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
  • Prominent scholarships
  • 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
Anna Gibbs, M.Ed.

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.”

Hyeri Hong
Hyeri Hong, Ph.D.

Current Program

Ph.D. in Educational Measurement and Statistics


Ph.D., curriculum and supervision, teaching and learning, University of Iowa, 2014

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

“I have had great opportunities to learn and conduct research on partially nested designs, clustered randomized trials, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews with Dr. Aloe and Dr. Reed. I enjoy working with all the staff at the IRRC who work collaboratively together and are very friendly. Gaining such research experiences is laying a foundation for me to be a researcher and meta-analyst in the future.”

Seohee Park
Seohee Park, M.A.

Current Program

Ph.D. in Educational Measurement and Statistics


M.A. in Educational Measurement and Statistics, University of Iowa, 2016
B.A. in Mathematics, Kyungpook National University, 2014

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

“Working at the Iowa Reading Research Center provides practical experience by applying what I learn in class and applying the methods to real data. The IRRC has many different ongoing projects. Participating in these projects will provide graduate students opportunities to work in both psychometrics and applied statistics. For example, I have gained experience with implementing item response theory calibration, scale linking, and fitting the data into advanced statistical models, as well as developing programming skills in the R software environment.” 

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.

Meet Our Postdoctoral Scholar

Laurentius Susadya
Laurentius Susadya, Ph.D.


Ph.D., educational measurement and statistics, University of Iowa, 2020

M.A., mathematics education, University of Iowa, 2013

B.S., civil and environmental engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 2002

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

"The Iowa Reading Research Center provides opportunities for measurement and statistics postdocs and graduate students to do research on a wide range of topics such as item response theory, equating, measurement invariance, and structural equation modelling. The IRRC is a tight-knit community that embraces people from diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise."

Currently Accepting Graduate Students

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

Content Team Positions Available

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

Possible Responsibilities:

  • 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

  • Serve as project director on literacy research studies
  • Take a lead role on analyzing data
  • Fulfill the duties of lead author on manuscripts

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

Statistics Team Positions Available

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

Applications to the Ph.D. in Educational Measurement and Statistics program for fall semester are currently being accepted and reviewed.

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