ACT, Inc. Senior Research Scientist in Iowa City, Iowa

ACT is a nonprofit organization helping people achieve educational and workplace success. Our programs are designed to boost lifelong learning in schools and workplaces around the world. Whether it's guiding students along their learning paths, enabling companies to develop their workforce, fostering parent, teacher, and counselor understanding of student progress, guiding job seekers toward career success, or informing policymakers about education and workforce issues. ACT is passionate about making a difference in all we do.

Learn more about working at ACT at

The Senior Research Scientist in ACTNext will lead developing and implementing a research agenda which integrates the most recent findings from research in psychometrics, statistics, assessment design, analytics, measurement, educational data mining and technological innovations.

Typical work-related activities include:

  • Pursue or collaborate in interdisciplinary projects, transferring techniques to a new context or connecting scientific fields that are usually separate

  • Provide scientific and technical skills so as to conceptualize, design, obtain support for, conduct, and manage new research projects, grants, or parts of existing projects

  • Generate or contribute to new or modified theories of psychometrics, statistics, machine learning, educational, psychological, and assessment processes

  • Design and conduct scientific studies, functioning as an expert in the major facets of the projects

  • Respond as a subject matter expert in presenting the results of acquired knowledge and experience

  • Consult and collaborate on problems arising from research and/or testing programs or corporate management concerns

  • Develop or assist in developing proposals for external and internal research grants and obtain financial support for new or continuing research activities

  • Prepare initial and final proposal and project budgets

  • Participate in dissemination activities through the publications of research papers in peer review journals, the issuing of progress and technical reports, the presentation of seminars at major conferences and at ACT, or the use of other appropriate communication vehicles, including books and chapters, that impact practice in the field or at ACT

  • Develop professional relationships as a representative, consultant or advisor to external advisory and policy boards and councils, research organizations, educational institutions and educators



PhD in psychometrics, statistics, computer science, or related field, with preference for a specialization in one or more of the following areas:

  • cognitive modeling

  • stochastic processes

  • psychometrics with Bayesian methods

  • time series analysis

  • longitudinal models

  • complex systems


  • Minimum of six years of conducting theoretical and applied research required

  • Publication record in the top-tier international research venues required

  • Solid experience in developing formal theories and/or computational statistics


  • Knowledge of Item Response Theory, cognitive psychology, computational modelling

  • Ability to build and interpret probabilistic models of complex, high-dimensional systems

  • Knowledge of psychometrics and research design

  • Knowledge of data analytics

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

  • Innovative thinker

  • Must be self-motivated and self-driven

  • Exceptional collaborator and team member

  • Completion of the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate is recommended. Find a testing site near you to register for the WorkKeys assessments. Finalists for this position will be subject to a pre-employment criminal background check as a condition of employment.*

/ ACT is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex,/ /sexual orientation, gender identity, //national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. ACT values diversity in people and ideas and participates in E-verify. ACT's online position announcements are intended only to provide general descriptions of employment opportunities; none of the information provided for any position should be interpreted as a commitment by ACT to specific terms and conditions for employment./