Research Computer Specialist

Posted to IASSIST on: 2017-11-30

Employer: University of Michigan, American National Election Studies (ANES)

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The American National Election Studies (ANES; is seeking a Research Computer Specialist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor to provide support in the areas of data management, programming, research, and technology in a small, highly skilled team environment. The position offers challenging work and opportunities for professional and personal growth.  Compensation for this full-time position includes a salary anticipated to be within the range of $70,000-$90,000 annually, to be determined based on skills and experience, as well as the University of Michigan staff benefits package.

Since 1948, the ANES has conducted nationally representative surveys before and after each presidential election and disseminated the resulting data products via its website as free, public goods.  The Research Computer Specialist will translate questionnaires into instructions and specifications suitable for an external data collection vendor to program the survey instrument; conduct quality control, testing, and troubleshooting during survey programming and data collection; use statistical and other software to extract, process, clean, merge and document survey data, administrative information, contextual data, metadata, and paradata; program, debug, and document standalone and web-based applications for collecting user content suggestions, questionnaire development, and dynamic website content; produce data and visualizations for presentation on the website; participate in user support; ensure adherence to project quality guidelines and deadlines; make recommendations regarding and participate in the implementation of best practices and innovation; mentor, train, cross-train, and delegate to other employees; and other tasks as assigned.


The successful applicant will have seven or more years of experience in the collection, processing, cleaning, and documentation of survey research data;  expert-level knowledge of one or more statistical packages such as R, SAS, SPSS, and Stata; significant experience with database development and manipulation including SQL and web programming; intermediate to advanced experience in one or more programming languages such as ASP.NET, PERL, PHP, and Python; knowledge of basic statistics; and intermediate to advanced experience programming and extracting data and metadata from one or more survey data collection applications such as Blaise. The study is seeking a dynamic, innovative, collaborative individual that is an excellent communicator and comfortable working both individually and as part of a team. A Master’s degree in the social sciences, statistics, survey methodology, information science, or related field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience, is required.


Other desirable skills and experience include: prior employment within an academic research environment; formal training in or knowledge of political science and the study of elections; knowledge of survey research methodology; intermediate statistical knowledge; experience with sampling and development of post-survey adjustment weights; prior experience with data visualization and associated tools and software; experience with formatting software tools such as LaTeX and Sweave; experience with markup languages and/or the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI); project management training; and prior use of shared online collaborative and project management tools.

Archived on: 2018-01-16