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Part-Time Technical Support Position – Available Immediately

The UNC-Chapel Hill Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) is looking for a part-time student assistant with excellent technical and people skills to help support the transition to a new online course evaluation system. Responsibilities include:

1. Learning the course evaluation software (Scantron’s Class Climate).
2. Serving as OIRA’s technical liaison to both the Scantron technical staff and UNC-Chapel Hill’s Information Technology Services (ITS) staff.
3. Providing technical support to OIRA staff and school/department staff who are implementing the system.
4. Helping course evaluation coordinators in the departments set up their evaluations using the software interface (e.g., creating instruments, scheduling the evaluations, uploading email messages that will be used as invitations and reminders, uploading course/instructor lists, designing reports)
5. Assisting in scanning their paper surveys.

15-20 hours a week during the spring 2015 semester, including some hours during the exam period. Work schedule is somewhat flexible, but the person in this role must be available to respond to urgent requests for assistance as issues arise in the administration of the evaluations. $25/hour

To apply, please send an e-mail message describing your interest in the job and availability, and attach a resume with references to: Garrett Hirth, Office of Institutional Research & Assessment (gmh@email.unc.edu), 919.962.1500.




A Bridge from Publishing Words to Publishing Data

As data publishing technology and data management policies have evolved over the past decade, more academic journals are working with data repositories to disseminate the data associated with published articles. The Dataverse Project at Harvard University's Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) recently received a two year grant (2015-2017) from the Sloan Foundation, in partnership with the Odum Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to collaborate with a variety of publishers, repositories and the international scientific community in order to integrate and automate data publication with more traditional scholarly communication, thus helping make data sharing and preservation an intrinsic and transparent part of the scholarly publication process.

This project is an expansion of a previous Sloan grant (2012-2014), which the Dataverse Project worked on with Stanford University and Simon Fraser University's Public Knowledge Project (PKP) to successfully implement automated data deposit integration (via an API using SWORDv2 protocol) between Dataverse and Open Journal Systems' (OJS) publishing platform (Dataverse plugin).

This new project will work with a wider group of journals, publishers and publishing systems (beyond OJS), including Sage, PLOS, Elsevier, F1000 Research, several economics journals (e.g., Econometrica, Review of Economics and Statistics), etc. Additionally, the focus will be on engaging more with the wider research community, including FORCE11, RDA, and FAIRport, to ensure that the data repository API is aligned with a common standard across disciplines, publishing systems and repositories. More specifically, project goals include: extending support for more metadata (beyond Dublin Core); evaluating moving from SWORD to a more generic and suitable data repository API that will allow for sharing data across a wider variety of publishing systems (beyond just journals); supporting more data review workflows; embedding dataset preview widgets into the article; along with automating data citation and bi-directional linking between articles and data.

Seeking Graduate Student to Assist with Qualitative Research Study

The Fixed-Term Faculty Committee at UNC is looking for a graduate student to help with coding and analyzing textual data from a survey of fixed-term faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill. Applicants must have experience with ATLAS.ti. If you are interested, please contact Nancy Fisher at ncfisher@med.unc.edu or Paul Mihas at Paul_Mihas@unc.edu.

Funding Opportunities

Undergraduates

Summer Research – Early Identification Program (SR-EIP)
http://www.theleadershipalliance.org/Programs/SummerResearch/ProgramStructure/tabid/242/Default.aspx

Application due: February 1, 2015

Overview: Since 1992, the Leadership Alliance has encouraged students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities to pursue research careers in the academic, public and private sectors. SR-EIP provides undergraduates with training and mentoring in the principles underlying the conduct of research and prepares them to pursue competitive applications to graduate schools. SR-EIP is a gateway to ongoing resources, mentoring and professional networks to support all participants along their chosen career path. SR-EIP is a rigorous research experience designed specifically for undergraduates interested in applying to PhD or MD-PhD programs.

Highlights:
• Spend 8-10 weeks at a Leadership Alliance institution
• Work under the guidance of a faculty or research mentor
• Gain theoretical knowledge and practical training in academic research and scientific experimentation
• Make oral or poster presentations at the Leadership Alliance National Symposium
• Receive a stipend, and travel and housing expenses from the research institution

Multiple opportunities available in the social sciences at 22 institutions across the US.

