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A cover letter is required for consideration for this 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 why you are interested in this position and describe specific skills and experiences in your history and directly relate them to the responsibilities of, and qualification for, this position.

Job Summary

We are seeking a General Programmer/Analyst Intermediate (Data Manager) to join the Technical Services Group (TSG) at Survey Research Operations (SRO).  TSG is responsible for the development and support of systems and tools used to manage survey and data collection operations and processes including respondent contact, sample management, computer assisted data collection, resource management, reporting, and quality assurance. Data Manager Intermediates provide support to large or complex survey research projects and are key members of project teams. Under general supervision, Data Manager Intermediates query, transform, clean, integrate, curate, analyze, and report on a variety of complex research and administrative data. 

SRO is the operations branch of the Survey Research Center (SRC) at the Institute for Social Research (ISR).  SRC is a national and international leader in interdisciplinary social science research involving the collection or analysis of data from scientific sample surveys.   

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

This position is based in Ann Arbor with a salary range of $60,000-$75,000 annually for Intermediate and $50,000-$65,000 annually for Associate, depending on the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate.


Data Manager Intermediates lead the 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, SQL, and/or Python.

During the pre-production phase, Data Manager Intermediates:

  • Lead the setup and implementation of project-specific computerized sample management systems and databases.
  • Establish and implement variable naming conventions, program recodes and derived variables necessary for quality control and monitoring of production.
  • 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 Manager Intermediates:

  • Perform complex database queries and develop datasets and ad hoc reports for QC of data collection operations, production monitoring and analysis using SAS, SQL and other statistical packages.
  • Assist in the design of customized reports to help in the monitoring of production. 
  • Design and run quality assurance checks on collected data and trouble-shoot problems reported. 
  • Collaborate with the interviewer help desk and others to identify and resolve serious technical or data problems, including programming, data and procedural errors.
  • Process and release new sample case data as it becomes available and as needed.

During the post-production phase, Data Manager Intermediates:

  • Independently prepare final versions of complex datasets including cleaning, recoding, reformatting and outputing data as necessary for delivery to key stakeholders; document all work performed.
  • Independently document quality assurance operations performed in final reports, and provide basic documentation on datasets.
  • Harmonize data with previously collected data or aggregate disparate data sources for analysis and reporting.

General and developmental responsibilities:

  • Participate in developing and designing methods, procedures, and specifications for collecting, organizing, classifying and reporting on paradata and survey data.
  • Create new data management solutions by implementing new database processes and/or adapting existing data management tools to work in new environments, and train others on how to use them.
  • Identify opportunities to improve the efficiency and/or quality of data processing.
  • Assist in the training of new staff and the review of their work.

Behavioral and work environment expectations:

  • Identify and act on current priorities while maintaining flexibility and openness to changes.
  • Bring a participatory and constructive approach to problem solving.
  • Consider impact of work on internal and external audiences and be mindful of project timelines, staff needs across projects.
  • Be approachable, responsive and accessible, acting as a support to, and a resource for, others.
  • Proactively share knowledge to keep coworkers informed and work to overcome obstacles and seek resolutions with others.
  • Move between leader and follower roles within projects and department.

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Intermediate candidates will need at least three years of data management programming experience using common data management tools such as SAS, SQL, and/or Python. We will consider candidates with less than three years of experience for an Associate position.

All candidates must have:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of basic programming concepts, and include experiences with combining data from disparate sources, cleaning and preparing data for analysis, and/or debugging data in complex applications.
  • General knowledge of relational database concepts. 
  • 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.

In addition, candidates for the Intermediate level must have:

  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience designing and programming reports.
  • Demonstrated experience querying, managing, and testing data in applications that store data in a relational database.
  • Demonstrated ability to learn and use new computer programs quickly and effectively.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with minimal hands-on supervision and to make independent process and technical decisions while using correct judgment about when to seek guidance from senior staff.
  • Demonstrated history of working collaboratively with team members and colleagues at all levels.

Note:  Examples of your SQL code, reports, or other work product may be requested

Desired Qualifications*

  • Advanced programming skills in data management or report programming using tools such as VBA, Python, SAS macro, SQL Server Reporting Services.
  • 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 knowledge of related data challenges/issues.

Underfill Statement

Position may be filled at either the intermediate level or associate level based on candidate qualifications.

Additional Information

The Institute for Social Research (ISR) 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.

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.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening 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.