Social Science Data Research Assistant

Posted to IASSIST on: 2018-01-17

Employer: University of Michigan, ICPSR

Employer URL:


A unit of the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is an international membership organization, with over 700 institutions from around the world. ICPSR provides access to empirical social science data for research and teaching. The atmosphere is collegial with a work environment that fosters communication and networking, incorporates a diverse staff with varying skills and experiences and offers family-friendly flexibility with work hours.

The core role of a Research Technician is to act as a Social Science Data Research Assistant to gain an understanding of research data files provided to ICPSR and convey that understanding to secondary researchers by improving the data file and creating documentation about the dataset and its variables.


  • Prepare social science research data and related materials for permanent archiving and dissemination by:
    • Reviewing data for issues related to confidentiality;
    • Communicating with data producers and depositors to resolve issues of incompleteness;
    • Using data management software to review, clean, recode, and verify research data;
    • Compiling and editing research documentation;
    • Structuring data and documentation files into archive-quality products for release via the ICPSR Web site;
    • Writing descriptions of each group of datasets;
    • Preparing data and documentation for use with online data analysis tools.
  • Work collaboratively with team members and conduct peer work reviews, as well as work with ICPSR staff in different units of the organization, as needed.
  • Provide support to data users by responding to questions about the data collections.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in a social science major or a related field;
  • Background in social science research methods or survey design;
  • Experience in data management, including editing, recoding, and merging data, or producing basic statistics about a data file;
  • Experience with any of the following data management software: SAS, SPSS, Stata, R, SQL, Excel.

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience working with a variety of datasets;
  • Experience working in a Linux environment to navigate files and run programs;
  • Ability to read and summarize technical documents;
  • Ability to organize and prioritize assignments, apply oral and written instructions and procedures, and execute tasks with minimal supervision

Archived on: 2018-01-30