MERC provides a range of employment opportunities related to evaluation and data collection, analysis, and reporting. Openings for our full-time staff positions of Evaluation Project Associates (providing data support) and Evaluation Project Managers are posted on the UNL Employment Website when available.
We also regularly hire undergraduate and graduate students to assist with evaluation, research, and other methodological projects. These positions are posted on Handshake, and are well-suited to students in social and behavioral science fields. The work involved is almost entirely driven by the needs of the active projects.
Open undergraduate research assistant positions are typically posted near the end of the previous term (for a summer start, the position would usually be posted in April). Students in this position typically help with data entry, data cleaning, and transcription, with more advanced skills taught as opportunities are available. Examples of advanced skills include data analysis, interviewing, survey design, and report writing. Several past student workers started careers in data fields after earning their degrees.
We typically hire hourly graduate interns for the summer. These positions will typically be posted in March or April. In the past, students in this position have helped with instrument design (e.g. surveys and interview/focus group protocols), quantitative and/or qualitative data collection, data management, basic statistical analyses, qualitative coding, data visualization, and/or report writing. Our office uses mostly Office Suite, SPSS, and MAXQDA for these activities. Incoming interns do not need to be familiar with the software we use (although it is a bonus), but they do need to have some past experience with data. In general, our summer interns experience applied data science as we work to meet the needs of our clients. When asked what they would tell other graduate students about working with MERC, past interns said:
I would recommend it if they want to get a feel of what it's like to have a more applied type of career. ~PhD student in Psychology
I would tell them to do it. It's a great experience and the people are great too. ~MA student in Sociology
I would say it's a great opportunity to use the skills you've already developed related to research methods and build upon them. ~PhD student in Counseling Psychology after 2nd summer