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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline your skills and related experience.

Job Summary

The Monitoring the Future (MTF) project is searching for a Research Area Specialist Associate. MTF is a large ongoing national study of American youth, and is one of the largest studies within the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research. Supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse continuously since 1975, MTF has collected data from well over a million respondents. The data are organized into hundreds of datasets with a variety of complex structures, including both cross-sectional and longitudinal data. The products of this study are many: annual monographs, scholarly papers, books, presentations, press releases, web-based information, and archived data. To learn more about the MTF study, go to:

This position will provide support for researchers who wish to utilize the MTF data in a secure data environment.  Data management in SAS and documentation of data being used in the secure data environment will be a focus of this position. Additionally, ongoing user support will be extensive and involve: monitoring the study mailbox and responding to users' questions related to accessing and using the data; vetting output to ensure compliance with disclosure guidelines; and training others in the use of MTF data.


Data Management and Documentation.  Using SAS, prepare data sets for users of the secure data enclave environment, including data subsets, merges and recodes.  Move data files into the secure enclave spaces as needed.  Maintain documentation of data sets available to users of the secure data environment and for use by study staff.

User Support.  Responsible for all user support regarding use of the data, both access and data issues, through email or phone correspondence.  Release analytic results to users after checking for compliance with disclosure guidelines.  Co-teach workshops for data users, locally or at national conferences. Assist in the development and implementation of web-based training materials.

Study Contact Responsibilities.  Manage study mailbox for requests for secure data access.  Correspond with users to process their requests, ensuring all necessary paperwork is complete.  Obtain and record required user documentation. Maintain user database to monitor project status.

Overall Set up of Secure Data Enclave (SDE) Access.  Set up new users in the SDE, including the coordination of enclave access with other project and Survey Research Center staff involved in the overall administration of the SDE. Set appropriate permissions for files and folders, and ensure that the user can access the files and folders necessary for their work.  Attend and participate in monthly meetings with representatives from other projects at the Survey Research Center who provide secure enclave access for their users.

Required Qualifications*

Bachelor's degree in social science or other relevant field, along with 1-3 years of experience using SAS for data management and manipulation (or equivalent combination of education and experience).  Experience with databases, such as Microsoft Access.  Motivated and very attentive to detail.  Ability to quickly master new processes, procedures, and computer programs.  Ability to work successfully in both a team environment and independently.  Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Desired Qualifications*

Advanced experience with SAS, including macro coding, arrays and do-loops. Proficiency with advanced Microsoft Access: tables, queries, forms and reports.  Previous work with secure data enclave environments. Ability to understand highly complex data and information about the data, including its complex sample design.  Prior experience leading a workshop or training others in the use of data.  Prior experience developing and implementing web-based training materials. Basic knowledge of statistics.  Good time management skills and ability to work on more than one task at a time.  

Additional Information

The Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan seeks to recruit and retain a workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the 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.