angle-up angle-right angle-down angle-left close user menu open menu closed search globe bars phone store

2018 Summer Internship Program in Research for Graduate Students


Interns in this eight-week program participate in research under the guidance of an ETS mentor. Each intern is required to give a brief presentation about the project at the conclusion of the internship. The internship is carried out in the ETS offices in Princeton, N.J. This year, projects may be conducted in the following research areas:

Research Area 1: Increase the Diversity and Quality of Admissions to Higher Education

Access to quality higher education is critically important for the continued economic and social health of the United States. Higher education institutions are facing growing challenges, including the recruitment of a diverse pool of qualified students and the assurance of their post-admission success. Current admissions procedures have been criticized for their overreliance on a limited set of information that may fail to recognize important individual characteristics that would predict a student's potential for success. Higher education institutions are challenged to design admissions processes that meet multiple goals, including admitting those students likely to succeed and graduate. Institutions increasingly seek to admit and graduate a more diverse and representative student body. Models, assessment tools and practices for admissions to higher education institutions are needed that will increase the diversity and quality of student populations in a variety of higher education contexts.

One sample project under this research area is taking a close look at Biological and Biomedical Sciences Umbrella programs as possible models for addressing underrepresentation in graduate schools. Umbrella programs include multiple departments that form a partnership, thereby forming a large, multiunit, graduate training program, which may offer opportunities for greater inclusion of diversity as one of the criteria for admissions.

A second sample project is identifying the student variables that influence admissions decisions and how those factors are combined and weighted in arriving at these decisions.

Research Area 2: Increase Sustainable Access to a Diverse and High Quality Teaching Pool

Research has shown that teaching has a greater effect on student learning than any other factor of schooling. But with dwindling numbers of individuals entering teaching, and even more leaving after only short tenures, schools are struggling to fill classrooms with a high quality and diverse teaching workforce. Consequently, many students lack access to teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to engage in effective teaching practices. Worse yet, highly effective teachers are not evenly distributed across the student population. High-needs schools, which are disproportionately attended by minority, low socioeconomic status (SES), and English-language learners, often struggle to hire and retain highly effective teachers. Solutions to the shortage of highly effective teachers must include multifaceted approaches to teacher preparation, recruitment, hiring, ongoing development and retention to help ensure that all schools have teachers prepared for one of the most critical roles in our society.

One sample project under this research area is using large-scale data sets to understand the relationship between pre-service teachers' (teacher candidates') prior academic achievement, courses taken and performance on basic skills tests (such as Praxis® Core tests) used for entrance into teacher preparation programs and teacher licensure.

A second sample project consists of exploring the construct of cross-cultural competence of teachers through the use of social simulation games.

Research Area 3: Modeling and Analyzing Examinee Response Processes

This research area focuses on modeling and analyzing examinee response process data captured in digitally based assessment environments for investigating item and task features, examinee behavior related to target assessment purposes and for validating score meaning. Projects may involve modeling and analyzing of response processes in game- and simulation-based assessments, for examining accessibility features of assessment tasks, for comparing assessments for different populations.

Research Area 4: Statistical and Psychometric Foundations

This area focuses on the theoretically based development or enhancement of statistical and psychometric methods for use in the analysis of item and test data. For example, projects may involve the development of rigorous procedures for item response modeling and item analysis and the development of methods for incorporating measurement error in the analyses of educational data.

Research Area 5: Group-Score Assessment

This area comprises the statistical and psychometric analyses needed to support group-score assessments such as NAEP and PISA. Research topics may include modeling of item responses, analysis of multistage tests, and issues of complex sampling, weighting, and variance estimation.

Research Area 6: Applied Psychometrics

This area is focused on improvements to operational psychometric methods and procedures related to equating and scaling, item and test analyses, measurement error and reliability, quality assurance and scoring and scaling of complex item types.


  • The application deadline is February 1, 2018.


  • Applicants will be notified of selection decisions by March 30, 2018.


  • Eight weeks: June 4, 2018–July 27, 2018


  • $6,000 salary
  • Transportation allowance for relocating to and from the Princeton area
  • Housing will be provided for interns commuting more than 50 miles


  • Current full-time enrollment in a relevant doctoral program
  • Completion of at least two years of coursework toward the doctorate prior to the program start date


The main criteria for selection will be scholarship and the match of applicant interests and experience with the research projects.

ETS affirmative action goals will be considered. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application Procedures

Complete the electronic application form. On the application form:

  • Choose up to two research areas in which you are interested and provide written statements about your interest in the particular area(s) of research.
  • Attach a copy of your curriculum vitae (preferably as a PDF).
  • Attach a copy of your graduate transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable).
  • Download the recommendation form and share it with your recommenders. Recommendations should come from your academic advisor and/or major professors who are familiar with your work. ETS will only accept two recommendation forms. Recommendations should be sent electronically to and must be received by February 1, 2018. If you would like to download the recommendation form for sending to your recommenders before submitting your application, the option to save your application information for later is available.

View Frequently Asked Questions


For more information, contact us via email.

Promotional Links

Find a Publication

Advanced Search