Share this Job

Research Associate


UNIVERSITY, MS, US, 38677-1848

Department:  Center for Population Studies (10000894)
Employee Designation:  Regular Full-time (Benefits Eligible)

Note for Current UM Employees

Current employees must apply internally via connectU >

Definition of Class

The Center for Population Studies (CPS, at the University of Mississippi invite applications for a Research Associate, beginning January 2023. We seek a scholar-researcher to support the community-based research and outreach mission of the Center. Specifically, we invite applications from individuals with expertise and an interest in working with staff, non-profit, local, state, and federal organizations on research projects related to Mississippi communities in areas including, but not limited to, health, agriculture, community wellbeing, education. Preference will be given to a mixed-methods researcher, but must have experience working with and analyzing qualitative data.

About UM Center for Population Studies and State Data Center of Mississippi


The Center for Population Studies (CPS) educates, conducts research, and engages in public outreach concerning population issues and is the lead agency for the State Data Center (SDC) of Mississippi. CPS works closely with faculty, government and non-profit agencies, and community organizations across the State and has a 40-year history of helping Mississippians access, use, and interpret public data for the purposes of local development.  In this capacity, CPS distributes census and related data, provides instruction on data analysis, and serves as the liaison between the Census Bureau and the users of census and related data.


CPS also houses the Applied Policy and Community Research Laboratory, providing an avenue through which students are able to collaborate with faculty and nonprofit organizations to engage in timely and meaningful research. CPS also coordinates the Society and Health Minor in collaboration with the College of Liberal Arts. This minor is for undergraduates interested in the social, cultural, and ethical dimensions to understanding and improving population health. 


The SDC exists through a collaborative agreement established in the late 1970’s between UM, the State of MS, and the US Census Bureau and provides outreach, technical assistance, and dissemination of public data, particularly concerning population characteristics and change. Much of this work is conducted in partnership with the SDC Affiliates network across the state, including planning and development districts. The SDC also plays a key role in the Decennial Census in MS, providing demographic expertise to state-level and federal stakeholders on census participation, dissemination of data, and education related to accessing, using, and reporting on the data. Center Staff have participated in the 2020 Census Count Review Operation (CRO) in Mississippi, routinely engage in outreach activities with rural communities around the state, and work in partnership with state agencies, including MS State Extension specialists. 


CPS, through the SDC, represents MS in the Federal-State Cooperative for Population Estimates (FSCPE), coordinating the fulfillment of data requests for official population estimates, participating in the statewide Complete Count Committee, and calculating and publishing population projections for the state and counties. The latter are used by state agencies, businesses, foundations, and researchers to plan for the future. Additionally, with the releases of 2020 Decennial Census data for redistricting, the SDC is responsible for providing technical input and legal testimony related to redistricting plans. 
CPS is committed to building an inclusive, equitable, and supportive environment for scholars and students form historically underrepresented groups.



Essential Functions

Essential Duties/Responsibilities: 
1.    Research Management 
a.    Manages research projects
b.    Project manages all aspects of research projects, coordinating all research tasks to ensure effective and timely implementation 
c.    Conducts relevant literature reviews to ensure research designs, tools and approaches are aligned with best practice in the field 
d.    Designs data collection methods and tools
e.    Collects and analyzes qualitative and quantitative data using a range of methods 
f.    Manages day-to-day stakeholder relationships 
g.    Develops reports and other communication tools to communicate research findings and facilitate learning and use 
h.    Quality assures work conducted by Graduate and Undergraduate Students
2.    Business development and networking 
a.    Contributes to center development and fiscal sustainability by supporting proposals, research projects, presenting at conferences, etc.

Minimum Education/Experience


Bachelor’s degree in Rural Sociology, Sociology, Public Health or other social science, or a closely related discipline. 


Experience, Knowledge, Skills & Abilities: 
•    Experience in community-based or community-centric research
•    Experience in writing peer-reviewed publications 
•    Experience in writing technical and academic pieces for non-academic audiences
•    Proficiency in data collection and data analysis (your choice of statistical or qualitative analysis packages, Excel, or ArcGIS)
•    Excellent oral, written, and presentation skills (both technical and non-technical)
•    Ability to communicate with lay and professional audiences
•    Mixed methods research design, including both standard qualitative and quantitative methodologies.


Application Procedures
For full consideration, candidates will submit the following documents: (1) a cover letter outlining your research qualifications and related experience for the advertised position, (2) a C.V., (3) a research statement, (4) a diversity statement, with specific reference to your approach to working with communities. Review of applications will begin May 15 and will continue until the position is filled.  Candidates who are selected for further review will be asked to provide a writing sample and letters of reference (to be submitted by the candidate’s referees through the online application website). If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Anne Cafer, chair of the search committee and Director of CPS at or (662) 915-7295.

Salary/Wage Information

To learn more about our pay structure and view our salary ranges, click here to visit the Compensation page of our Human Resources website. This link is provided for general pay information. Hourly rate or salary may vary depending on qualifications, experience, and departmental budget. Note: Unclassified positions (faculty, executives, researchers and coaches) do not have established salary ranges.

EEO Statement

The University of Mississippi provides equal opportunity in any employment practice, education program, or education activity to all qualified persons. The University complies with all applicable laws regarding equal opportunity and affirmative action and does not unlawfully discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment based upon race, color, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, citizenship, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or genetic information.

Background Check Statement