportunities to prove the impossible possible in education.

AERDF, the first nonprofit Advanced Inclusive R&D organization focused on scientific discovery and invention for PreK-12 education, is looking for a Program Executive Director to lead its next initiative, with a budget of up to $25M.

While we are no longer accepting applications from Program Executive Director candidates for 2024, we are always eager to connect with curious and courageous leaders ready to evolve teaching and learning in PreK-12 US education.

Get in touch if you are exploring opportunity or problem spaces that are:

  • Under-explored and with strong potential for major breakthroughs, unlocking significant new capabilities that would benefit PreK-12 teaching, learning and assessment systems.
  • Critically important for Black and Latino learners and learners experiencing poverty, furthering their brilliance and transforming their education experiences.
  • Ideally explored by a cross-sector community whose diverse expertise, perspectives and resources catalyze progress in a way no one could achieve on their own.

The path to a new Advanced Inclusive R&D program

AERDF’s 3-5 year programs are developed through an Advanced Inclusive R&D approach. Through focused, shorter cycles of innovation with clear, ambitious goals, AERDF brings together learners, educators, researchers, developers, and others to find solutions to pressing education challenges. Here’s a look at how we select a program executive director to define and steer our next initiative:

  • Candidates submit an application, complete an interview, and deliver a two-page concept paper based on priority areas of focus.
  • Eight finalists are invited to join the AdvancED Fellowship—a part-time, paid opportunity to refine their breakthrough ideas into actionable program plans for 8-12 weeks.
  • One Fellow is selected to lead the next AERDF program, to launch within 6-12 months from the end of the Fellowship.
May 23, 2024
Due date for applicants to fill out our short form and share your resume to let us know you’re interested in applying. No need to share a concept just yet.
May 31, 2024
Due date for eligible applicants to submit your interview and a two-page concept paper. Candidates will be notified if they are moving on to the next round of consideration by June 21.
July 3, 2024
Eight finalists will be invited to join the AdvancED Fellowship—a part-time, paid opportunity to refine their moonshot ideas into actionable program plans from July through October.
July 19, 2024
The AdvancED Fellowship begins.
Fall 2024
One Fellow will be selected to lead the next AERDF program, which will launch in 2025.

The environment is changing. Technology is evolving. Society and the world of work are transforming. AEDRF AdvancEd 2024 Fellows are currently developing proposals in the following Opportunity Areas:

Relevant Learning

We know a growing number of students are disengaged from school.

What if…

all learners experienced relevant, high-quality learning every day?


We know multilingual education raises achievement for all learners.

What if…

 all learners became multilingual?



We know assessments measure inequities.

What if…

 assessments eliminated inequity?


Together we can create a world where learners are engaged in their communities and every person has economic autonomy.

Are you the next AERDF Program Executive Director?

We believe it will take audacious action and sustained commitment to address some of the deepest-rooted inequities in our nation’s education system.

I invite you to be bold with us. Are you

  • a researcher with a vision for scientific discoveries beyond what a single lab can do?
  • an educator who sees the brilliance in your students and can imagine the solutions needed to unlock their potential?
  • a builder or developer who has an idea for social impact that’s bigger than any one product?
  • a leader who will stop at nothing to challenge and change the inequitable status quo that currently exists in PreK-12 education?

We are excited to meet the daring leader who will be the Executive Director of our next Advanced Inclusive R&D initiative to change the future of education. In this role, you don’t need to have the perfect resume, the right connections, or access to the best resources. What you do need is a visionary mind, an ability to lead across sectors, and an insatiable drive to effect multigenerational change. Are you the leader we’re looking for to join AERDF?

Auditi Chakravarty

Chief Executive Officer

Watch the replay of this webinar plus the Q&A session about the Program Executive Director application process.

Learn about the process from AERDF's three program leaders:

Executive Director, EF+Math

“I began this journey because of the rare opportunity it provided to approach a big challenge with the necessary resources and space for creative and innovative thinking—and the chance to help chart a more equitable and inclusive way of doing education R&D.”

Executive Director, Assessment for Good

“Two years into my AERDF journey, I am more excited than ever about the work that my team and I get to do alongside our community partners, researchers, learners, developers, and caregivers.”

Executive Director, Reading Reimagined

“We started Reading Reimagined because we believe that illiteracy is a problem that shouldn’t exist in our country. This is a truly unique opportunity to leverage your strengths to see your vision come to life.”

Transforming Together

The AdvancED Fellows and the next Program Executive Director benefit from the support and resources of a broad community, including our core collaborators:

How AERDF's Advanced Inclusive R&D approach works

Like the ARPAs (Advanced Research Project Agencies), AERDF focuses on advanced R&D for scientific discovery and invention. Through partnerships and “bridges” in the ecosystem we bring our generalizable knowledge, insights, and solutions into the real world for others to carry forward and take to scale. The result: major breakthroughs that benefit PreK-12 teaching, learning and assessment systems.

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