Research Technician Intermediate

Michigan, United States
05 Dec 2018
End of advertisement period
31 Jan 2019
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Sociology
Contract Type
Full Time

How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration of 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 relate to this position.

Salary will be commensurate with the qualifications, experience and education of the selected candidate.

Job Summary

The Population Studies Center (PSC) in the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan invites applications for a full-time position of Research Technician. The Research Technician will help build the Criminal Justice Administrative Records System (CJARS).  CJARS is the next-generation criminal justice data infrastructure to support evidence-based criminal justice policy making and administration, and is being developed through a partnership between the University of Michigan and the US Census Bureau. The Research Technician will participate in data management and production as well as analysis of the collected records. Work will involve harmonizing multi-jurisdictional data, developing algorithms to unify local value codes, executing of probabilistic matching models, and contributing to ongoing research projects.


Under the direction of the project’s principal investigator (PI), the Research Technician will engage in data management and analysis including: 

  • Coordinating as necessary with data acquisition;
  • Data quality validation of newly acquired records;
  • Liaising with data scraping production team;
  • Identifying local data structures and value codes;
  • Developing algorithmic harmonization strategies to bring local jurisdictional data into the common national CJARS format;
  • Executing probabilistic matching models to perform entity resolution in the collected records and generate episode sequences that group related arrests, charges and sanctions for the same individual;
  • Performing analysis of the CJARS repository, including summarizing study data and writing up reports of the findings;
  • Reviewing literature and contributing to other related projects as needed;
  • Supporting production of statistical reports returned back to participating agencies;
  • Contributing to the continued refinement of data production processes and algorithms;  
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications*

  • A Bachelor’s degree in a related field with one or more years of relevant work experience;
  • Proven ability to code in at least one of the following languages: R, Stata, SAS, Python, or SQL;
  • Ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to maintain positive relationships with various stakeholders;
  • Exceptional time management skills with a proven ability to multitask and to prioritize to successfully complete projects on tight deadlines with little supervision;
  • Excellent communication skills, with the ability to present data in a simple and straightforward way for non-technical audiences.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Familiarity with HTML and CSS; and
  • Knowledge and understanding of data science, probabilistic matching methods or U.S. criminal justice research literature.  

Additional Information

The Institute for Social Research 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. 

Please indicate your starting availability in your application cover letter. 

This is a two-year position. If additional funding is received, the position may be extended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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