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Job Summary

The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the Institute for Social Research (ISR), the world's largest archive of digital social science data, is now accepting applications for a Data Project Manager to improve processes and procedures related to data processing and archival development, data management, and data dissemination for the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD). ICPSR encourages and facilitates research and instruction in the social sciences and related areas by acquiring, developing, archiving, and disseminating data and documentation relevant to a wide spectrum of disciplines, and by conducting related instructional programs. ICPSR acquires and preserves data in the areas of history, sociology and political science, as well as other social sciences. The data are processed to promote effective research use and disseminated to researchers through our website (

The work environment is a combination of the best aspects of a small nonprofit or business within a university setting. ICPSR is small enough that each person can make a difference, yet large enough to offer a variety of career opportunities. We have a relaxed, collegial atmosphere that fosters communication and networking within and between departments. We are family-friendly, offering flexibility with work hours, and we have a diverse staff that enriches the workplace with their skills and experience.


The Data Project Manager will have primary responsibility for leading continuous improvement initiatives and delivering high quality technical data support and outreach related to archiving and disseminating complex criminal justice data collections available at NACJD. The Data Project Manager will focus on optimizing processes and procedures related to archiving NACJD serial data collections, particularly serial data collections funded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).

The major areas of responsibility include:

Data Acquisitions, Data Processing, and Data Management

  • Analyze, evaluate, and test new and existing processes and procedures related to data processing and archival development, data management, and data dissemination
  • Collaborate with the ICPSR Curation Unit to optimize data curation services through data pre-processing, workflow refinement, automation, and the development of tools and scripts
  • Consult with managers, supervisors, and data curators on tool developments and enhancements that will benefit the organization
  • Develop, streamline, error-proof, and automate processes for managing data and producing reports
  • Review incoming data deposits for completeness, accuracy, and to confirm archiving requirements have been met
  • Develop and implement techniques and strategies to expedite the archival process
  • Plan and organize data acquisition activities, including collecting and managing information about potential and existing data depositors, and engage in outreach to potential and existing data depositors
  • Implement and ensure adherence with policies, procedures, and guidelines for handling confidential and public-use data at ICPSR

User Support and Outreach

  • Provide technical assistance to data users and specialized user support for NACJD data collections, including serial data collections funded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics
  • Produce and maintain data resource guides and value-added data and documentation products
  • Design, produce, and present on ICPSR products and archives at professional conferences and through webinars as needed (some travel may be required)
  • Ensure archival holdings are relevant to data users and that the research community is aware of products and services available from ICPSR and/or the project
  • Engage with Web team and IT defining, developing, testing, and maintaining tools, systems, and websites
  • Represent funders’ goals/objectives in relevant ICPSR development

Project Administration

  • Work with internal and external partners to maximize access and discoverability of data assets and metadata
  • Ensure data collections are accurately cataloged
  • Track and report project progress
  • Improve reporting processes/systems including online reporting tools
  • Provide superior administrative and managerial leadership and day-to-day general supervision of project activities related to data process improvements
  • Ensure that sponsor requirements and deliverables are met, both on-time and on-budget

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, social science, information science, data science, or related field, with Master’s preferred
  • 2-5 years of related experience managing, analyzing, or archiving data, and/or managing research projects
  • Experience with social science concepts, social science data, and analysis methods, and statistical applications (SAS, SPSS, R, Stata, etc.)
  • Perl, Python, SQL, or other programming experience
  • Familiarity with DDI XML metadata records, JSON metadata, and/or other metadata formats
  • An innovative nature and drive to find effective methods of standardizing, quality-checking, and error-proofing data, tables, and reports; and of streamlining data sharing
  • Proven ability to detect, correct, and prevent errors in data outputs
  • Experience with data merging and concatenation techniques to combine datasets
  • Knowledge of current issues and developments related to data management, archiving, and preservation
  • Demonstrated ability to create and track against project plans/goals, prepare progress reports for internal and external stakeholders, and communicate with funding agencies and partners regarding completed and upcoming work
  • Excellent customer service skills and customer-oriented focus
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Demonstrated strong organization skills, attention to detail and accuracy
  • The ability to work as part of a team or individually while meeting deadlines in a multitasking environment
  • Experience effectively using meeting tools such as WebEx, Skype for Business, Blue Jeans, conference calling, etc.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Master’s degree in criminal justice, social science, information science, data science, or related field
  • 2-5 years of related experience working with complex criminal justice data, managing, analyzing, or archiving crime data, and/or managing criminal justice research projects
  • Experience analyzing serial criminal justice data housed at NACJD, particularly Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) data collections
  • Knowledge of current issues and developments related to criminal justice research and crime reporting in the United States
  • Familiarity with criminal justice data user community and understanding of data resources
  • Experience working with APIs
  • Knowledge of confidentiality, disclosure and related issues regarding the dissemination of social science data
  • 3-5 years of experience in a research setting including a data archive or academic library

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.

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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