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Webinar Details

Professional Development Webinar: Thoughts on Working Across Research Sectors During One's Career

Jordon Peugh, Michael W. Link, Gillian SteelFisher, John H. Thompson, Ali Mokdad, Paul J. Lavrakas
Tuesday, January 22, 2013

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NORC at the University of Chicago is an independent research organization headquartered in downtown Chicago with additional offices on The University of Chicago's campus and in Washington, D.C. and Bethesda, Maryland. NORC also supports a nationwide field staff as well as international research operations. With clients throughout the world, NORC collaborates with government agencies, foundations, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and businesses to provide the data and analysis that supports informed decision making in key areas including health, education, economics, crime, justice, energy, security, and the environment. NORC’s 70 years of leadership and experience in data collection, analysis, and dissemination—coupled with deep subject matter expertise—provides the foundation for effective solutions.

The Nielsen Company is the largest Global Research Company with unique measurement technologies, assets, and data that make it one of the most interesting and challenging places to work. We are powered by talented creative scientists. Our Measurement Science researchers come from diverse disciplines such as statistics, research methodology, mathematics, psychology, business, engineering and demography. These professionals drive innovation, new product ideation, experimental design and testing, complex analysis and delivery of data insights. Because measurement science is at the core of Nielsen's business, MSci projects have high visibility and make a direct impact on our clients.



About this Webinar:

Please join us for this free professional development webinar where we will explore the topic of negotiating different research sectors during one's career. 

One of the great strengths of AAPOR is that it represents researchers from a wide variety of sectors, including government, academic, commercial, not-for-profit, and those who are self-employed.   There is exceptional talent and experience to draw upon to guide fellow AAPORites who are considering their long-term career in research and the possibilities of cycling into different research sectors. Please join us for this Free Professional Development Webinar where we will explore the topic of negotiating different research sectors during one's career.  This webinar brings together a group of AAPOR members who have themselves navigated across research sectors during their career and who are willing to share their experiences and insights -- Moderator Michael Link, The Nielsen Company; Gillian SteelFisher, Harvard Opinion Research Company; John Thompson, NORC at the University of Chicago; Ali Mokdad, University of Washington; and, Paul Lavrakas, Independent Consultant.   The panel session will include brief commentary by each panelist and a moderated Q&A session (questions/comments highly encouraged).  The webinar may be of interest both to junior researchers starting their career and veteran researchers who might be considering trying a new sector.  A version of this panel was organized by AAPOR's Education Committee and first presented at the 2012 AAPOR Annual Conference in Orlando.

Organizer: Jordon Peugh of GfK Custom Research

ImageModerator & Panelist Michael W. Link is Chief Methodologist for Research Methods at The Nielsen Company. He has a broadbase of experience in survey research, having worked in academia (University of South Carolina, 1989- 1999), not-for-profit research (RTI International, 1999-2004), government (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004-2007), and the private sector (Nielsen, 2007-present). He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of South Carolina. Michael's research centers around developing methodologies for confronting some of the most pressing issues facing survey research, including techniques for improving survey participation and data quality (use of address-based sampling, impact of call screening technologies), methodological issues involving use of multiple modes in data collection (web, mail, CATI, field, mobile, meters), and obtaining participation from hard-to-survey populations (linguistically isolated, racial and ethnic groups). His numerous research articles have appeared in Public Opinion Quarterly and other leading scientific journals. An AAPOR member since 1993, Michael served as AAPOR Conference Chair in back-to-back years (2009 & 2010), a member of both the Cell Phone and Online task forces, an instructor for an AAPOR webinar and numerous short-courses, a reviewer for the student paper competition on several occasions, and as a regular reviewer for Public Opinion Quarterly. He is a member of SAPOR, serving from 2000-2002 as President, Conference Chair, and Student Paper Competition Organizer and also a member of MAPOR. In 2011 he, along with several research colleagues, received AAPOR's Warren J. Mitofsky Innovators Award for their work on address based sampling designs. His current research focuses on emerging technologies, such as mobile and social platforms, as vehicles for measuring and understanding public attitudes and behaviors. He will be teaching a short course on "The Role of New Technologies in Powering, Augmenting, or Replacing Traditional Surveys" at the 2012 AAPOR conference.

