• Ph.D. 2009 – University of Pennsylvania, Education
  • M.S. 2006 – University of Pennsylvania, Statistics, Measurement, Assessment, and Research Technology
  • M.A. 1999 – Peking University, Economics
  • B.S. 1995 – Peking University, Geology

Areas of Expertise

  • Power Analysis
  • Causal Inference
  • Design and Analysis of Multilevel Experiments
  • Program Evaluation


Prior to joining the faculty at UNC, Nianbo Dong was an Assistant Professor of Statistics, Measurement, & Evaluation in Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU). Before joining MU, Nianbo was a Research Associate at Peabody Research Institute at Vanderbilt University after he received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.


Nianbo Dong’s research program centers on developing and applying rigorous quantitative methods to evaluate educational policies, programs, and practice. His current interests in quantitative methodology focus on design and analysis of the main, moderation, and mediation effects in multilevel experiments, cost-effectiveness analysis, and causal inference. He has developed three statistical software packages for assisting users design multilevel experiments to detect the main effect (PowerUp!), moderator effects (PowerUp!-Moderator), and mediator effects (PowerUp!-Mediator) of the intervention ( His substantive research focuses on the evaluations of the effectiveness of teacher and principal training programs and early child education programs. His work has been supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Science (IES) and National Science Foundation (NSF). Nianbo received the NSF Faculty Early Career award in 2017.