American Institutes for Research

Researcher Intern

Job Location US-DC
Job ID
Job Location
United States
Alternate locations
DC 5


The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is one of the leading behavioral and social science research organizations in the world. AIR is a collaborative organization that works with clients to examine a wide range of projects from early childhood development to adult education. We pride ourselves on conducting high-impact, high-stakes projects for significant federal, state, and private organizations.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what U.S. students know and can do in various subjects. NAEP is a congressionally mandated project administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.
AIR is seeking doctoral students to join the NAEP Doctoral Student Internship Program in Washington, DC, which it is administering in coordination with and on behalf of NCES. The purpose of the program is to conduct research on operational, measurement, and methodological issues related to NAEP as well as to conduct secondary data analysis with NAEP data. In 2018, in addition to typical statistical and psychometric research studies, a special emphasis will be given to research focused on analyzing response process data from students’ interaction with NAEP’s digital platform.
Exemplary research topics from the 2017 NAEP Doctoral Student Internship Program that resulted in conference acceptances include the following:
• Understanding Grade 8 Reading Achievement Gaps in the 2015 National Assessment of Education Progress [using HLM analysis]
• Identifying Rapid-Guessers Using Growth Mixture Models
• Comparing Pairwise Chained Linking and Multi-Year Concurrent Calibration Linking in NAEP
• The Impact of Missing Contextual Questionnaire Data on Plausible Value Generation
• Early Reading Development and NAEP Performance in Grade 4
• Teacher Instructional Variables and Early Reading Growth: A Growth Mixture Modeling Approach
• A Closer Look at Charter School Trends for Select Jurisdictions with High Charter School Enrollment


The Doctoral Student Intern will contribute to the development of statistics about education that inform the discussion, debate, and planning of decision-makers at the national, state, and local levels through a contract with NCES. The goal of the internship program is to advance and encourage secondary analysis and methodological developments using data from NAEP.
Specific work conducted by the Doctoral Student Intern will depend on their skills and interests as well as NCES priorities and will be discussed at the beginning of the program.


• Currently seeking a doctorate degree in education measurement, statistics, or other related quantitative field
• 2 years of coursework in a Ph.D. program or a master’s degree completed in a relevant field
• Strong organizational and interpersonal skills
• Experience applying advanced statistical methods
• Experience with statistical software packages such as SAS, Stata, R, or Mplus
• Knowledge of item response theory and sampling theory
• Experience analyzing data from large-scale surveys and assessment data with complex sampling design

Application deadline: February 28, 2018


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