Pearson Research Scientist in Iowa City, Iowa

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 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.

General Duties and Responsibilities

  • Fulfills psychometric analyses including scaling, equating, item and test analyses, test construction (including CAT item pool assembly and configuration).

  • Produces technical reports that exceed target audience requirements for clarity and defensibility.

  • Facilitates public review meetings such as item data reviews and standard settings.

  • Collaborates with other measurement professionals in the delivery of large scale high-stakes assessment programs.

  • Advises clients on sound measurement practice – is able to understand the impacts of public policy on assessment, and vice versa.

  • Manages schedules and interacts with subject matter experts, technology staff, and program management staff to fulfill psychometric deliverables.

  • Travels, as required, to fulfill these responsibilities. Travel is approximately 25%.

  • Is self-driven, self-monitoring, and able to work independently following established procedures.


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 one year of relevant job experience, preferably with a testing program that has gone through a complete operational cycle OR at least one year of relevant job experience on a significant grant-funded research project

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

  • Experience with applied psychometric techniques in a job setting—including classical test theory, item response theory, test equating, scaling, linking, and standard setting

  • OR experience with applied techniques associated with the scientist's specific area of expertise

Familiarity with Software Packages and Programming Languages

  • Experience with software packages and programming languages commonly used in psychometric work or measurement research (e.g., SAS, SPSS, WINSTEPS, BILOG, MULTILOG, PARSCALE, C , SPLUS, FORTRAN)

  • OR experience with software (Matlab, IDL, PERL, Java, Javascript, XML) associated with the scientist's specific area of expertise

Scaling and Equating

  • Shows sufficient familiarity with common scaling and equating designs to review and draft technical documentation (including technical specifications)

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

  • Designs, documents (including technical specifications), and conducts analyses for item calibration, linking, and equating

Grants, Research, and External Funding

  • Develops study design and research analysis specifications for proposed research studies

  • Identifies study limitations and study parameters to optimize analyses and design in grants/applications for external funding and in research publications

Test Construction/Field Testing

  • Works closely with other research scientists, data analysts, subject-matter experts, and/or clients/customers in the construction of test forms and the preparation of items for various testing purposes

Proposal Development

  • Contributes to technical designs of proposals

  • Writes associated text under guidance from more senior research scientists

Knowledge of Educational Trends

  • Articulates and uses knowledge of national and state trends in education in assigned operational assessment programs or research projects

Communication Skills, Technical Presentations, and Client Contact

  • Demonstrates communication skills (oral, written, and business) necessary to function effectively as a primary contact with internal project teams and external clients with guidance from more senior research scientists

  • Communicates about general state and national educational issues

  • Presents technical information to different audiences (e.g., client groups or technical advisory committees) with guidance from more senior research scientists

  • Presents at national conferences

  • Serves as the primary contact for Pearson Psychometric and Research Services (e.g., represents group in meetings and in other communications) for internal and external clients for a small-to-medium operational testing program or research project or for a portion of a large and complex testing program or research project

Project and Talent Management

  • Demonstrates project management skills necessary to lead all Pearson Psychometric and Research Services aspects of a small-to-medium operational assessment program or research project or a portion of a large and complex assessment program or research project

  • Supports hiring process through applicant interviewing

  • Provides career plan consultation and advice

Organizational Behavior

  • Aligns goals with published department goals

  • Follows existing processes and documents processes when necessary


  • 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