Associate/Assistant Research Scientist – Center for Inequality Dynamics

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter describing their scholarly activities and interest in the Survey Research Center; curriculum vitae; names of three references; and up to two recent publications. All applicants must submit their applications on our online applications site, Interfolio, at

Please direct questions or inquiries to Reference #86925.

Job Summary

The Survey Research Center (SRC) at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research (ISR) invites applications for a full-time position of Assistant Research Scientist or Associate Research Scientist at the Center for Inequality Dynamics (CID).

SRC is a unique, world-renowned social science research center that conducts investigator-initiated research on theoretical and applied problems of social and scientific importance. CID is a recently established SRC unit dedicated to the study of changes and stability in social inequality across time, generations, and sociopolitical contexts. CID also seeks to expand the social scientific data infrastructure available to support research on these topics.

An exciting opportunity has been created for an enterprising scholar interested in the construction and use of administrative data to study inequality and social mobility. This scholar will be involved from the beginning of a new, large-scale effort to compare wealth and its intergenerational persistence across the entire United States. In collaboration with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), this new project will approximate the wealth holdings of U.S. taxpayers, produce estimates of wealth levels, wealth inequality, wealth segregation, and intergenerational wealth mobility, and distribute geographic aggregates of these estimates to the research community, policymakers, and broader public.


The Research Scientist will collaborate with the CID and IRS teams on all aspects of the research process. They will serve as the central coordinator across the full data production and analysis life-cycle of the project. Specifically, they will:

  • oversee the daily data production process and create regular data production reports;
  • coordinate the workflow between all project members at the University of Michigan and the Internal Revenue Service;
  • construct code and create synthetic datasets required to efficiently engage all project members in the data creation process;
  • document the data production process and final data product by implementing DDI (Data Documentation Initiative) international standards;
  • analyze the resulting data and be involved as co-author in the production of scientific manuscripts and other written products;
  • coordinate the data release with external vendors.

The Research Scientist will also help pursue external funding in support of additional research directly related to this project, and they are supported and encouraged to pursue funding for their own research on topics of social inequality and mobility.

Required Qualifications

Requirements for this position are a:

  • Ph.D. in a social science field;
  • strong interest in research on intergenerational social mobility, wealth, or tax policy, ideally demonstrated in peer-reviewed publications;
  • demonstrated experience in the scientific and technical management of a large research project;
  • experience with manipulating and analyzing large data sets;
  • excellent presentation and writing skills;
  • excellent interpersonal and management skills.

The ideal candidate will also have a strong background in quantitative methods, demonstrated skills in creating reproducible code, excellent skills in at least one major programming language (Stata, R, or SAS), experience in creating data products (ideally from administrative data sources), and prior experience working in a research setting.

Underfill Statement

This position may be underfilled at the Assistant Research Scientist level.

Additional Information

This would be a 12-month appointment. Salary is highly competitive.

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.

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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