A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relates to this position.
NOTE: This is a term-limited appointment ending July 2026, with the possibility of extension contingent on continued funding, your satisfactory performance and conduct, and the availability of work.
The Division of Undergraduate Education is seeking a Research Area Specialist Senior to support various student success initiatives and research projects in the College of LSA and at the university. This position reports to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, with functional supervision by the ASSET-LSA Initiative Director. Student success topics addressed may include questions of equity and student success in admissions, recruitment, financial aid, student support, advising, degree structures, transfer articulation, time to graduation, curricular and non-curricular experiences, graduate and professional education, and life outcomes. The student success initiatives are guided and informed by a steering committee which includes the Provost, the Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion, the Vice President for Student Life, the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, and the Vice Provost for Academic and Budgetary Affairs. A group of faculty members with relevant expertise (Economics, Sociology, Public Policy, Education, Computer Science, Physics) also provides University leadership with an effective avenue for conducting world class research.
This position will serve as project manager for research projects conducted under the student success initiative and have responsibilities in a number of areas, including study planning and implementation; data collection, aggregation, cleaning, processing, management, and analysis; and dissemination (along with other possible duties).
Responsibilities include the following:
Project Management. Planning work plans, data gathering and analysis. Planning and managing timelines and deliverables for a variety of student success initiatives. Organizing and coordinating the work of teams and other researchers.
Data processing, management, and analysis. Lead the collection, processing, merging, managing and archiving data; designing databases and entering data into databases; analysis of longitudinal data; documenting all data processing steps; creating indices and other summary variables; creating, maintaining, and archiving survey and other study documentation; and performing both basic and complex social science statistical analysis.
Dissemination and communication. Responsibilities include assisting in drafting memos, presentations, briefs, and reports; assisting in creating and maintaining web-based resources using data visualization tools such as Tableau; working with graphic designers and printers to produce and distribute reports; presenting findings to a variety of audiences. Liaison with research partners across the University.
Research Administration. Complete IRB research applications ensuring compliance with University regulations, maintain data agreements and data security, and will also draft and manage project reports for University leadership, maintain project records, and other administrative duties.
Other duties as assigned.
Master's degree in public policy, education, political science, economics, or a relevant social science discipline.
Five years of relevant experience in data analysis or related research experience.
Demonstrated knowledge of and interest in educational structures, equity, and policy.
Significant knowledge of social science research methods and concepts.
Substantial experience with R, Python, and/or STATA, for both data management and analysis operations.
Experience with SQL and constructing SQL queries in institutional databases.
Experience with large, complex data sets.
Prior experience with data visualization software, Tableau preferred.
Thorough understanding of program evaluation concepts and practices.
Personal commitment to high quality work.
Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
Attention to detail.
Strong organizational skills.
Excellent interpersonal skills.
The ability to multitask and prioritize efforts across multiple simultaneous projects.
The ability to work both as part of a team and individually while meeting deadlines.
A doctoral degree in a related field.
Six or more years of relevant experience, preferably in higher education or student-centered organization.
Strong familiarity with state and national educational datasets including IPEDS, National Student Clearinghouse, and Department of Education surveys (e.g., NPSAS) and civil rights data collections.
Advanced experience working on multiple phases of quantitative research projects (field operations, data management, analysis, dissemination).
Current knowledge of trends affecting higher education, particularly those related to student success and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Coursework in public policy and education.
Coursework in program evaluation.
As one of the world's great liberal arts colleges, LSA pushes the boundaries of what is understood about the human experience and the natural world, and we foster the next generation of rigorous and empathetic thinkers, creators, and contributors to the state of Michigan, the nation, and the world.
This is a term-limited appointment ending July 2026, with the possibility of extension contingent on continued funding, your satisfactory performance and conduct, and the availability of work.
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.
The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.
Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.
The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
A great university is made so by its faculty and staff, and Michigan is recognized as one of the best universities to work for in the country. The Michigan culture is known for engaging faculty and staff in all facets of the university to create a workplace that is vibrant and stimulating.For two consecutive years, the Chronicle of Higher Education has placed U-M in its "Great Colleges to Work For" survey. In particular, the university earns high marks for strong relations between faculty and administrators, a collaborative system of governance, strong pay and benefits, and a healthy work/life balance.