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Research Assistant Professor

How to Apply

Applicants are invited to submit a cover letter describing their interest in the position, contact information of three references, a research statement describing their scholarly activities and research plans; a statement of teaching and mentoring, a statement of service, and a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statement. The DEI statement should include a discussion of demonstrated contributions to DEI and potential to support ISR’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Applications should be submitted through Interfolio at

Please direct questions or inquiries to [email protected].


The Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan invites applications for an ISR tenure-track Research Assistant Professor position in its Survey Research Center (SRC).

The Research Assistant Professor will lead and collaborate on externally funded projects related to aging, disability, dementia, and care and will lead dissemination-related activities for the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) and National Study of Caregiving (NSOC). NHATS and NSOC are co-led by faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. NHATS and NSOC foster research to guide efforts to reduce disability, maximize health and independent functioning, and enhance quality of life of older adults and their families.

We are looking for a scholar with an interest in the implications of population aging for disability, dementia and/or family caregiving and enthusiasm for creating, using, and disseminating new data.

Successful candidates will have a strong background in aging research, experience analyzing NHATS or NSOC (or similar large-scale aging studies), and interest in conducting outreach to diverse, interdisciplinary user communities and communicating with lay and scientific audiences. We are particularly interested in candidates with a record of scholarship, externally funded research, and formal or informal didactic experience. Examples of particularly relevant areas of interest for this position include, but are not limited to, research on late-life disability, dementia and related care trends and/or dynamics, inequities in late-life disability, dementia and caregiving; objectively measured physical activity and sleep; and quality of care in residential care and end of life settings.

As the world’s largest academic social science survey and research organization, the Institute for Social Research is a leader in developing and applying new social science methods and is committed to educating the next generation of social scientists. The Institute seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce to ground its research in varied disciplines and perspectives. The Institute’s Survey Research Center conducts investigator-initiated, survey-based research on theoretical and applied problems of both social and scientific importance. The Center is committed to mentoring early career faculty to succeed in its multidisciplinary and highly entrepreneurial environment.

The successful candidate will be expected to 1) Lead NHATS/NSOC outreach efforts and cultivate a diverse user community through various activities (e.g., representing the study at workshops and scientific meetings; managing and expanding educational activities such as online modules, summer workshops, and webinars; developing NHATS/NSOC materials for scientific and lay audiences; and related activities); 2) Pursue independent and collaborative externally funded scholarly projects related to aging, disability, dementia and/or care using NHATS/NSOC, and, as relevant, other health and aging studies; and 3) Provide, as needed, supervision to project staff, including research assistants, data analysts and undergraduate students.

Why Work at Michigan?

In addition to a career filled with purpose and opportunity, U-M offers a comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and your family, and plan for a secure future. Benefits include generous time off; retirement plan with two-for-one matching contributions after the first year; many choices for comprehensive health insurance; life insurance; long-term disability coverage; and flexible spending accounts for healthcare and dependent care expenses. Learn more about U-M benefits.

Required Qualifications

The Research Assistant Professor position requires:

  • A Ph.D. in a social or behavioral science field, including sociology, demography, epidemiology, gerontology, health services research, population health or related field, and at least 1-2 years of postdoctoral experience;
  • Record of scholarship using national aging surveys, particularly the National Health and Aging Trends Study and/or National Study of Caregiving or similar surveys;
  • Demonstrated scientific interest in aging, disability, dementia, and/or related care;
  • Experience securing externally funded research (e.g. pilot projects, small grants [R03/R21], career development [K99/R00, K01]);
  • Formal or informal didactic experience, particularly online;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills; and
  • A demonstrated commitment to activities in support of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Desired Qualifications

Although not required, the preferred applicant will also have:

  • Expertise or strong interest in at least one area of emphasis in NHATS/NSOC: inequities in late-life disability, dementia and/or caregiving; objectively measured physical activity and/or sleep; or quality of care in residential care and/or end of life settings; and
  • Experience with supplemental data relevant to NHATS/NSOC (e.g. physical performance and/or objective measures of function, accelerometry data, claims and assessment files, contextual data).

Additional Information

The position is a 12-month appointment located in Ann Arbor, MI. The position begins summer 2024, contingent on funding. Salary is highly competitive. Individuals from groups historically under-represented in the social sciences are strongly encouraged to apply.

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.

Background Screening

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.

Application Deadline

Applications are due December 15, 2023.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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