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Asst. Research Dir., Policy Research

Boston College
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Doctoral Degree
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Job Description

The TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center is hiring an Assistant Research Director, Questionnaire Development and Policy Research. Located at Boston College's Lynch School of Education and Human Development, IEA's TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center conducts regular international comparative assessments of student achievement in mathematics and science (TIMSS) and in reading (PIRLS) in more than 60 countries. TIMSS (the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) and PIRLS (the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) together comprise the core cycle of studies for IEA – the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement. Headquartered in Amsterdam and with a major data processing and research center in Hamburg, IEA has been conducting international comparative studies of student achievement since 1959.

The Assistant Research Director, Questionnaire Development and Policy Research, is responsible for managing the development of the TIMSS and PIRLS context questionnaires and other data and information that provides a context for the TIMSS and PIRLS achievement results. The position also involves using TIMSS and PIRLS data to prepare policy briefs that help TIMSS and PIRLS countries make evidence-based decisions to improve educational achievement. The position requires travel to approximately six international meetings per year, and involves supervision of research assistants and graduate students.

The position includes:

  • Updating the TIMSS and PIRLS contextual frameworks to reflect new and emerging topics to be addressed by the context questionnaires.
  • Working with international expert panels to develop and review the TIMSS and PIRLS home, student, school, teacher, and curriculum questionnaires, including developing new and refining existing items and constructs and ensuring that TIMSS and PIRLS questionnaires continue to meet the highest technical standards.
  • Preparing policy briefs based on TIMSS and PIRLS data; coordinating and contributing to the analysis and reporting of the context questionnaire data in the TIMSS and PIRLS international reports; overseeing preparation and publication of the TIMSS and PIRLS Encyclopedias.
  • Conducting analyses of TIMSS and PIRLS data; writing and editing reports and articles based on TIMSS and PIRLS data; disseminating TIMSS and PIRLS results.
  • Coordinating and contributing to a range of products that communicate TIMSS and PIRLS results and the Center's activities and accomplishments.
  • Writing research proposals.


  • PhD in educational research/policy analysis (or MA plus equivalent experience)
  • 5+ years of experience in field
  • Advanced qualifications and experience in educational measurement and research
  • Experience in developing questionnaires for educational or psychological research
  • Experience in analyzing and reporting questionnaire data relevant to educational policies
  • Experience in writing research publications and proposals
  • Experience working in an international and multicultural environment
  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written
  • Skill in using word processing, excel, database, and presentation software
  • The ability to work with others under pressure to adhere to tight deadlines
  • Exercise maturity of judgment

Competitive salary commensurate with experience. This is a grant funded position

Closing Statement

Boston College conducts background checks as part of the hiring process.

Boston College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of any legally protected category including disability and protected veteran status. To learn more about how BC supports diversity and inclusion throughout the university please visit the Office for Institutional Diversity at

Boston College's Notice of Nondiscrimination can be viewed at