Pei-Chiang Lee is a doctoral student at The University of Texas at Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work. His research interests in disability-related issues stem from his personal experience living with disabilities and social work practice in a vocational rehabilitation center. His research aims to examine education, employment, and health outcomes for adolescents and young adults with disabilities.
Prior to doctoral studies, Pei-Chiang served as an assistant data analyst at National Academy for Educational Research in Taiwan (NAER), utilizing national administrative data to support evidence-based policymaking. His research projects involved two key parts: First, he focused on employment outcomes of college students with disabilities, examining the potential impact of higher education on employment disparities. Secondly, he investigated the attributes, outcomes, and admission rates of students with special needs in university admission exams. At the University of Illinois at Chicago, Pei-Chiang contributed as a part-time data analyst in a research project, delving into the health outcomes of youth with disabilities. Additionally, he contributed to a research project which aimed at developing Taiwanese measures of Positive Youth Development (PYD), investigating the cultural and methodology issues of such measurement tools. With experience and a strong interest in quantitative research methods, he participated in the Summer Institute in Computational Social Science (SICSS) in Taiwan, thereby gaining practical skills in applying computational methods to social work research.
Currently, Pei-Chiang is working with Dr. Sandy Magaña on Promoting Obesity Prevention among Children with Developmental Disabilities and Families through Engaged Research (PODER). He is also involved in Dr. Esther Calzada’s research team, focusing on the development of ethnic and racial identity in early childhood. In addition to participating in research projects at the School of Social Work, he is working as an intern at the Texas Center for Equity Promotion (TexCEP) at the College of Education.
His long-term goals are to bridge the gap between social services and the needs of persons with disabilities, to develop more appropriate research and analysis methods for those with disabilities, and to create a more inclusive society for this demographic. Pei-Chiang is a Ministry of Education (M.O.E.) Fellow of Taiwan who obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a Master of Social Work from National Taiwan University. His master’s thesis, which focused on youth-to-adult transition and independent living for those with disabilities, was honored with the 2022 Social Work Excellent Master Thesis Award in Taiwan.