Research Specialist (Dedman School of Law)

Salary Range: 

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

About SMU

SMU’s more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and 80 countries to take advantage of the University’s small classes, hands-on research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs. The University offers a strong foundation in the humanities and sciences and undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs through eight schools.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is increasingly recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical leaders in their professions and communities. Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is increasingly recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical leaders in their professions and communities. The University’s entrepreneurial spirit lives in people from every academic discipline who see opportunities to create something new in the world – and work hard to bring their innovations to life. SMU’s relationship with Dallas – the dynamic center of one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions – offers unique learning, research, social and career opportunities that provide a launch pad for our students, faculty and alumni to make a global impact. On the most beautiful college campus in the country, SMU Mustangs are energized by unbridled opportunities – from teaching, learning and research to creativity, performance and athletic endeavor.

About the Position:

This is a full-time position at the the Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center at SMU Dedman School of Law. The Researcher will be responsible for collecting and analyzing data in a variety of ongoing projects related to indigent defense systems, prosecutor offices, and legal services in rural areas. Principal activities include direct coding of data from court and lawyer files, quantitative analysis of primary and secondary data from a variety of sources, and analysis of qualitative interview and observation data. The Researcher will implement research protocols, clean partners’ data sets, collect and analyze data, manage IRB compliance, and draft and produce reports for internal use and for publication in white papers and/or academic journals. As instructed by the Center’s Research Director, the Researcher may also support other Deason Center research projects or grow into a leadership role. 

This role is an on-campus, in-person position.

Essential Functions:

    Direct coding of information from court or case files

    Analysis of primary and secondary quantitative data

    Analysis of qualitative data

    Summarize findings in presentations and other products for stakeholders and partners.

    Work with external parties (e.g. attorneys, judges, other public officials) to gain and maintain access to data, report on project progress, as needed.

    Work with Deason Center staff, particularly the Research Director, on administrative and other bureaucratic tasks necessary to research.

Education and Experience:

A master's degree is required; preferably degree of study in social science (e.g. criminal justice, sociology, public policy, psychology)

A minimum of two (2) years of experience is required. Candidate with experience in managing, maintaining, and improving complex datasets, reports, and/or documentation is required. 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must demonstrate ability to work effectively and collaboratively in a team. Candidate with experience using metrics for meaningful program assessment is preferred. Candidate with working experience in researching criminal courts is preferred. Candidate must demonstrate leadership, initiative and self-direction. 

Candidate must demonstrate strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University and develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of constituencies. Must also demonstrate strong written communication skills.

Candidate must possess strong problem-solving skills with the ability to identify and analyze problems, as well as devise solutions. Must also have strong organizational, planning and time management skills.  

Candidate with knowledge of statistical programs such as R, STATA, SAS, or SPSS is preferred. Experience in qualitative analysis programs such as MAXQDA or NVivois desired. Candidate with experience using SQL and Python for data analysis is preferred. Candidate with ability to implement analytics & data visualizations via Tableau, Power BI, or equivalent software is desired. 

Physical and Environmental Demands:

    Sit for long periods of time
Deadline to Apply:

Priority consideration may be given to submissions received by November 7, 2022.

Deadline date: Open until filled. 

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601, [email protected].


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

Primary Location: USA-TX-Dallas
Job: Research
Organization: Dedman School of Law
Schedule: Full-time
Shift: Day Job
Employee Status: Regular
Job Type: Staff
Job Level: Individual Contributor
Travel: Yes, 25 % of the Time
Job Posting: Sep 29, 2022, 3:33:26 PM

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