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All applicants must submit a cover letter and resume as a single document to be considered for this position. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline your skills and related experience.

Job Summary

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.

The Survey Research Center (SRC) Health and Retirement Study (HRS) at the Institute for Social Research (ISR) seeks a qualified candidate to manage data processing activities.  

The Health and Retirement Study is a multidisciplinary, longitudinal federally sponsored data collection and dissemination effort. It is both the most complex public-use data collection project in the world and a leader in rapid data release. The project encompasses multiple waves of multi-mode and innovative data collection (Computer assisted personal and telephone, internet and mail surveys).  Data collection with over 20,000 respondents occurs biennially on the Core HRS, with each off year supporting additional multiple supplemental surveys. The Core survey generates several thousand variables that are disseminated at various levels of analyses (household, respondent, household members and children, and transfers). 

The person in this position performs a leadership role as manager for HRS data processing and is responsible for direction and oversight of data processing, data dissemination and data support including core products, off-year products and special, or one-time, products. The person in this position must attend carefully to the separation of confidential or otherwise restricted data from public data. This position requires participation in HRS Executive Committee, which is responsible for directing the on-site management of the HRS project. This position requires close collaboration and communication with study Co-Investigators on decisions relating to data processing and data distribution. This position reports directly to the Director of HRS, and provides direct administrative and functional supervision for a group of 8-12 employees (regular employees and several temporary employees). 

The ideal candidate will be self-motivated and highly dependable, with a positive attitude and ability to independently problem solve, and seek assistance when needed. They will have the ability to learn new skills, including new software and other technical tools. They will have exemplary interpersonal and communication skills, and demonstrated ability to manage time and multiple priorities in a busy environment. They will be able to provide direction and lead others, and provide appropriate reaction and response to situations and people. They will be an effective leader and team member. They will be discreet with handling confidential data.

 

Responsibilities*

Managerial oversight of data processing activities: 

  • Provide overall supervision of project data processing staff including core and off-year activities/data products
  • Liaison with Instrument Development group, the field office and external groups associated with the Health and Retirement Study
  • Set priorities for data processing; evaluate work products and ensure high quality products in a timely manner
  • Provide leadership in the design, development and execution of data management procedures (compile, check and correct), and analyses of survey research data; also advise others performing these tasks
  • Diagnose problems, including programming, data, and procedural errors. 
  • Improve work processes and product quality by using continuous quality improvement techniques to assess performance and identify areas for improvement, and design methods to achieve improvements
  • Lead meetings, set goals, priorities, deadlines, and assign resources.
  • Provide oversight of data processing for special projects including, resource allocation, design data entry forms, policies and procedures, extract data, and prepare documentation and datasets for processing and distribution.
  • Provide oversight for sample management/selection
  • Provide oversight for coding and data entry; provide feedback to Instrument Development and Faculty
  • Write technical documentation for data products.
  • Oversee preload preparation and processing, including coordinate with Survey Research Operations and HRS Instrument Development Group

Administrative and Functional Supervision including:

  • Participate in the HRS Executive Committee meetings
  • Supervise, hire, train and evaluate professional and support staff
  • Establish and/or lead work groups
  • Direct work performed by data processing and dissemination staff
  • Assess and improve the quantity and quality of work performed
  • Resolve day-to-day problems and employee concerns
  • Assess resource allocation
  • Assess and recommend staff for reclassification
  • Assess and recommend staff for further training

Manage data distribution and user support activities, including:

  • Provide final quality review of data and documents prior to release to external researchers
  • Website distribution
  • Provide oversight of the preparation and approval of data alerts and updates
  • Review and create data distribution procedures
  • Coordinate with faculty and staff at RAND on RAND HRS data products
  • Respond to data inquiries from external and internal researchers and provide oversight to staff who coordinate this task

Required Qualifications*

  • Master’s degree in survey research methods or related social science discipline or a field related to the duties associated with the position, AND
  • Eight (8) or more years of experience in each of the following:  
    • Using SAS for data management and manipulation (preferably using social science survey data);
    • Managing and supervising personnel;
    • Managing portions of a survey project;
    • Working with complex, longitudinal survey data in both data collection and data processing arenas.

 

  • Detailed knowledge of the survey research sequence, from study design and instrument development, to the preparation of complex datasets for analysis and public release;
  • Demonstrated understanding of data structures and relationships;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
  • Ability to be attentive to detail
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment;
  • Success directing work teams;
  • Knowledge of respondent confidentiality and data security issues and requirements;
  • Knowledge and understanding of best practices and procedures as they relate to the hiring, management, and supervision of staff;
  • Ability to manage several complex projects while working under deadline pressure;
  • Ability to adapt quickly to changes in work scope and priorities;
  • Ability to work effectively with faculty and research support staff at all levels.

 

Desired Qualifications*

  • Ability to establish and manage priorities for self and others;
  • Ability to identify and solve complex data problems and the ability to work on and direct several projects concurrently;
  • Ability to design and implement research strategies;
  • Advanced knowledge of statistics;
  • Possession of an awareness of others’ reactions and ability to react or modify behavior accordingly;
  • Successful completion of University of Michigan Foundations of Supervision Course series or an equivalent formal training process;
  • Knowledge of University of Michigan practices and procedures as they relate to the hiring, management, and supervision of staff;
  • Successful completion of University of Michigan PEERRS online training modules.

Work Schedule

Monday-Friday, days

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.