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All applicants must submit a cover letter and resume addressing qualifications for the position.   In order for the Career Portal system to accept a cover letter, please include a cover letter as the first 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 this position.

Job Summary

Survey Research Operations (SRO), the operation branch of the Survey Research Center (SRC) at the Institute for Social Research (ISR) is seeking an experienced Data Manager to join our team. SRC is a national and international leader in interdisciplinary social science research involving the collection or analysis or data from scientific sample surveys.   Data Managers are key members of project teams. Under general supervision, Data Managers query, transform, clean, integrate, curate, analyze, and report on a variety of complex research and administrative data. 

For additional information on SRC and SRO, please visit our websites at and


Data Managers design and develop methods, procedures, and specifications for collecting, organizing, classifying and reporting on complex information during all phases of a project’s life-cycle. The primary tools used by Data Managers are SAS, Python, and/or SQL.

  • During pre-production, Data Managers collaborate with project team members on the specifications used in various sample management systems. They are responsible for creating customized reports to help in the monitoring of production.  They help establish and implement variable naming conventions, program recodes and derived variables necessary for quality control and monitoring of production. Data Managers also test third party and in-house data collection systems and utilities at all stages of their development to verify that the inputs and outputs work as expected. This may include creating and loading survey and system variables and test data sets, exporting data, and reviewing outputs to verify the accuracy and quality of systems.
  • During the production phase, Data Managers design and run quality assurance checks on collected data and trouble-shoot problems reported.  They also process and release new sample as it becomes available and as needed.
  • During the post-production phase, Data Managers clean, recode, reformat and output data as necessary for delivery to key stakeholders.  Data Managers document quality assurance operations performed in final reports and provide basic documentation on datasets.  They also may be required to harmonize data with previously collected data or aggregate disparate data sources for analysis and reporting.

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • At least two years of research experience working with large research data sets.
  • At least two years of data management programming experience using common data management tools such as SAS, SQL, and/or Python. Experiences must demonstrate knowledge of basic programming concepts, and include experiences with combining data from disparate sources, programming reports, cleaning and preparing data for analysis, and/or debugging data in complex applications.
  • Experience with querying, managing and testing data in applications that store data in relational databases. General knowledge of relational database concepts and scripting languages.
  • Strong organizational skills, including experience handling multiple projects with competing deadlines and prioritizing tasks in a fast-paced production environment. Must be able to respond flexibly to changing circumstances.
  • Effective communication skills, with both technical and non-technical audiences. Experience composing technical documentation.
  • Excellent attention to detail and accuracy.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Advanced programming skills in data management or report programming using tools such as VBA, Python, SAS macro, SSRS.
  • Experience with web survey data collection applications and working directly with the associated data/paradata.
  • Knowledge of general survey methodology concepts, survey sampling and/or advanced statistical analysis using survey data or related paradata.
  • Experience with complex survey and process data using various modes of data collection (paper, computer-assisted, web), and knowledgeable about the related data challenges/issues.

Work Schedule

Monday-Friday, days

Additional Information

Many of SRO’s projects involve multiple types of data and technical systems. Access to these systems and data files may be limited, in varying degrees, according to their sensitivity. The most sensitive data may only be accessible by data managers and other employees who have passed federal background checks (up to level 5), are US citizens, have signed Data Use Agreements, and have passed other industry standard background and security checks. We seek candidates who agree to submit to SRC-funded background and security checks as necessary.

Salary is 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.