Faculty Research Fellow

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Salary: 60,000
Created: September 19, 2019


The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) invites applications for one Faculty Research Fellow. The Fellow will join a team of researchers from ICPSR and the University of Michigan School of Information (UMSI) working to understand the impacts of data archiving and sharing in social science. The position is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation to (1) understand how to responsibly allocate resources to data archiving so that we can (2) articulate data archiving policies that efficiently and effectively achieve innovation and transparency in social science.

ICPSR has more than 50 years of service to the social sciences and is the largest archive of digital social and behavioral science data in the world. ICPSR curates, preserves, and disseminates original social science data for research, instruction, and policy evaluation. It is one of five centers at the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan. ISR is the world’s largest academic social science survey and research organization and conducts some of the most widely-cited and influential social science research in the world.

Despite the potential for innovation and advancement that data sharing holds, we don’t yet know how to prioritize datasets for professional preparation and archiving. It’s likely that some datasets hold more downstream potential than others, and data sharing policies should prioritize high-value data over others instead of being one-size-fits-all. This project will help us understand the relative impacts of features of datasets (e.g., questions asked, populations included, topics covered) and curatorial actions (e.g., variable standardization, documentation improvements) on data reuse (e.g., citations, downloads). It will produce metrics to explain the return on various types of resource investment—e.g., what kinds of curatorial action increase data reuse and by what margin?


The project will construct two measures of data’s scholarly impact—secondary impact and diversity—that depend on citations of the data. The ICPSR Bibliography of Data-Related Literature (the “Bibliography”) links over 80,000 research publications to the ICPSR data on which they are based. Generating the bibliography for a given study is currently a manual process, and datasets are often cited informally. The focus of the fellowship will be developing a predictive model that can assist staff in identifying informal and incomplete data citations. Given a set of publications, the model will (1) identify informal or incomplete dataset references and (2) determine whether the datasets match any in ICPSR’s collection.

The Fellow will work with Bibliography staff and ICPSR researchers to develop, test, and deploy the model and will report to Libby Hemphill, the Director of the Resource Center for Minority Data at ICPSR. The Fellow will also contribute to other aspects of the broader research project where appropriate. The broader project is a larger effort to understand the effects of curatorial actions on data reuse and impact and is also funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). More information about the project is available from our IMLS proposal and the NSF project description.


Required Qualifications

  • PhD in information and/or library science, computational social science, computer science, digital humanities, or a related field

  • Strong collaboration and communication skills

  • Strong interest in collaborating on computational social science and data archiving projects work with social scientists, staff, and students of different backgrounds

  • Python experience

Desired Qualifications

  • Text mining and/or machine learning experience

  • Regression and structural equation modeling expertise

Application Instructions

Qualified applicants must submit:

  1. Cover letter describing their scholarly activities and outlining their interests in the research project

  2. Current CV

  3. Two academic writing samples

  4. One sample of Python programming work (can be a URL to a git repository)

  5. Names and contact information for three individuals willing to provide letters of recommendation

All documents should be in PDF format and contain the applicant's last name in the file name.

All applicants must submit their materials through Interfolio.

Additional Information

Anticipated Start Date


Employment Conditions

Applicants are expected to work on premise at the ICPSR offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which are located in the Institute for Social Research on the University of Michigan campus. Occasional travel to attend research group meetings or conferences may be required.

Salary and Benefits

This is a two-year appointment with a starting annual salary of $60,000.

University of Michigan benefits include paid vacation, paid parental leave, health insurance, schedule flexibility, and other benefits. A description of benefits at the University of Michigan is available here: http://careers.umich.edu/benefits/

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


Submitted by: anarchivist

Published: Friday, September 20, 2019 00:28 UTC

Last updated: Friday, September 20, 2019 00:28 UTC