The University of Iowa

Training and Experience for Tomorrow's Leaders


IRRC Postdoctoral scholars and grad students

Graduate Students

Graduate students who join the Iowa Reading Research Center team work toward an advanced degree in special education or educational measurement and statistics at the University of Iowa while gaining real-world experience working for one of the leading reading research centers in the United States.

Benefits of Being a Graduate Student at the Iowa Reading Research Center

We love to see our graduate student assistants achieve success during their time working with us. Our faculty mentors will encourage and challenge you to do your best and help you pursue academic and professional achievements.

Achievements of Current and Past Graduate Students

  • State and national research awards
  • Grant funding for research projects
  • Presentations at national and international academic conferences
  • Publications in professional journals

From IRRC Director Dr. Deborah K. Reed

Dr. Deborah Reed
“As an educator, it is important to me to mentor the next generation of scholars. Motivated and dedicated graduate students will find many opportunities to hone their literacy research skills by working alongside our team as we make a difference for students learning to read and write. Our team works on developing innovative interventions, designing professional development for teachers, evaluating current instructional and assessment practices, and understanding what contributes to students’ literacy development. If you enjoy a fast-paced environment and different quantitative research designs, I encourage you to consider applying to continue your education or further your experience here. “

From IRRC Associate Director of Statistical Methods Dr. Ariel Aloe

Ariel M. Aloe
“When you join the Iowa Reading Research Center as a graduate student, you are going to gain invaluable experience in applying research design and data analysis to problems of practice. Our data/statistics team actively contributes in the different phases of our evaluations and research projects.  Depending on the specific projects, graduate students find opportunities to increase their knowledge in causal inference, psychometrics, and evidence-synthesis. I enjoy working with students from diverse backgrounds, and I try to mentor students in becoming good ‘quantitative thinkers’ by helping them in refining their statistical skills as they apply them to real-world scenarios and complicated datasets.”

Meet Our Graduate Students

Anna Gibbs color
Anna Gibbs, M.Ed.

Current Graduate Student Assistant

Current Program

Ph.D. in Special Education


M.Ed., collaborative (K–12) special education, Auburn University, 2017

B.S., early childhood special education, Auburn University, 2016

What do you like about working and training at the IRRC?

“I consider my graduate student experience at the IRRC unique because I work with a diverse group of colleagues and contribute to various research projects. My advisor, Dr. Reed, continually models how to conduct high-quality research and mentors me as a student, researcher, and an individual.”

Postdoctoral Scholars

For those who have completed their doctoral studies in fields relevant to the work of the Iowa Reading Research Center (special education, literacy, communication sciences and disorders, cognitive psychology, educational measurement, or statistics) a postdoctoral position can provide important opportunities to gain research experience. Depending on their skills and preparation, our postdoctoral scholars support funded research projects that might include:

  • Developing and testing literacy interventions
  • Measuring students’ and teachers’ improvement
  • Developing assessments of literacy skills and knowledge
  • Meta-analyzing literacy studies
  • Evaluating schools’ implementation of literacy programs
  • Developing new statistical methods for analyzing student and teacher data

In addition, postdoctoral scholars are expected to publish in peer-reviewed journals and contribute to writing grant proposals.

Are You a Prospective Graduate Student?

The Iowa Reading Research Center is looking for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to join our center at the University of Iowa.

We always want to hear from prospective graduate students and postdoctoral scholars and are ready to discuss how your qualifications and skills may be a fit on our team.

Content Team Positions 

Ph.D. in Special Education: Students study at the University of Iowa College of Education and work at the IRRC:

Possible Responsibilities:

  • Assist with designing intervention study materials
  • Conduct literature searches
  • Gather and compile data
  • Support the IRRC research team

Applications to the Ph.D. in Special Education program for fall semester are due July 15 for domestic students, April 15 for international students.

Postdoctoral Research Scholar: Continue your training in special education by working at the IRRC.

Possible Responsibilities

  • Coordinate literacy research studies
  • Take a lead role on analyzing data
  • Author manuscripts with the IRRC team

To work with us: Email IRRC Director Dr. Deborah Reed to express your interest.

Statistics Team Positions 

Ph.D. in Educational Measurement and Statistics: Students study at the University of Iowa College of Education and work at the IRRC.

Possible Responsibilities

  • Assist with the design and analyses of research and evaluation projects
  • Assist with compiling, analyzing, and interpreting complex datasets
  • Collaborate with the IRRC content team

To work with us: Email IRRC Associate Director of Statistical Methods Dr. Ariel Aloe to express your interest.