ImagePanelist Paul J. Lavrakas, Independent Consultant and current president of AAPOR and research psychologist, is a consultant for several private sector and not-for-profit organizations, and also does select volunteer service projects. He also is a visiting scholar, teaching a research methods course at Northern Arizona University. He was a Nielsen vice president and their chief methodologist (2000-2007); Professor of Journalism/ Communications (Northwestern, 1978-1996; Ohio State, 1996-2000); and founding director of the NU Survey Lab and the OSU Center for Survey Research.  Born in Cambridge MA, educated in the public schools of Birmingham MI, Paul earned a BA from Michigan State U. (Psychology/ Political Science/History). He taught fifth grade on Chicago's Southside (1968-1972), then earned an MA in experimental social psychology (1975) and a PhD in applied social psychology (1977) from Loyola University. He helped establish the Westinghouse Evaluation Institute and conducted two decades of federally funded anti-crime evaluation projects (1974-1993). He has written two editions of Telephone Survey Methods: Sampling, Selection and Supervision (Sage; 1987, 1993) and several chapters on telephone survey methods (e.g., Handbook of Survey Research; Elsevier, 2010). He was editor of the 2007 Public Opinion Quarterly issue on cell phone surveying and co-editor of Advances in Telephone Survey Methodology (Wiley, 2008). Paul also is the editor of the Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods (Sage, 2008). He organized and chaired the 2003 and 2005 Cell Phone Sampling summits, and the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 AAPOR task forces on Cell Phone Surveying. He currently is chair of AAPOR's Survey-Based Legal Evidence Task Force. Paul has edited three books on media election polling and co-authored four editions of The Voter's Guide to Election Polls (with M. Traugott). He served on the election night decision teams of VNS (1996-2002), ABC (2008), and The AP (2010). An AAPOR member since the 1980s, he was Conference Operations chair (1995-1997), 1999 Conference Program chair, and Counselor at Large (2008-2010). Paul is a member of MAPOR, NYAAPOR, SAPOR, PAPOR, WAPOR, and AStatA. He was chosen as MAPOR Fellow (1997) and received NYAAPOR's Award for Outstanding Achievement (2007).




ImagePanelist Gillian SteelFisher is a Research Scientist and the Assistant Director at the Harvard Opinion Research Program.  She directs HORP's program on biological security and the public, which involves a series of surveys at both the national and state level to understand the public response to the threats of public health emergencies, including terrorism / bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases, as well as global climate change and its health consequences.  Gillian also directs HORP's international projects, aiming to better understand the ways that the public is responding to major public health issues across the globe.  Gillian has worked in the field of public opinion for more than a decade.  Prior to coming to HORP, she served as a Senior Project Director and the Director of Strategy for Cogent Research, an opinion research firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  In that capacity, she directed dozens of quantitative surveys and qualitative studies both domestically and internationally.  Gillian lectures regularly on the on the history of politics in health policy, the role of public opinion, and the use of mixed methods to study health, including focus groups and in-depth interviews, as well as quantitative surveys.  She received her Ph.D. in Health Policy from Harvard University and served as an Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) Fellow in Health Services Research in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health.  Gillian also received her masters degree in health behavior and communication from the Harvard School of Public Health.  She completed her undergraduate degree in Ethics, Politics and Economics at Yale University.


ImagePanelist John H. Thompson is the President and Chief Executive Officer of NORC. As President, he has responsibility for all NORC corporate activities and for the quality of all NORC research efforts. Thompson's vision for NORC is to establish the organization as a leader in the social science research industry. He works to realize this vision by strengthening the organization's high-quality, diverse staff and by broadening the scope of the collaborations between NORC and the University of Chicago.   Thompson also provides leadership in the social science research community.  An elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), Thompson is Chair of the Social Statistics Section of the ASA and he chaired the 2009 ASA Committee on Fellows.  He has been elected to serve a three-year term as a member of the Committee on National Statistics at the National Academies of Science. He participated as a member of the Panel on the Design of the 2010 Census Program of Evaluations and Experiments and currently serves on the Panel to Review the 2010 Census, both sponsored by the Committee on National Statistics. Before coming to NORC, Thompson had a distinguished career at the U.S. Census Bureau, including serving as the senior career officer responsible for all aspects of the 2000 Decennial Census.


ImagePanelist Ali Mokdad, PhD, is Professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington and leads the survey and surveillance activities at the Institute. Prior to joining IHME, Dr. Mokdad worked at the CDC, starting his career there in 1990. He served in numerous positions with the International Health Program; the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity; the National Immunization Program; and the National Center for Chronic Diseases Prevention and Promotion, where he was Chief of the Behavioral Surveillance Branch. Dr. Mokdad also managed and directed the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the world's largest standardized telephone survey, which enables the CDC, state health departments, and other health and education agencies to monitor risk behaviors related to the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Dr. Mokdad has published more than 250 articles and numerous reports. He has received several awards, including the Global Health Achievement Award for his work in Banda Aceh after the tsunami, the Department of Health and Human Services Honor Award for his work on flu monitoring, and the Shepard Award for outstanding scientific contribution to public health for his work on BRFSS. He received his BS in Biostatistics from the American University of Beirut and his PhD in quantitative epidemiology from Emory University.