skip to main content skip to footer


ETS Internship, Fellowship and Visiting Scholar Programs in Research

Collaborate with ETS researchers to carry out innovative and impactful research projects.

Learn more about available internships and how to apply.


2024 Ida Lawrence Research Summer Internship Program

If you are a creative and innovative individual who wants to help shape the future of learning and assessment, we encourage you to apply for the 2024 Ida Lawrence Research Summer Internship program. Your application will be considered for both Research-sponsored internships and externally-funded intern positions — both of which involve working on a research project with ETS researchers.

The ETS Research division conducts rigorous foundational and applied research on the most critical issues facing education and the workforce. Central to ETS’s legacy of global leadership in learning and assessment, ETS Research is dedicated to advancing the science and practice of measurement, driving innovation in digital assessment, learning and teaching, and advancing equity of opportunity for all learners.

As an intern in Research, you’ll work with experts who are nationally and internationally known as thought leaders, trusted advisors, and go-to collaborators for their high-impact work addressing significant educational and societal goals.

If you’re accepted into the program, you’ll collaborate with researchers on projects related to foundational and innovative topics in education. Upon the completion of the program, you’ll have the opportunity to present your findings to teams across Research.


You’ll perform any number of tasks associated with a research project, such as:

  • developing a research plan to address a critical issue and executing the plan
  • performing a literature review and developing new frameworks
  • learning specialized procedures or software if required
  • working with data
  • conducting various psychometric and statistical analyses with real or simulated data
  • preparing a conference proposal
  • drafting a research report and documenting research instruments
  • presenting your findings to teams across Research

Doctoral students who have completed at least 2 years in one of these areas or a related field are encouraged to apply.

  • AI/machine learning
  • assessment, measurement, psychometrics, psychometric modeling
  • cognitive or learning sciences
  • education
  • linguistics and applied linguistics
  • process data and analysis
  • psychology
  • qualitative research methods
  • statistics and data science, computational statistics
  • user experience/user interface
  • workforce

Eligibility requirements

  • Current full-time enrollment in a relevant doctoral program
  • Completion of at least 2 years of coursework toward the doctorate prior to the internship program start date.


The main criteria for selection will be scholarship and the match of applicant interests and experience with the research projects. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

We value team members who bring a diversity of interests and experiences to Research. We strongly encourage students from underrepresented groups and backgrounds to apply.

Applying to the Research internship is a two-step process:

  1. Submit a preliminary application.
  2. You’ll then receive an email from asking you to provide the additional documents required for your application:
    1. A copy of your curriculum vitae (preferably as a PDF).
    2. A copy of your graduate transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable).
    3. Written statements on up to two research programs (described below) about your interest in the program(s) and how your experience aligns with the program(s).
    4. Two recommendation forms. Download the recommendation form and share it with your recommenders. Link to the recommendation form is on the Step 2 electronic application form.
      • Recommendations should come from an academic advisor, a professor who is familiar with your work as it relates to the area of interest, or an individual with whom you have worked on a closely aligned project.
      • ETS will only accept two recommendation forms. Recommendations should be sent electronically to and must be received by February 1, 2024.

Dates and location

  • Deadline: The application deadline is February 1, 2024.
  • Decisions: You’ll be notified of selection decisions by March 31, 2024.
  • Duration: 8 weeks: June 3, 2024–July 26, 2024
  • Location: Hybrid — You will be on campus in Princeton, N.J., the first 2 weeks of the internship program. The remaining 6 weeks of the internship will be remote.


  • The full compensation package includes a competitive intern stipend and housing/transportation while on campus.
  • Stipend: $10,000
  • Housing: For the on-campus portion of the first 2 weeks of the internship, housing is provided if you’re commuting more than 50 miles from the Princeton area.
  • Transportation: Transportation allowance is granted if you’re relocating to and from the Princeton area. (For the on-campus portion of the internship: first 2 weeks of the internship).

Intern research projects will be aligned with one of the 11 programs described below.

1. Inventing a New Paradigm for Personalized Assessment in the Service of Equity

The Inventing a New Paradigm for Personalized Assessment in the Service of Equity research program is advancing theory, design and methodology required to support implementation of assessments that are personalized to the language, cultural and educational characteristics of individuals and the contexts in which they live. Potential research topics include (a) creating a theoretical framework for personalized assessment that promotes equity; (b) investigating the effects of student-driven choices in personalized assessments on performance and motivation; (c) integrating evidence from multiple data sources to better understand the whole learner through personalized adaptations; (d) rethinking what foundational measurement concepts look like in the context of personalized assessment; and (e) investigating what personalized assessment looks like when applied to the use case of multilingual learners, including the use of AI-based approaches.

2. Assessment of Complex Skills

The Assessment of Complex Skills research program is optimizing the use of technology, AI, and process data to measure complex skills through scalable, test-less, and performance-based interactive tasks and targets the skills that are critical for educational success and the future workplace. Some examples of complex skills are critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, social-emotional competence and digital literacy. Potential research topics include large language model based automated annotation of communication data.

