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 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

  • Tuition and stipend available
  • Receive faculty mentoring from IRRC Director Dr. Deborah K. Reed a nationally recognized expert in her field
  • Gain experience conducting literacy research

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. “

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) 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
  • Analyzing extant datasets
  • Evaluating schools’ implementation of literacy programs

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 and testing literacy interventions
  • Conduct literature searches
  • Gather and compile data
  • Support the IRRC research team

Applications to the Ph.D. in Special Education program for spring semester 2022 are due December 1 for domestic students and October 1 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.