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All applicants must submit a cover letter and resume as a single document to be considered for this position. Be sure to address why you are interested in the position and tell us about your skills and related experience.

Job Summary

Do you want to be involved in cutting-edge social science research at a premier survey organization?

The Survey Research Center (SRC) Health and Retirement Study (HRS) at the Institute for Social Research (ISR) is looking for a new full-time regular savvy programmer to join our team to help us build and maintain the best database systems and data processing and management tools for an internationally-leading social-science based multi-disciplinary longitudinal project on aging that surveys more than 20,000 people on the health and economics of aging and retirement.

This position is responsible for programming, development and maintenance of database systems, data processing, and data management for HRS. The ideal candidate will be self-motivated and highly dependable, with a positive attitude, and will possess the ability to solve novel problems and seek assistance when needed. They will have the ability to learn new skills, including new software and other technical tools; exemplary interpersonal and communication skills; demonstrated ability to manage time and multiple priorities in a busy environment; ability to take direction from more than one person and able to work effectively as a team member. Discretion with handling confidential data is required.


45% Programming

Use modern programming tools and techniques to conduct a full range of programming tasks including program design, program coding, debugging, and documentation critical to HRS. This includes extracting data and metadata from Blaise, codebook generation, and comment coding. Repair existing utilities that malfunction due to changing environments. Design and program interfaces that are flexible enough to manage a variety of functions. Work with data processing and instrument development team to develop strategies that will ensure accurate data extraction. Conduct quality assurance reviews to ensure thorough debugging of programs. Maintain complete and accurate documentation of programs; develop ways to identify errors and methods to correct existing code. Ensure that an appropriate level of documentation exists for other programmers/staff to use and modify code.

25% Database Design, Development and Management

Design and implement databases, systems, and software for project team members to utilize and document data products. Assess, recommend, and develop data processing applications. Develop estimates for cost, time, and alternative solutions based on current and future project needs. Administer, maintain, and utilize complex SQL Server environments and modify them as needed. Troubleshoot network, hardware, or software problems.

25% Data Processing and Management

Process HRS data for distribution to the research community. This includes working with raw data and writing programs in SAS to clean, identify and solve data problems; restructure and merge complex datasets. Design and conduct extensive checks of the data for accuracy and quality. Identify and correct problems found in the data files for distribution. Assist with preparing preload data, coding and data entry, preparing documentation for internal and external use. Respond to questions posed by users of the HRS data. Provide guidance in areas of expertise to junior staff. Prepare training materials as needed for utilities or other programs. Liaise with other units as needed.

5% Other Duties, as assigned

Required Qualifications*

Bachelor’s degree in a social science discipline, information science or a computing related field; strong command of C#, VB.NET, and Python programming; knowledge of SQL; one to three years of professional data processing and management experience using SAS, Stata, SPSS or R; three to five years of applied programming experience in a business environment in Windows Desktop applications; ability to write code independently and collaboratively; must be familiar with currently accepted programming best practices and concepts; demonstrated continued enhancement of programming and data manipulation skills; demonstrated ability to plan activities and simultaneously perform multiple tasks within project deadlines; excellent communication skills.

Desired Qualifications*

Master’s degree in a social science discipline, information science or a computing related field.  Three or more years of professional data processing and management experience in SAS. Five or more years of applied programming experience in a business environment in Windows Desktop applications. Demonstrated experience in the processing and editing of complex, longitudinal social science survey data.  Demonstrated ability to use and construct relational databases, in order to use the data for further manipulation in SAS and other software. Expertise in the use of SAS and SAS macro language for data management. Experience with Microsoft Access.

Additional Information

This job might be right for you if you…

  • Enjoy working in a fast-paced, deadline driven environment
  • Are self-motivated and seek out solutions to problems independently
  • Enjoy creative problem solving and making new discoveries
  • Have a drive for designing, developing, and recommending new approaches, methodologies, and tools
  • Pay attention to detail and excel at time management
  • Thrive when working in both team and individual settings
  • Are adaptable to changing conditions and can maintain a high level of focus
  • Feel comfortable offering support and expressing ideas to leadership

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.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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