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Boston College Introduction

Founded in 1863, Boston College is a Jesuit, Catholic university located six miles from downtown Boston with an enrollment of 9,484 full-time undergraduates and 5,250 graduate and professional students.  Ranked 35 among national universities, Boston College has 888 full-time and 1,281 FTE faculty, 2,711 non-faculty employees, an operating budget of $1.4 billion, and an endowment in excess of $3.5 billion.


Job Description

The TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center is home to two major international research programs that monitor student achievement in mathematics, science, and reading in more than 60 countries. TIMSS (the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) is conducted on a four-year cycle and measures mathematics and science achievement at fourth and eighth grades. It has regularly reported results for more than 24 years. PIRLS (the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) assesses fourth grade student achievement in reading literacy on a five-year cycle. Both projects are completing the transition to fully computer-based assessments in TIMSS 2023 and PIRLS 2026 administrations. 

TIMSS and PIRLS are sponsored by the IEA (International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement), an independent international cooperative of national research institutes and governmental research agencies headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. To date, the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center has attracted more than $70 million in research funds to Boston College.

This position is a part-time, 28 hours per week position for a total of 9 months.

The Research Associate, TIMSS and PIRLS assists in data collection and machine learning for the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center. Under general supervision of the Executive Director and Center Research Staff, the Research Associate will conduct deep learning and machine learning activities to support:

1.      work with BC cluster TC staff to get ML/GPU machine access
2.      work with ISC staff on prompt collection for automated item generation
3.      select and implement open source LLM tools on ML/GPU server at BC cluster
4.      run prompting experiments and generate items with ISC provided prompts
5.      build a web app to generate items on cluster
6.      examine fine-tune capabilities of open source LLMs


Strong quantitative skills and experience in complex data analysis, modeling, and statistical programming targeting analyses of large-scale assessment and/or survey data
Experience with relevant statistical programming and analysis tools. Experience in either R or SAS and ability to work with both is desired.
Willingness to pick up new methodological skills and learn new tools as required by current and future responsibilities is required.
Willingness to pick up new methodological skills and learn new tools as required by current and future responsibilities is required.
Ability to persevere, maintain focus in reviewing technical material, pay close attention to detail under tight deadlines
MA required
0-2 years of experience

This position is a part-time, 28 hours per week position for a total of 9 months

Competitive salary commensurate with relevant experience.

Closing Statement

Boston College offers a broad and competitive range of benefits depending on your job classification eligibility:

Tuition remission for Employees
Tuition remission for Spouses and Children who meet eligibility requirements
Generous Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance
Low-Cost Life Insurance
Eligibility for both University-Funded 401k and Employer-Sponsored 403b Retirement Plans
Paid Holidays Annually
Generous Sick and Vacation Pay
Additional benefits can be found on
Boston College conducts pre-employment background checks as part of the hiring process.

Boston College is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. In concert with our Jesuit, Catholic mission, Boston College is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty and staff committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment and strongly encourages applications for women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and covered veterans. To learn more about how BC supports diversity and inclusion throughout the university please visit the Office for Institutional Diversity at

Boston College’s Notice of Nondiscrimination can be viewed at

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