3. Innovations in Literacy and Communication Assessments

The Innovations in Literacy and Communication Assessments research program is designing principles for interactive communications assessments and embedded assessments in engaging literacy learning activities, and will derive meaningful, actionable and cost-effective solutions for students, teachers and other stakeholders. Potential research topics include: (a) explorations to monitor reading comprehension skills and development from literary activities such as book reading; (b) conducting research to measure writing skills from writing process data collected in various learning activities; and (c) identifying barriers that prevent multilingual learners from developing literacy skills.

4. Innovations in Interactive Digital Assessments in STEM

The Innovations in Interactive Digital Assessments in STEM research program is creating the principles and guidelines for optimizing the use of process data and AI to support assessment, learning and teaching in STEM contexts by designing interactive performance-based tasks and using AI to provide actionable feedback. Potential research topics include: (a) producing design principles for interactive, test-less STEM assessments; (b) evaluating features of AI-based facilitation and feedback that can help support students’ engagement and learning; and (c) evaluating AI-based technologies to support content generation and improved automated scoring to increase efficiency and broader access for STEM educational content.

5. Validity, Fairness and Ethics in AI

The Validity, Fairness and Ethics in AI research program is setting the standard for using AI in assessment in a valid, fair, and reliable way by focusing on four areas: AI scoring, content or item generation, test security and data analysis. Potential research topics include developing methodologies for automated scoring, automated test development, abnormal test behavior detection, and process data analysis to provide test takers and test users with accurate, fair and transparent assessment content and outcome, as well as secure and valid tests.

6. Getting More from Large Scale Assessments (LSAs)

The Getting More from Large Scale Assessments (LSAs) research program is focused on maximizing actionable and policy-relevant information from LSAs, particularly survey-based assessments like the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). It optimizes the use of technology and methodological advances to reduce costs and generate more precise and informative scores. Potential research topics include (a) new methodological advances  to address a number of challenges with LSAs, such as producing test scores that overcome fairness concerns with plausible values, taking advantage of Bayesian methods to enhance the usability of inferences, and updating the test design to allow for more precise estimates of low-performing students, and (b) developing enhanced reporting tools to make them more informative for practitioners and policymakers, particularly in combatting achievement/equity gaps.

7. Understanding Teaching Pathways

The Understanding Teaching Pathways research program is working to improve instructional capabilities and increase the diversity of the teacher workforce by re-envisioning ways that teacher candidates demonstrate readiness for the classroom and the nature of professional development learning opportunities. Potential research topics include examining: (a) how a new licensure paradigm can be used to support teachers’ developing instructional skills and abilities and (b) how new types of professional learning opportunities focused on teaching practice can enhance teachers’ classroom practices through innovations such as personalized and interactive digital performance tasks and assessments using automated feedback.

8. Postsecondary Admissions

The Postsecondary Admissions research program is exploring and identifying paths forward for three key paradigm shifts affecting postsecondary admissions today: (1) COVID-19 rapidly accelerating test-optional and codifying holistic admissions, (2) end of affirmative action and a need to better understand institutions’ diversity goals, and (3) the rapid acceleration of AI and its implications on how student applications (e.g., essays, personal statements) and students are evaluated. Potential research topics include examining: (a) how campus diversity goals are understood by key stakeholders in the admissions system, and (b) how emerging tools and policies addressing campus diversity goals can encourage broader access to higher education across selective and non-selective institutions.

9. Languages Research

The Languages research program generates new theories, methods, and assessment approaches to inform and advance language education and measurement for language learners and relevant stakeholders. Potential research topics include evaluation of writing tasks and providing feedback on writing, assessment of oral interaction ability, development of assessment approaches for multilingual learners, evaluation of tools to facilitate score interpretation, and creation of materials to promote language assessment literacy.

10. Global Higher Education and Workskills Research

The Global Higher Education and Workforce Research program focuses on research exploring new methods, assessments and learning tools of critical competencies that could help facilitate the transition from high school to higher education, the transition from higher education to the workforce, and workforce success. This program also conducts research evaluating and validating the use of related methods, assessments, and learning tools in various contexts with scientific, fair and effective support in practice. Potential research topics include holistic admissions with or without standardized test scores, innovative assessment and learning tools of critical competencies, competency-based teaching and learning and their connections with workforce success, and nontraditional educational and career pathways.

11. K–12 Research

The K–12 research program is on the forefront of innovating K–12 assessment systems that tackle the emerging changes and needs in K–12 education and better equip students with a broad range of skills and disciplinary/interdisciplinary competencies critical for their future success. Potential research topics include developing integrated measures of disciplinary literacies, skills assessments and insights (e.g., digital literacy, creativity, problem solving, collaborative problem solving, growth mindset), AI-supported assessments, and efficacy/validity studies of K–12 assessment interventions.