Director of Survey Operations

Job Summary

The Survey Research Center (SRC) of the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan seeks an established leader in survey research to serve as Director of Survey Research Operations (SRO).

SRC conducts some of the most widely cited and influential studies in the world including the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, the Monitoring the Future Study, the Health and Retirement Study, the National Survey of Family Growth, and the Surveys of Consumers. In addition to these larger projects, SRC conducts many other important studies in the social sciences and related disciplines that employ surveys and other cutting edge methods and technologies. SRC also serves as an international center for education in social science data collection and analysis. Survey Research Operations (SRO) is the data collection operations unit within SRC responsible for bringing the latest methodological advances in social data collection sciences into practice. The unit currently employs 170 university-based and upwards of 700 field-based staff located across the nation. SRO actively manages over 100 projects with a combined annual research volume totaling $40 million.

The position reports directly to the Director of the Survey Research Center.


Major responsibilities of the SRO Director include:

  1. Provide strong scientific and administrative leadership to SRO and its staff. This leadership role involves directing the coordinated efforts of the SRO Associate Director(s) and six Unit Heads who manage the day-to-day operations of the unit and its subunits, including the conduct of data collection projects, assisting with the development and submission of research proposals, and supervising the activities of the SRO statistical and technology groups;
  2. Work collaboratively with leading social scientists, survey methodologists and statisticians to strategically plan, develop, and implement cutting-edge methods and processes in survey operations;
  3. Serve as Principal Investigator on data collection projects involving external clients/investigators;
  4. Represent SRC to the external scientific and survey research communities through active participation in national and international scientific forums;
  5. Advise the Director of the Survey Research Center on key strategic and operational issues facing the unit.

Required Qualifications

A Master’s degree or equivalent professional training and experience in a relevant field is required. Candidates must also have a substantial, proven track record of leading high quality, innovative social science data collection activities. Demonstrated experience with multiple modes of data collection is highly desirable. Substantial experience in research administration, including financial and human resource management, is required. Candidates must possess exemplary oral and written communication skills, highly developed interpersonal skills, strong relationship management and organizational diplomacy, and excellent supervisory and professional mentoring abilities. In addition, they must be able to effectively multitask, work well independently and collaboratively, problem solve and manage crises, work across organizational boundaries, and productively handle ambiguity and uncertainty in a complex and fast-paced environment. Demonstrated commitment to the University’s and ISR’s inclusiveness, equity and diversity values and goals is essential (

Desired Qualifications

A doctoral degree in a relevant discipline (e.g., social sciences, public health, survey methodology) is a desired qualification for this position. Advanced statistical skills and demonstrated experience with information-based decision making and forecasting are also desirable qualifications.

Additional Information

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.

To apply, please visit the UM Careers posting.