WIDA Summer Research Internship

WIDA offers summer research internships in language assessment to graduate students. Interns will participate in WIDA Assessment research projects and collaborate with WIDA researchers on projects that address academic language development in the K-12 context.

About the Assessment Team

The WIDA Assessment Team pursues a validation research agenda that supports the WIDA suite of language assessments, ACCESS for ELLs, WIDA Screener, and WIDA MODEL. Interns may contribute to various aspects of this research agenda, such as study design, data collection and analyses, manuscript/report authoring and review, and presentation of findings. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods projects may be assigned to interns, depending on the background of qualified applicants. Interested applicants may also participate in test development activities, such as content reviews. Specific projects will be assigned to each intern, based on individual interests and strengths at the beginning of the internship.

Important Dates for Summer 2020

Application Deadline: February 14, 2020
Notification of Decision: April 17, 2020
Internship Dates: June 1 - August 7, 2020 (Dates are somewhat flexible)
Compensation: Paid internship with a competitive hourly salary (interns typically work 30 hours per week)


  • Full-time enrollment in a doctoral program related to language assessment
  • Completion of a minimum of two years of coursework toward a doctoral degree, prior to beginning the internship

Application Procedure

Submit the following via email to widainternships@wcer.wisc.edu:

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Copies of Graduate Transcripts
  • Contact information of two academic/professional references


Interns will be selected based on their scholarship and alignment of research interests with current WIDA assessment research agenda. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to phone interviews.


For more information, contact widainternships@wcer.wisc.edu

Recent Internships

2019 Project: Examination of technology-enhanced items in ACCESS reading test

Rurik Lol Tywoniw, Georgia State University

Conference Presentation(s): Technology Enhanced Items and Young English Learners: What Construct are We Measuring?, Midwest Association of Language Testers (MwALT)

2019 Project: Complexity and fluency of English learners’ responses on ACCESS speaking test

Yangting "Tina" Wang, University of Texas at San Antonio

Conference Presentation(s) Forthcoming (March 2020): Spoken Academic Language Development of K-12 English Learners: relationships between task variables and CAF measures, American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL)

2018 Project: Grades 1-12 English learners’ use of universal tools, embedded in ACCESS

Meltem Yumsek, University of North Carolina at Greensburough

Conference Presentation(s): Examining How Language Proficiency Affects Grades 1-12 English Learners’ Use of Online Accessibility Features, East Coast Organization of Language Testers (ECOLT); Grades 1-12 English Learners’ Use of Accessibility Features in Online Language Assessments, National Council on Educational Measurement (NCME); Do test accessibility features have the intended effect for K-12 English learners?, Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC)

2017 Project: Effect of writing test mode on Grades 1-3 English learners’ performance

Shinhye Lee, Michigan State University

Publication(s): Kim, A., Lee, S., Chapman, M., & Wilmes, C. (2019). The effects of administration and response modes on grade 1-2 students’ writing performance. TESOL Quarterly, 53(2), 482-513.

Conference Presentation(s): The effects of administration and response modes on Grades 1-2 students’ academic writing performance, Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC); Examining the fluency, complexity, and accuracy of Grades 1-3 children’s second language writing performance on paper vs. online test modes, American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL)

student walking up to education building on campus


two speech bubbles

2019 Intern: Yangting "Tina" Wang

"The internship program is very well designed. It outlined clearly my work in the next eight weeks so I can be well prepared. I also had a wonderful time in the city. I enjoyed the time I spent sitting near the beautiful lake, Lake Mendota, listening to the musical performances, and having ice cream socials at UW-Madison."

two speech bubbles


"The research internship at WIDA was an amazing opportunity to get first-hand experience in language assessment research and development. Through this internship, I got the chance to hone my skills in statistics and test analysis, work with a multimillion-point psychometric data set, and see the day-to-day work that goes on in a large-scale language assessment."

two speech bubbles

2018 Intern: Meltem Yumsek

"The most rewarding part of my experience was extending the professional development beyond ten weeks. I had multiple opportunities to co-present the internship project with the team. In addition, the summer in Madison was stunning with open-air concerts in the Capital Square and sunsets by the beautiful lakes of the city."

two speech bubbles

2017 Intern: Shinhye Lee

"In 2017, I was proud to be the first-ever WIDA intern. What I appreciated the most as an intern was how supportive and welcoming the staff in the Assessment Team was. They provided me with an abundance of learning opportunities not only on conducting research but also on the day-to-day operations of large-scale test development and administration."