Research Specialist II

New Jersey, United States
Feb 03, 2021
End of advertisement period
May 04, 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Department   Population Research
Category   Research and Laboratory
Full-Time / Part-Time   Full-Time


The Center for Research on Child Wellbeing (CRCW) at Princeton University is seeking a Research Specialist II to provide data management, statistical analysis, and operational support for the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS). This position will have a significant role in data quality assurance and programming for the current Year 22 wave of data collection, developing new supplemental administrative data files to append to data in the FFCWS archive, and providing technical data support and outreach for FFCWS. This position will support Principal Investigators and collaborators, project staff, and external researchers and students using the FFCWS data.

The ideal applicant will have strong programming skills (Stata preferred), with the ability to help manage, support, and expand a large archive of highly-sensitive data from this prominent NIH-funded longitudinal study.   The successful candidate will be a self-starter and able to manage projects independently. The Research Specialist II will be required to develop a deep understanding of FFCWS survey data files, efficiently code Stata programs, and quality check data files using a meticulous attention to detail. The Research Specialist II is expected to provide technical support to researchers with clear and concise written and verbal explanations. They should be able to thrive in a flexible, team based work environment, and be committed to continued learning and training in areas such as data management and statistical analysis.  


The Research Specialist II position will play an essential role throughout the Year 22 wave. This position will have shared responsibility for file preparation and drafting documentation and new project resources for the Year 22 wave of data collection. Programming responsibilities for the Year 22 wave during and following field interviewing will include writing Stata code to 1) review and carefully check quality and consistency of complex, raw survey response data files, 2) convert raw survey response data files to fully-cleaned, well-organized data files, and 3) review and carefully check quality and consistency of fully-cleaned data files. The Research Specialist II will attend project team meetings and should work well both independently and as part of a team.

This position will also provide Stata programming for the preparation of new supplemental administrative files. Tasks will include developing supplemental files from diverse and complex government and administrative data sources, and standardizing new data files to FFCWS variable naming and missing data conventions. The Research Specialist II will be responsible for quality checking files and creating technical documentation.    

This position will provide extensive technical support to researchers and data users through a dedicated email -; our staff field approximately 400 inquiries per year. The Research Specialist II will also be expected to conduct introductory tutorials and presentations for new data users, including Princeton JP and senior thesis students.

The Research Specialist II will also support the day-to-day operations of FFCWS, including review of public data access requests, study outreach through Twitter and the FFCWS website, helping maintain the FFCWS publications archive, conducting data analysis, representing FFCWS at workshops, presentations, and conferences, and helping prepare study resources such as research briefs, articles, and text for grant proposals and reports.


  • Candidates with a Bachelors’ degree will be considered if they have at least 3 years of work experience doing programming for a quantitative social science research project. 
  • Candidates preferred to have intermediate to advanced skills using Python, R, SAS, or SPSS along with STATA or the desire and ability to quickly learn Stata.  Experience with Python, R, html, or Drupal is a plus.
  • Candidates should also have experience with Microsoft applications, including Word, Excel, Access, and Powerpoint, as well as a track record that indicates they are extremely organized, have high attention to detail, and have the ability to work independently with some direction, but know when to ask questions.  

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in mathematics, statistics, sociology, social work, economics, psychology, public policy or a related field, with at least 2 years of work experience managing and analyzing large social science datasets using Stata software is preferred. 
  • Prior experience with FFCWS data, or with other large, longitudinal social science datasets (PSID, Add Health, NLSY, etc.) is strongly preferred.  

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW