About the Center 

 The Center for School and Student Progress (CSSP) engages directly with educators and policymakers to influence K-12 education policies and practices that promote student success. The CSSP is eclectic – part academia, part think tank, part technical assistance provider – and the background, skillsets, and interests of the Center’s researchers are varying and wide-ranging. This eclecticism is reflected in the varied roles CSSP researchers play – regularly serving as consultative partners, providing everything from technical assistance, data analysis support, and customized research solutions to educators, school leaders, and policymakers. 

What unifies the group is a commitment to pursuing a research agenda that advances the goals and mission of the CSSP specifically and NWEA more broadly, and most importantly, has direct and practical relevance for schools and students. Research practice partnerships are a cornerstone of CSSP research – CSSP researchers develop a research agenda built, at least in part, with NWEA partners and external researchers. Some examples of current CSSP research include: 

  • The impacts of COVID-19 on student achievement and growth and widening inequalities in the wake of the pandemic. 
  • The efficacy of district programs and interventions focused on COVID-19 recovery efforts. 
  • Achievement and growth patterns for traditionally underserved students, including English learners and students with disabilities. 
  • Early learning reading patterns and their implications for reading achievement in later years. 
  • Impacts of four-day school weeks on educational outcomes. 

At NWEA we are continually striving to make diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility the center of our work. One of the top CSSP priorities is to conduct research that helps advances NWEA’s mission of Partnering to Help All Kids Learn. Beyond our research, we also want our commitment to DEIA to be reflected in our team’s culture. Our goal is to build and retain a diverse team of talented researchers and empower them to do their best work. In support of this goal, we seek researchers of diverse backgrounds and identities, academic training, work experience, and ideological outlooks to join our team. We are committed to creating a collegial environment that authentically recognizes, appreciates, and affirms each person’s individual strengths and differences.

 About the Role 

 In this Research Scientist role, you will have the opportunity to pursue research that advances organizational and team goals, leverages data from NWEA tests and products, is relevant to both academic and school/practitioner audiences, and contributes to improved outcomes for students and schools. A significant portion of your agenda can be built through the establishment of collaborative research practice partnerships with NWEA partner school systems across the country, with a goal of dissemination and promotion of research findings across an array of media, including publications targeted at both academic and practitioner audiences. 

In this role, you will also work to support school systems in the analysis and application of testing data to inform their policy and programmatic decisions. More specifically, you may provide consultation and expertise to NWEA partners supporting them in their unique and varying research needs. This includes, but is not limited to, presentations to NWEA partner schools on research findings, support for RFPs, 

technical consultation, data reporting/visualization, support around NWEA products and offerings, development and improvement of NWEA products, etc. 

The ideal Research Scientist candidate will want to apply their interests and skillsets to work in each of these key areas. There is flexibility in your area of research focus and balance of work, but we would welcome expertise in areas such as educational inequities, urban education, research practice partnerships, and/or program evaluation. 

This position is available for remote work. Exceptional candidates with a demonstrated track record of success may be considered for a Senior Research Scientist level position on a case-by-case basis. 

Your next challenge could include… 

  • Developing a research agenda that is aligned with and complements the CSSP and NWEA research agenda and development roadmap. 
  • Performing research with school systems to enhance the application and use of assessment data in the field. 
  • Leading and collaborating on the development and dissemination of technical reports, peer-reviewed articles, and other publications and products. 
  • Providing direct support to NWEA schools and districts around the application of testing data to inform policy and programmatic decisions. 
  • Presenting on research findings, assessment topics, and testing-related issues to a wide variety of external audiences. 
  • Working across internal NWEA teams to design new reports, data visualizations, and/or innovations to NWEA assessments/products. 
  • Performing other duties as assigned to ensure the success of the CSSP and NWEA. 

Traits for success… 

  • Strong quantitative or mixed methods training that can be applied to the candidate’s research agenda and work activities. 
  • Ability and experience designing and implementing research studies conducted in collaboration with school systems. 
  • Interest in collaborating on applied research in which success is measured by your contribution to the schools NWEA serves, in addition to organizational objectives and traditional academic criteria. 
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze large data sets in an efficient manner, and interest in using large datasets to advance your personal and organizational research agendas. 
  • Demonstrated proficiency with statistical software (SAS, SPSS, R, Stata, or similar programs); familiarity with data visualization software (Tableau, Power BI) is a plus. 
  • Strong English writing ability, and experience writing technical and non-technical reports and publications for technical and general audiences. 
  • Experience in communicating with audiences through diverse channels including white papers and research briefs, peer-reviewed journal articles, conventional media, and social media. 
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a virtual team environment. 
  • Ability to explain, through presentations and writing, complex measurement and statistical concepts to a wide variety of audiences, including teachers and school/district administrators. 
  • Ability to adapt research skills and approaches in a manner that is flexible and responsive to organizational needs. 

Education and experience 

  • Ph.D. in educational research, assessment, psychology, sociology, economics, or related field with prior research work focused on practical questions related to education policy, teaching and learning, and/or education assessment. Applicants expected to complete their Ph.D. before July, 2022 are encouraged to apply. 
  • Experience with assessment or educational testing; familiarity with NWEA assessments is a plus
  • Experience conducting research in direct collaboration with school systems, or experience working as an educator or administrator in K-12 school systems. 
  • Experience developing practical solutions to applied education problems. 

About us… 

NWEA® is a research-based, not-for-profit organization that supports students and educators worldwide by creating assessment solutions that precisely measure growth and proficiency—and provide insights to help tailor instruction. For 40 years, NWEA has developed innovative pre-K–12 assessments, including our flagship interim assessment, MAP® Growth™; our progress monitoring and skills mastery tool, MAP® Skills™; and our reading fluency and comprehension assessment, MAP® Reading Fluency™. Educators trust our professional learning offerings to accelerate student learning and our research to support assessment validity and data interpretation. Our tools are trusted by educators in more than 9,500 schools, districts, and education agencies in 145 countries. 

What we can offer you…. 

At NWEA we not only offer a competitive base salary, we offer a 15% contribution of eligible employees’ base salary to a defined contribution 403(b) retirement savings plan; career development opportunities; an awesome work culture and environment; industry leading benefits and perks that are focused on supporting our employees’ holistic wellbeing. To learn more about what we can offer more, click here. 

NWEA strives to make diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) practices the center of our work. Our organization’s mission, Partnering to Help All Kids Learn, is the foundation for our DEIA commitment as we work to reflect, value, and support the educators, students, colleagues, and communities we serve. We seek to empower and engage all stakeholders in the research, services, solutions and products we provide, our organizational culture, and the partnerships we establish with schools, districts, states, and countries. 

NWEA endeavors to make www.nwea.org accessible to all users. If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please call us at (503) 624-1951 or e-mail us at onlineaccommodations@nwea.org and let us know the nature of your request, your location and your contact information. This is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications. 

NWEA is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. For our EEO Policy Statement, please visit our website. If you’d like more information on your EEO rights under the law, please visit the EEOC website