ICPSR Summer Undergraduate Internship Program
http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/content/ICPSR/internship/index.html

Application due: January 31, 2015

Overview: The ICPSR summer internship program provides undergraduate students with a unique and expansive research experience that introduces all aspects of social science research and includes supported exploration of a research query from start to finish, data management training, and focused methodological education in quantitative research. This prepares interns for capstone or senior thesis projects, graduate school, and/or research-based employment opportunities. The students, under the supervision of faculty mentors, develop a research question, perform a literature search and review, complete data analysis, and report findings in a poster; learn good data management processes and research practices with a research process mentor; and attend classes at the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods.

Highlights: Four major components: data processing, secondary research, graduate-level courses, and professional development. Interns spend 10 weeks from June to August in Ann Arbor where they will:
• Prepare study documentation and apply data management techniques to recode, label, transform, and manipulate data for ICPSR studies to be disseminated for secondary research and analysis
• Use data management skills to work in small groups and with research mentors to complete a research project resulting in a conference-ready poster
• Participate in graduate-level courses in the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research
• Participate in weekly workshops that cover topics related to social science research, graduate school, and professional development


Undergraduates & Graduates
NORC’s Summer Internship Program
http://www.norc.org/WorkingAtNORC/Pages/internship-programs.aspx

Application due: January 20, 2015

Overview: NORC at the University of Chicago is invested in developing the expertise of individuals in social science research – and particularly, fostering NORC’s commitment to excellence, innovation and collegiality among researchers newly entering the profession. The centerpiece of these efforts is the NORC Summer Internship Program, which offers nine-week, paid positions for students pursuing undergraduate and graduate-level studies in statistical and social science fields. Interns typically are assigned to an ongoing NORC research study, attend a seminar series on principles of survey research, and conduct a small-scale study as an intern group project. Each summer, interns:
• Learn the principles of survey research from leading practitioners at NORC
• Gain hands-on survey design and operations experience
• Combine social science and statistical theory with the practical challenges of day-to-day project implementation
• Apply and develop technical skills
• Build the teamwork and project management skills important to any career

Highlights:
• Each year, the interns conduct a new project. In 2010, interns conducted content analyses of interviewer-respondent interactions and ran focus groups to explore reasons for refusals and interview break-offs in the National Immunization Survey. More recently in 2011, the interns analyzed new methods for data dissemination and building a community of data users for the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Making Connections Project.
• NORC hires interns who demonstrate strong interest in pursuing a career in social science research, conscientiousness and a commitment to rigor. We also value the ability to thrive in a team environment, creativity, flexibility, problem-solving abilities, as well as strong written and verbal communication skills.
• NORC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that values and actively seeks diversity in the workforce. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status and other legally-protected characteristics.

Smithsonian Internships, Summer Programs, and Fellowships
http://www.smithsonianofi.com

Applications due: Multiple

Overview: A variety of funding opportunities for various disciplines at Smithsonian institutions. Opportunities include summer programs, internships and fellowships.

Family History Research and Community Involvement

November 20, 2014

Today the Odum Institute released the findings of a study for Ancestry.com which found that participation in family history research is correlated with volunteerism, civic participation, and charitable giving. The study screened members of an opt-in panel to identify those who had and had not engaged in family history research activities in the past 10 years. Respondents who were active in family history research (referred to as family history “Enthusiasts”) were significantly more likely to report doing volunteer work in the past 12 months, voting in the most recent election, holding public office, and belonging to a civic or veterans’ organization. In addition, Enthusiasts reported significantly higher levels of charitable giving and larger numbers of volunteer hours than Nonenthusiasts.

Teresa Edwards, Assistant Director for Survey Research at the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science, was the Principal Investigator for the study. “To our knowledge, this is the first study to explore the relationship between family history research and community involvement. As such, our findings are preliminary, but we found strong and broad correlation across all the activities we examined.”

All measures in the study were by self-report. The two samples from the opt-in panel were matched on demographic characteristics, and were designed to reflect the age distribution of the U.S. household population.

“While the correlation we found was quite remarkable, we can make no claims about causation,” Edwards said. “The design of this study does not allow us to say whether involvement in family history research motivated respondents to engage in their community at higher levels, or if certain types of individuals are simply more likely to engage in both types of activities. We hope a future study will shed light on this question.”

The study was commissioned by Ancestry.com, but Odum Institute researchers independently designed and conducted the study according to best practices in the field. “We were pleased for the opportunity to partner with Ancestry.com while still maintaining appropriate levels of academic rigor,” said Dr. Tom Carsey, Director of the Odum Institute. A copy of the report is available at
http://www.odum.unc.edu/content/pdf/ancestry.pdf



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