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IES Seeking Commissioner for NCER
Submit your resume and letter of interest to

The Institute of Education Sciences would like your assistance in recruiting the next Commissioner for the National Center for Education Research. Our current commissioner, Lynn Okagaki, is leaving to resume her academic career after nine years of exceptional service at IES.

We are seeking a social scientist with a proven track record of conducting and publishing high quality, high impact research and a strong commitment to sponsoring applied research that can help improve student learning in our schools. The successful candidate may come from a range of disciplinary backgrounds – economics, psychology, human development, public policy, education, sociology, for example – but must be comfortable working across these and other disciplines and in using multiple research methods. The successful candidate must also have demonstrated leadership, communications and management skills appropriate for this role.

IES is encouraging more of its funded researchers to work in partnership with education stakeholders to ensure the usefulness and relevance of their research. It would be advantageous for candidates for NCER Commissioner to have practical experience conducting research in collaboration with education practitioners or policy makers and to understand their needs and perspectives.

The National Center for Education Research is the Department of Education and the Federal Government’s primary agency for sponsoring education research. Since its inception in 2002, NCER has built a robust grant portfolio supporting rigorous research studies. Perhaps best known for its efficacy and scale-up experimental trials, NCER also sponsors exploratory, development and measurement studies. In addition to research studies funded through the regular grant programs, IES/NCER supports 15 Research and Development Centers, each conducting a focused program of research around a specific topic area, and a multi-site, multi-disciplinary program called Reading for Understanding. Regardless of the type of grant, the ultimate goal of NCER research is to discover or develop and validate tools, processes, curricula, interventions and programs that lead to improved student learning and better understandings of how students learn and how schools improve.

NCER also sponsors a wide range of training activities, including inter-disciplinary pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training programs and summer institutes in topics that have included cluster randomized control trials, quasi-experimental research designs, and single case research designs. In its brief history, NCER has had a profound salutary effect on the quality of education research across the country and on the capacity of the research community to conduct rigorous studies. The IES website ( contains considerable detailed information about IES and NCER.

NCER has a staff of about 15 highly skilled and talented program officers who manage a large portfolio of grants. Under the leadership of the Commissioner, the NCER staff is responsible for attracting and assisting grantees as they prepare proposals, conduct their research, and disseminate their findings.

The NCER Commissioner is part of the senior leadership team at IES and, along with the other commissioners and deputy directors, is involved in all consequential decision making in the Institute.

The Commissioner is appointed to a six-year, renewable term, which will be open in September 2011. We will consider candidates for an appointment under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act, which permits tenured faculty to work in the Federal Government while maintaining tenure at their home institutions. These arrangements are typically made for two-year renewable appointments.

If you would like to apply for the position, please submit your resume and letter of interest to

Thank you for your help.