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Job Summary

The following is a job posting for a Survey Specialist Senior position at the University of Michigan Survey Research Center (SRC).

For over 60 years, the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research (ISR) has been a national and international leader in interdisciplinary social science research involving the collection or analysis of data from scientific sample surveys. Survey Research Operations (SRO) is the operations branch of the SRC.

SRO provides a wide range of services in the areas of survey and statistical design, data collection and processing, and data analysis. SRO provides these services to clients from ISR and SRC, to other departments within the University, as well as to researchers and organizations outside the University. Within SRO, staff members work on projects across a variety of substantive areas, using leading survey methodology and project management techniques, as well as state-of-the-art technical systems.

This position is part of the SRO Project Design and Management Group (PDMG). PDMG is primarily responsible for management of data collection projects, which includes working with research investigators and other clients to define project and sample design, coordinating all aspects of preproduction and production within SRO, providing regular progress and cost reports, and documenting all procedures.


Consult with clients on the development of survey research project designs; lead the project team on medium and large projects to meet deliverables on time and on budget; lead tasks on larger projects; define and manage project/task scope and maintain a clear scope statement; prepare project work plans and schedules in consultation with study staffs and other members of the project team. Represent research project to stakeholders, as required, such as community leaders, funders, researchers, and respondents.

Manage and continually improve project operations. Compose, manage, and update the project work plan, including project goals, objectives and scope, budget, assumptions, constraints, roles and responsibilities, risks, change management approach, project deliverables, and milestones. Responsible for meeting data collection and processing requirements according to schedule and budget; use statistical process control techniques to monitor all aspects of production; track and report project status to senior management on a regular basis.

Lead questionnaire and other instrument development as well as specification and development of technical systems. Supervise staff completing surveys and other data collections; ensure protocols are being consistently followed by staff through review and monitoring of work products; participate in problem identification and resolution during data collection and processing period; recommend organizational improvements in staff and quality assurance protocols.

Assist in proposal preparation with responsibility for researching and composing sections, and lead medium-sized/complexity proposal efforts; independently oversee proposal/project budgeting process. Document all phases of the data collection and processing protocols; prepare complex analyses of data and reports; forecast project expenses. Develop and implement contingent staff recruitment strategies; recruit, screen, hire, and train data collection staff; develop training plans and materials; implement general and study-specific training programs.

Required Qualifications*

  • Master’s degree/Certificate in related field and 5-6 years of experience in three or more aspects of survey research (i.e. sampling, data collections. coding, data processing, application programming, analysis, or methodology) including:
  • Experience planning and managing projects in multiple modes of data collection
  • Experience creating and managing a budget and resources for survey projects of approximately $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 across the year or lower budgets with more complexity
  • Experience using and developing technical systems designed to collect and organize data such as computer-assisted interviewing (CAI) software and/or management information technical systems
  • Demonstrated experience making independent decisions while using correct judgement about when to seek guidance from senior staff
  • Experience using statistical techniques for problem solving and forecasting


  • Equivalent combination of education and experience, plus continuing education in the field


  • Demonstrated ability to manage team's ability to meet deadlines under tight time constraints
  • Ability to work independently
  • Effective and demonstrated leadership and supervisory skills with multiple groups and individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Ability to work collaboratively with staff at all levels
  • Ability to use critical reasoning in preparing survey plans, assessing issues, evaluating risks
  • Demonstrated ability to compose instructions, memoranda, manuals and other documents, including technical material
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills and demonstrated competence in MS Office software

Desired Qualifications*

  • Ability to travel for international projects
  • Experience using statistical software packages such as SAS, SPSS, or STATA to conduct analyses

Work Schedule

Monday-Friday, days.

This position may require occasional overnight travel and weekends to meet project needs.  International projects may require travel outside of the US.

Additional Information

Salary will be dependent upon qualifications and experience of selected candidate.

The Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the diverse people of Michigan, to maintain the excellence of the university, and to ground our research in varied disciplines, perspectives, and ways of knowing and learning.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.