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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 Senior (Senior 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 data collection operations, including respondent contact, sample management, computer assisted data collection, reporting, and quality assurance.  SRO is the operations branch of the Survey Research Center (SRC) at the Institute for Social Research (ISR). 

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

Data Manager Seniors provide data management oversight on multiple survey research projects and serve as lead data manager on large or complex survey research projects.  Under general supervision, Data Manager Seniors query, transform, clean, integrate, curate, analyze, and report on a variety of complex research and administrative data

This position is based in Ann Arbor with a salary range of $70,000-$80,000 annually, depending on the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate


Data Manager Seniors lead the development of procedures for organizing, classifying and reporting on complex information during all phases of a project’s life-cycle. The primary tools used by Data Manager Seniors are SAS, Python, and SQL.

Pre-production:  Project setup, testing, and implementation

  • Lead the setup and implementation of project-specific computerized sample management systems and databases and provide guidance and support for these activities to other data manager colleagues.
  • Establish 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 to verify that the inputs and outputs work as expected. Collaborate with project team members and Principal Investigators on survey research project design.

Production phase:  Project monitoring, and quality control

  • Perform complex database queries and develop datasets and ad hoc reports for data collection quality control, and production monitoring and analysis. Establish quality control standards and assure that best practices for the implementation of reports and procedures are adopted across projects.
  • Take the lead in diagnosing, identifying and resolving time-sensitive technical or data problems, including programming and procedural errors.

Post-production:  Data cleaning, output, and documentation

  • Independently prepare and document final versions of complex datasets including cleaning, recoding, reformatting and outputting data as necessary for delivery to key stakeholders.
  • Independently document the quality assurance operations performed, provide documentation on datasets, and assure that other projects under their oversight are equally well-documented.
  • Harmonize data with previously collected data or aggregate disparate data sources for analysis and reporting.

General and developmental responsibilities

  • Consult with key stakeholders and lead in developing and designing methods for collecting, organizing, and reporting on survey and process data.
  • Oversee the creation of new data management solutions by implementing new processes or adapting existing data management tools to work in new environments. Identify opportunities to improve the efficiency and quality of data processing and work with team members to implement solutions.
  • Train and supervise new staff and review their work.
  • Create training materials and documents.

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • At least five years of research experience working with large research data sets.
  • At least three years of survey research experience which demonstrates broad understanding all areas of survey research (i.e. sampling, data collection, coding, data processing, application programming, analysis, and methodology).
  • At least five years of data management programming experience using common data management tools such as SAS, SQL, or Python. Experience must demonstrate knowledge of basic programming concepts and include experience combining data from disparate sources, programming reports, cleaning and preparing data for analysis, and debugging data in complex applications.
  • Experience working with complex survey and process data gathered in various modes of data collection (paper, computer-assisted telephone, web), and be knowledgeable about the related data challenges and issues.
  • Experience querying, managing and testing data in applications that store data in relational databases. Broad knowledge of relational database concepts. Strong organizational skills including experience prioritizing tasks in a fast-paced production environment.  Effective communication skills and experience composing technical documentation.
  • Excellent attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with minimal hands-on supervision and to make independent process and technical decisions. Demonstrated history of working collaboratively with team members and colleagues at all levels.
  • Demonstrated history of enhancing professional and technical skills.
  • Experience providing guidance or oversight to team members working on projects.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Advanced programming skills in data management or report programming using tools such as VBA, Python, SAS macro, and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).
  • Experience with web survey data collection applications and working directly with the associated data/paradata.

Note:  Examples of your SAS/SQL code, reports, or other work products may be requested

Underfill Statement

This posting may be underfilled at the Intermediate level, depending on qualifications.

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.

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.

Benefits at the University of Michigan: In addition to a career filled with purpose and opportunity, The University of Michigan offers a comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and any eligible family members and plan for a secure future.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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