Research Scientist

Job description

Research Scientist

Worcester Polytechnic Institute


Position Status:

Basic Function:
Applications for the position of Research Scientist in the Department of Learning Sciences & Technology and being accepted. The candidate will be advised by Professor Neil Heffernan and funded under an NSF DIBBs grant with the goal of developing and strengthening ASSISTments Research.

ASSISTments, ( is an online learning platform used by hundreds of teachers assigning mathematics classwork and homework to over 50,000 student users. The platform provides students with instructional ASSISTance while serving as a powerful assessMENT tool for teachers. The platform has over 25,000 problems mapped to the Common Core State Standards that are delivered as certified material offered as a free service of WPI. Content development, recruitment efforts, and large-scale efficacy research, has been funded by more than $17 million in grant funding from the NSF and IES over more than a decade of growth.

ASSISTments also serves as a powerful tool for researchers, hosting randomized controlled trials featuring student-level randomization through the ASSISTments TestBed ( to efficiently investigate best practices in online education. Primary responsibilities of the posted Research Scientist position will include organizing and overseeing improvements to the ASSISTments TestBed and it's reporting facility, the Assessment of Learning Infrastructure, as proposed by NSF DIBBs #1724889 (

Initial appointment is for one year, potentially renewable based on mutual interest and continued funding.

  • This grant funded, full-time position will provide the opportunity to work on a range of interdisciplinary research projects utilizing Learning Science methodologies. The Research Scientist’s primary role will be to manage platform engineering reform for the betterment of research practices within the ASSISTments TestBed. Secondary responsibilities will include applications of the ASSISTments TestBed including but not limited to the development of assessments, design and analysis of randomized controlled trials, and oversight of data mining endeavors leading to research publications and the pursuit of additional grant funding.

  • A completed Ph.D. in Learning Science, Cognitive Science, Psychology, or a related research field, preferably with experience in educational applications of technology.
    An undergraduate major in a STEM field or evidence of experience in related research applications.
    Experience in designing and administering educational research, and knowledge about a range of qualitative and quantitative educational research designs and statistical techniques.
    A current publication or study that was run through the ASSISTments platform
    Experience organizing or assisting successful projects funded by the National Science Foundation or other federal agencies.
    Proven grant-writing ability and evidence of contribution to research in educational technology through peer-reviewed talks and publications.
    Basic programming skills and basic understanding of artificial intelligence required.
    Application must be authorized for employment in the U.S.

    Posting Date: 05/02/2018

    Close Date: 5/18/2018

    Open Until Filled:

    Special Instructions to Applicants:

    EEO Information:
    WPI is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or disability. We are seeking individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences who will contribute to a culture of creativity and collaboration, inclusion, problem solving and change making.

    Criminal Background Check Statement:
    A pre-employment criminal records check is required.

    To apply, visit:





    Diversity Profile: University



    View more

    Learn more on Inside Higher Ed's College Page for University

    Arrow pointing right
    Job No:
    Posted: 5/9/2018
    Application Due: 5/21/2018
    Work Type: