Principal Research Scientist

at Pearson in Dover, Delaware, United States

Job Description

Pearson is the world’s learning company, operating in nearly 200 countries around the world, with over 20,000 employees. We provide content, assessment, and digital services to schools, colleges, and universities, as well as professional and vocational education to learners to help increase their skills and lifelong employability prospects. We aim to support learners throughout their lifetime for every moment that matters – whether this is exam preparation and success, graduating from university, getting a new job, studying for a postgraduate degree, changing career, or looking for a new challenge.

From world-class assessment to virtual learning and beyond – we create the products and services that help tens of millions of people reach their goals each year. And we make sure our products fit with our key sustainability targets – to make learning accessible to everyone, to lead responsibly, and to give the next generation the skills they need to shape a better world.

Our vision is to have a direct relationship with millions of lifelong learners and to link education to the way people aspire to live and work every day. To do that, we will collaborate with a wide group of partners to help shape the future of learning. Our purpose is to help people make progress in their lives through learning.

We also believe we are at our best when we harness the unique skills, perspectives, and backgrounds of every employee.

The Principal Research Scientist position described here is part of the Pearson Psychometric and Research Services group, which is part of the US School Assessment group and larger Assessment and Qualifications team. 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 ten 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
  • OR the achievement of national recognition in the field

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

  • Effectively applies, designs solutions, and trains others in psychometric techniques-including classical test theory, item response theory, test equating, scaling and linking, and standard-setting-to new and unique operational testing settings
  • OR experience conducting and training with techniques associated with the scientist’s specific area of expertise applied to new and unique settings
  • Consults across unique testing programs and situations
  • Develops a specialty within educational measurement

Familiarity with Software Packages and Programming Languages

  • Effectively applies packages and programming languages commonly used in psychometric work or measurement research (e.g., SAS, R, SPSS, WINSTEPS, IRTPro, PARSCALE, C++, MPLUS) to new and unique settings faced in operational testing programs or research projects and consults across projects in this regard
  • OR effectively applies software (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 and consults across projects in this regard

Scaling and Equating

  • Demonstrates sufficient familiarity with common scaling and equating designs to review and draft technical documentation (including technical specifications)
  • Conducts, guides, designs, and trains in analyses for item calibration, linking and equating
  • Consults across various and unique testing programs and situations in terms of scaling and equating procedures
  • Designs, documents (including technical specifications), conducts AND/OR coordinates the efforts of others (including external verifiers), in item calibration, linking and equating analyses
  • Consults across various and unique testing programs and situations in terms of scaling and equating procedures

Grants, Research, and External Funding

  • Designs research study and research analysis specifications
  • Identifies study limitations, study parameters, and funding requirements to complete proposed research
  • Coordinates study resources, completes study documentation, and formal report for written or oral presentation as contractually obligated
  • Actively seeks potential sources of external funding or other support to complete proposed research study

Test Construction/Field Testing

  • Consults across various and unique testing programs and situations in regard to test construction and design and field testing and recognizes the implications to the long-term functioning of the testing programs or projects overseen closely with other research scientists, data analysts, subject-matter experts, and/or the client in the construction of test forms and the preparation of items for various testing purposes

Proposal Development

  • Coordinates technical designs for proposals and writes associated text
  • Generates unique and innovative solutions
  • Offers guidance in costing
  • Serves on proposal review teams as necessary

Knowledge of Educational Trends

  • Identifies the broader implications of relevant national 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
  • Upholds the principles defined by the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing

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 and liaise with other national measurement experts
  • Communicates about and articulates how state and national educational issues affect production work
  • 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
  • Actively submits manuscripts for publication
  • Occasionally serves as a conference discussant
  • Offers training opportunities
  • Participates in invited symposia, etc.
  • May serve as the primary contact for Psychometric and Research Services (PRS) (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 direct and oversee multiple assessment programs or research projects
  • Understands roles of different departments and how these impact PRS deliverables, schedules, costing, and scope
  • 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 across various programs or projects

Working Location and Travel

  • Willingness to travel as necessary

The anticipated starting salary range for Colorado-based individuals expressing interest in this position is $130,000.00-$160,000.00. This position is eligible to participate in an annual incentive program.

Benefits available to eligible employees can be seen at:

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Job Posting: JC196933163

Posted On: Nov 07, 2021

Updated On: Jan 19, 2022