Senior Research Scientist at ACT, Inc.

ACT, Inc.

Senior Research Scientist

Job Locations: US-Remote | US-IA-Iowa City

Job ID: 2019-1642

Category: Research

Travel: No Travel Required


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.


This position will contribute to the mission of the Validity and Efficacy Research department, which is to demonstrate the value of ACT products and services by researching the appropriateness of their proposed uses as well as their effectiveness in improving intended outcomes. The accumulated evidence of these studies will drive product improvement and new product development with the ultimate goal of maximizing the likelihood of meaningfully impacting intended outcomes.

Position objective

This position will lead the validity and efficacy research agenda around ACT’s suite of workforce solutions, including WorkKeys assessments, the WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate, and WorkKeys Curriculum. Additionally, a portion of this position’s time (20%) will be responsible for supporting validity research for the ACT test.

This includes designing and conducting rigorous studies to evaluate the validity and efficacy of ACT’s workforce solutions, developing validity and efficacy arguments and theories of actions for current and new ACT workforce products and services, determining and documenting evidence needed to support validity and efficacy claims for ACT workforce products and services, and communicating research findings to a wide variety of stakeholders and via various outlets. Requires strong communication, research design, and validity and evaluation research skills.

Essential job responsibilities

Typical work-related activities include:

  • Employ a variety of research methods, including descriptive, correlational, and experimental research methods to evaluate the validity and efficacy of ACT products and services for various uses.
  • Design, conduct, interpret, and present research results to a broad spectrum of stakeholders (e.g., parents, teachers, students, policymakers, employers, economic developers, workforce boards, and academics), focusing on the broad areas of educational and workplace readiness and success.
  • Maintain knowledge of current events and trends in education and workforce readiness, and of developments in research design and evaluation and validity theory and methods.
  • Increase visibility of ACT research through publications, presentations, and presence across relevant national and international research communities.
  • Participate within ACT research and across ACT in creating an open, innovative, and collaborative environment.




  • Ph.D. in industrial-organization psychology, educational measurement, educational psychology, quantitative psychology, or other related research-based fields
  • Or an equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and abilities can be acquired


  • A minimum of six years of related post-doctorate experience in validity and evaluation research, theory, and method
  • Experience conducting validity research in workforce context
  • Experience working with workforce and education clients
  • Sustained successful leadership in design, implementation, and publication of complex research projects.
  • Extensive professional achievement demonstrated through publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations and participation in relevant national and international research communities
  • Experience in applied research preferred


  • Strong computer programming skills, including statistical software; proficient programming skills in SAS or R preferred
  • Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to write for, and present to, non-technical audiences
  • Exceptional collaborator and team member

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