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All applicants must submit a cover letter addressing qualifications for the position.  In order for the Career Portal system to accept a cover letter, please include a cover letter as a page of your resume document.  The cover letter should specifically address your interest in this position and outline particular skills and experience directly related to the stated qualifications for this position.

Job Summary

The following is a job posting for a Survey Director 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 Proposal Development Group (PDG). PDG has the primary responsibility for working with other SRO units to create SRO budgets and proposal materials for complex survey projects for research clients both internal and external to the University of Michigan, and with a variety of funding sources.  PDG also provides limited cost monitoring and cost analysis functions.


Lead proposal development team or review sections of proposals of all sizes; independently oversee proposal/project budgeting process.  Identify opportunities to submit proposals or other collaborations. Provide methodological consultation to potential research collaborators on the development of large or complex survey designs. Assist with communication to SRO senior management of new project scope, timing, and resource requirements. Contribute to Proposal Development Group regular reporting and development of proposal tools and resources.

Provide senior leadership to the project team on large projects to meet deliverables on time and on budget; define 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 projects to stakeholders, as required, such as community leaders, funders, researchers, and respondents; represent organization at national and international conferences and in journals.

Define, manage, and continually improve project operations.  Develop and maintain 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 working interdependently to meet 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 and risks to senior management.

Prepare questionnaires and instruments for data collection, including identification of relevant measures to be used; lead development of complex technical systems.

Mentor staff and participate in recruitment of new staff; serve as organizational liaison to junior staff; author staff performance evaluations.  Recommend organizational improvements in staff and quality assurance protocols. Document all phases of the data collection process; prepare complex analyses of data and reports; forecast project expenses; provide accurate financial data and reports.  Develop training plans and materials; design and conduct general and study-specific trainings, briefings, and debriefings.

Required Qualifications*

Master’s degree in a social science discipline and 7 or more years of experience in all aspects of survey research (i.e. sampling, data collections. coding, data processing, application programming, analysis, and methodology) with relevant knowledge in at least one substantive or methodological area should include the following:

Experience planning and managing all aspects of survey research projects and/or operations with budgets totaling up to about $2,000,000 - $10,000,000 across the year or smaller budgets with highly complex or high risk designs in multiple modes of data collection

Experience using expertise in survey research methodology to advise on survey project design

Experience estimating effort and cost required to execute complex survey designs

Experience planning and developing technical systems designed to collect and organize data such as computer-assisted interviewing (CAI) software and/or management information technical systems

Experience making independent decisions on matters of significance, free from immediate direction, within the scope of defined responsibilities

Experience using statistical techniques for problem solving and forecasting

Experience using statistical software to conduct analyses


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

Effective and demonstrated leadership and supervisory skills with multiple groups and individuals from diverse backgrounds

Ability to use critical reasoning and to manage team members’ use of critical reasoning in preparing survey plans, assess issues, evaluate risks

Ability to serve as administrative supervisor for staff at all levels

Ability to develop advanced manuals and project documentation as well as author executive reports and journal articles

Excellent communication and organizational skills and demonstrated competence in MS Office software

Desired Qualifications*

Master's degree in survey research methods

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.