Research Scientist

The Survey Research Center (SRC) in the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan conducts investigator initiated, survey-based research on theoretical and applied problems of both social and scientific importance (please see our website: As described on its website, the SRC’s scientific research staff is organized into inter-disciplinary programs spanning many domains of social science research. It has over 350 research and support staff and research volumes of about $70 million per year.

SRC is the home of Survey Methodology Program (SMP) that includes an internationally recognized team of Ph.D. survey methodologists and statisticians who pursue cutting-edge statistical and methodological  research with investigator-initiated research grants. The center contains the Survey Research Operations (SRO) unit, which has over 150 professional staff working on applied design and implementation of large complex sample surveys with advanced data collection technologies. The center also operates a Survey Design Group (SDG) which provides free consulting services to researchers in the Center/Institute/University on survey design issues.

At its beginnings in the late 1940s and 1950s, SRC recognized the importance that senior sampling statisticians such as Leslie Kish and Irene Hess played in integrating new theoretical developments and best practice into the day to day survey designs. It also recognized the role these individuals played in guiding the Center’s development of the infrastructure and processes that supported sample selection and related statistical processes. Although the essential conditions for survey research design have changed substantially over the past decades, SRC remains committed to continuing its tradition of leadership in sampling and statistical design for survey research.

The Center, therefore, invites applications from outstanding candidates for the professional position of Director of the SRC Sampling Group (SSG) in the Research Scientist ranks. Applicants and nominations will be considered at the Assistant Research Scientist, Associate Research Scientist, or Research Scientist level, depending on candidates’s experience and qualifications. The successful candidate will direct the SRC Survey Sampling Group (SSG), a center-level unit that serves to facilitate the SRC’s efforts to integrate its collective scientific, methodological and operational expertise to ensure the highest level of quality and efficiency in the statistical designs, sampling processes and infrastructure that are fundamental to the success of SRC’s current and future scientific research programs.

The SSG Director will report the the SRC Director (Trivellore Raghunathan). In this professional role they will work closely with colleagues who lead the SRC Survey Research Operations (SRO) Unit, the SRO Statistics and Methods Unit (Lisa Holland), Survey Design Group (Steve Heeringa) and the Coordinator for the Survey Methodology Program (Michael Elliott). Candidates for this position will advise the SRC Primary Research Staff and the SRO professional staff on designs for new studies as well as enhancements to existing statistical design and methods for established projects. The SSG Director will advise the SRC Director and scientific leadership on strategic plans and investments and infrastructure choices that are needed to maintain SRC’s leadership in statistical design, methods and operations for scientific survey research. The Director of the SSG will receive administrative support from the SRC Director’s Office and supervise a small staff that will provide support in the research design, design coordination and strategic planning activities of the SSG.

Required Qualifications*

Preferred applicants will have a doctoral degree in statistics, biostatistics or survey methodololgy with a concentration in sampling and/or survey statistics.

Applicants are required to have a minimum of 10-15 years of experience in designing and implementing probability samples and related statistical designs for population-based studies. Applicants must have demonstrated knowledge and experience in sampling theory, applied sampling design and the statistical processes that are involved in implementing probability sample selections for surveys of household and nonhousehold populations. Applicants must also demonstrate expertise and experience in methods for statistical weighting, variance estimation and treatment of missing data.

Preferred applicants will also have knowledge and expertise in special research designs that are common in social science research programs including longitudinal research design and designs for evaluation studies and multi-level research. Likewise, applicants’ knowledge and experience in study designs that involve collection of biomarkers, linkage to administrative records or spatial data will be considered in the evaluation of candidates.

Success in this position will depend heavily on the candidate’s ability to consult with research teams and coordinate decision-making by multiple stakeholders. Preferred candidates should have excellent oral and written communication skills.

Applicants may initiate the process my submitting a letter describing: their experience in sampling and study design; other qualifications for this position; any scholarly activities or funded research and plans; and interest in SRC. Please include a CV and names (not letters) of three references. Start dates are flexible.

Salary is highly competitive.

Please send applications, nomination, and inquiries electronically to or by mail to Survey Research Center Search Committee, Director’s Office, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248. Reference position #136458. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

The Institute for Social Research 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.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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