Independently and in collaboration with teams, apply technical skills in survey design, fieldwork oversight, and data analysis to develop, complete, and disseminate research on public opinion.
LAPOP is an active social science research laboratory at Vanderbilt, located within the political science department. The lab’s mission is to produce high quality public opinion data, develop and implement cutting-edge survey methods, build capacity in survey research and analysis, and generate and disseminate policy-relevant research. The lab’s activities are supported by numerous grants and implemented via a large network of partners across the Americas. The lab has a staff size of 8-10, and also includes about a dozen undergraduate student research assistants, several graduate student research assistants, and several post-doctoral positions.
Duties and Responsibilities
Research Design and Coordination
· Assist in planning a complex schedule of research activities covering up to 35 countries and involving multiple sites and teams
· Apply expertise in questionnaire design for surveys and, on occasion, focus groups.
· Provide input into the development of complex, stratified sample designs
· Develop plans for fieldwork, project schedules, quality control, management of data, and dataset processing
· Train interview teams in best practices in survey implementation and in the use of hardware and software required for fieldwork (requires occasional travel abroad)
· Assist in the process of identifying third parties (e.g., survey firms) for data collection and in the development of contracts
· Program questionnaires and samples into specialized software for survey data collection, and supervise research assistants as they audit the programs
· Oversee research projects to ensure that they stay on schedule, assist in identifying solutions to problems when they emerge to ensure projects stay on schedule and that quality is maintained, and supervise research assistants
· Use specialized software to oversee fieldwork and data auditing processes
Research Analysis and Reporting
· Apply knowledge of statistics and specialized software to analyze and interpret survey data and draft and review project reports written for various audiences (sponsoring agencies, the media, academics, the public)
· Develop technical reports that detail the design and meta-data on completed projects
· Help coordinate dissemination of research via presentations by team members at various events; occasionally participate in the delivery of oral presentations on project findings. Travel domestically and/or abroad as needed for such events
· Communicate in a timely, efficient, and professional manner with teams of country experts, research affiliates, contracted firms, sponsoring agencies, and other project collaborators across numerous countries
· On occasion develop and conduct workshops or training sessions in order to increase capacity for survey research among students, project partners, the media, or others
Innovation and Experimentation
· Research and develop cutting-edge methods for the scientific collection and analysis of public opinion data
Supervisory Relationships: This position may supervise research assistants; this position reports to the Director.
· M.A. in survey methods, political science, economics, or a related field of study, or the equivalent in experience
· Specialized training or on the job experience in social science, survey, or other related field of research
· Proven ability to work independently and in teams on research projects
· Skills in programming and statistical analysis
· Excellent communication skills – both written and verbal
· Ability to problem-solve and manage multiple complex tasks simultaneously and effectively
· Spanish language skills are preferred, but not required
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.
Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.