Pearson Senior Research Scientist in Austin, Texas

Senior Research Scientist


At Pearson, we’re committed to a world that’s always learning and to our talented team who makes it all possible. From bringing lectures vividly to life to turning textbooks into laptop lessons, we are always re-examining the way people learn best, whether it’s one child in our own backyard or an education community across the globe. We are bold thinkers and standout innovators who motivate each other to explore new frontiers in an environment that supports and inspires us to always be better. By pushing the boundaries of technology — and each other to surpass these boundaries — we create seeds of learning that become the catalyst for the world’s innovations, personal and global, large and small.

Pearson is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer and a member of E-Verify. All qualified applicants, including minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Pearson’s School Curriculum group is the leading preK-12 curriculum, testing, and software company in the US, reaching every student and teacher in that country with one or more of our products and services. We offer a wide range of solutions that integrate our instructional, assessment, and reporting capabilities. These instructional offerings include basal and supplemental programs, and technology-delivered adaptive learning solutions. Pearson provides industry-leading, digital instructional solutions for preK-12 ( Pearson Digital Learning ), as well as student information, assessment, reporting and business solutions ( Pearson School Systems ). In fact, nearly 50% of US schools use at least one of our student curriculum, instructional management and financial software packages. Additionally, we are the largest comprehensive provider of educational assessment services and solutions in the US ( Assessment & Information ), developing, scoring, and processing tens of millions of student tests every year. We lead in automated written answer scoring ( Pearson Knowledge Technologies ), and providing scanning and Optical Mark Reader software and hardware solutions, and psychological assessments for education, commercial and other markets ( Pearson Assessments ).

Our School Assessment Psychometric Services department has one or more job openings for Senior Research Scientist positions. Pearson research scientists provide the full range of psychometric support to large scale custom assessment programs, as well as develop innovative techniques and processes. We are looking for candidates with drive and ambition who are seeking to make an impact as a psychometric practitioner, serving State Departments of Education and large school districts.

The senior research scientist position described here is part of the Pearson Psychometric and Research Services group, which is part of the Testing, Measurement, and Research Services group and the larger Assessment and Information group.

Pearson research scientists provide the full range of psychometric support to state and national customers, develop innovative techniques and processes, and conduct cutting-edge research studies.


The education, experience, and responsibilities associated with this position include:

Education and Work Experience

  • Doctoral degree in educational measurement or a related field from a nationally recognized institution of higher education

  • AND at least seven years of relevant job experience, preferably with the complete range of psychometric issues that are faced with operational assessment programs or significant grant-funded research projects

  • Some experience in budgeting, resource management, project coordination, and training

  • Working knowledge and experience in formative assessment preferred

  • Working knowledge and experience in computer adaptive testing preferred

Familiarity with Psychometric Techniques or Techniques Associated with Other Relevant Areas of Expertise

  • Demonstrates the ability to effectively apply, design, and train others in solutions utilizing psychometric techniques—including classical test theory, item response theory, test equating, scaling and linking, formative assessment, computer adaptive testing and standard setting—to new and unique operational testing settings

  • OR has experience applying and designing techniques utilizing the scientist's specific area of expertise to new and unique settings

  • Research area in CAT

  • Assists in budgeting, coordinating of resources, and training

Familiarity with Software Packages and Programming Languages

  • Applies software packages and programming languages commonly used in psychometric work or research (e.g., SAS, SPSS, WINSTEPS, BILOG, MULTILOG, PARSCALE, C , SPLUS, FORTRAN) to new and unique settings faced in operational testing programs or research projects

  • OR has familiarity with software packages (e.g., Matlab, IDL, PERL, Java, Javascript, XML) associated with the scientist's specific area of expertise and ability to apply these packages to new and unique settings faced in operational testing programs or significant research projects

Scaling and Equating

  • Demonstrates skill with common scaling and equating designs to review and create technical documentation (including technical specifications)

  • Conducts, guides, and designs analyses for item calibration, linking, and equating

  • Designs, documents (including technical specifications), conducts AND/OR coordinates the efforts of others (including external verifiers) in item calibration, linking, and equating analyses

Grants, Research, and External Funding

  • Designs research studies and research analysis specifications

  • Identifies study limitations, study parameters, and funding requirements to complete proposed research

  • Coordinates study resources, completes study documentation, and conducts formal reports for written or oral presentation as contractually obligated

Test Construction/Field Testing

  • Organizes and coordinates with other research scientists, data analysts subject-matter experts, and/or the client all aspects of test form design and construction and field test item preparation and review

Proposal Development

  • Coordinates technical designs for proposals

  • Writes associated text

  • Serves on proposal review teams as necessary

  • Demonstrates familiarity with costing process

Knowledge of Educational Trends

  • Identifies implications of relevant national and state trends in education for operational assessment programs or research projects and clients

  • Proposes measurement plans and provides client advice based on these implications as appropriate

Communication Skills, Technical Presentations, and Client Contact

  • Demonstrates communication skills (oral, written, and business) necessary to function effectively in a leadership role with internal and external clients

  • Communicates about and provides guidance in state and national educational issues

  • Effectively tailors technical presentations to different audiences (e.g., client groups or technical advisory committees)

  • Provides guidance for similar presentations made by other research scientists

  • Makes presentations at national conferences

  • Submits manuscripts for publication

  • May serve as the primary Psychometrics and Research Services (PRS) contact (e.g., represents PRS in meetings and other communications) for internal and external clients for multiple testing programs or research projects or for a single large and complex testing program or research project

Project and Talent Management

  • Demonstrates project management skills necessary to lead and direct all PRS-related aspects of multiple assessment programs or research projects or a single large and complex assessment program or research project

  • Understands roles of different departments and how these impact PRS deliverables, schedules, costing, and scope

  • Exhibits management skills necessary to provide costs, staffing input, and strategic plan information for specific projects to upper management

  • Supports hiring process through applicant interviewing

  • Provides career plan information

Organizational Behavior

  • Aligns goals with department goals

  • Provides advice for, creates, and documents new and existing processes

Working Location and Travel

  • Preference for working onsite in the Pearson facility in Iowa City, Iowa, Austin or San Antonio, TX.

  • Willingness to travel as necessary


Primary Location: US-TX-Austin

Other Locations US-RE-Remote, US-IA-Iowa City, US-TX-San Antonio

Work Locations: US-Remote Remote

Job: Professional Development

Organization: Assessments School

Employee Status: Regular Employee

Job Type: Standard

Shift: Day Job

Job Posting: Apr 19, 2017