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Qualitative Research Specialist, College of Forestry and Conservation

Application instructions are located at the bottom of the page. Please apply directly through the University of Montana's career portal UM Jobs at for positions at the University of Montana – Missoula, University of Montana Western (Dillon), and Helena College. Do not apply through or use easy apply through * .

The Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research (ITRR) invites applications for a Qualitative Research Specialist . The Qualitative Research Specialist will work with ITRR projects and the National Park Service (NPS) Socioeconomic Research IDIQ, being responsible for contributing to data collection, project development, enhancement, and research analysis/reporting.

The ITRR Qualitative Research Specialist is responsible for overseeing qualitative data collection fieldwork staff through hiring, training, evaluating, and firing as needed. These field staff may intermittently serve to collect survey data. This position will coordinate with ITRR’s Project Director and Research Associate about submitting paperwork for travel, pay, and other incidentals to the ITRR Project Director for all field staff; at least ten at any given time.

This position requires onsite supervisory skills and routine management of 3-5 surveyors and/or students per assigned project; multiple projects will occur simultaneously.

Key duties and responsibilities include:
  • Qualitative survey/interview/focus group design, implementation, data collection, data uploading, data cleaning, and report writing.
  • Assume responsibility (as warranted) for electronic qualitative methods development, upgrades and software purchasing.
  • Attend and present at local, state, regional and national conferences regarding tourism research conducted by ITRR.
  • Analyze research protocol and make recommendations for improvements to ITRR staff as it pertains to qualitative research.
  • Design and implement fieldworker schedules with times, days, and hours fluctuating each week and month to insure a random assignment for generalizability to the survey population.
  • Respond to inquiries from the public as well as the tourism industry about ITRR research.
  • Assist in designing web-based surveys, paper surveys, and scannable surveys for ITRR projects.
  • Maintain and order survey supplies needed for fieldworkers.
  • Collaborate with the design and creation of travel and recreation research projects.
  • Must be able to drive independently to oversee and evaluate fieldworkers on a regular basis.
  • Ability to develop working knowledge in university forms and multiple software platforms.
  • Develop, submit, and process travel paperwork for all ITRR employees.
  • Record, file, and notify necessary individuals when workers compensation incidents occur.
  • Submit hours worked/time reports to CFC Accounting.
  • Collect and submit gas card receipts for all ITRR vehicles.
  • Support multiple research efforts for bed tax funded projects annually.
  • Attend TAC meetings throughout the state 3-4 times during the year
  • Teleconference with TAC research committee for review of each report produced from bed tax research before publication of documents.
  • Identify and recommend to the director, opportunities for new data sources or collection methods that facilitate effectively meeting project needs and expands the capacity of ITRR to meet industry demands.
  • Facilitate, where appropriate, the onboarding of new data with the rest of ITRR staff.
  • Contribute to NPS projects as a Social Scientist.
  • Assist the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation programs in guest lectures as needed.
  • Must be willing to work on weekends when fieldwork is required.
The University of Montana is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and has a strong institutional commitment to the principle of diversity in all areas. In that spirit, we are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of qualified people who would assist the University in demonstrating its five priorities for action : Place student success at the center of all we do; drive excellence and innovation in teaching, learning, and research; embody the principle of “mission first, people always"; partner with place; and proudly tell the UM story.

Position Details
  • Position is full-time, 1.0 FTE, Letter of Appointment and includes a comprehensive and competitive benefits package including Insurance package, mandatory retirement plan, partial tuition waiver, and wellness program.
  • Salary for this position is $52,000 per year commensurate with qualifications.
Required Qualifications

Master’s degree in Tourism, Recreation or allied field, or Bachelor’s degree in Tourism, Recreation, or allied field with 3 years of experience in social science-based field logistics and study administration related to tourism and/or federal land management.

  • Advanced knowledge and experience in conducting qualitative based tourism research needed along with courses in research, qualitative methods, and statistics.
  • Survey design courses or direct experience is also required.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Research knowledge and skills, including survey design, sampling procedures, data cleaning, and analysis.
  • Experience conducting focus groups and evaluating participant understanding of survey questions.
  • Computer skills for tablets and desktops to include testing of new research software.
  • Ability to work in an office setting and to work collaboratively with other ITRR staff.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Demonstrable experience in project management.
  • Experience in research design, statistical analysis, and scientific report writing.
  • In-depth knowledge of the tourism industry and the tourism industry in Montana in particular.
  • Experience in analyzing qualitative data.
  • Expertise in survey research software with the ability to test and compare new software as it becomes available.
  • Creative thinking individual who can contribute to future research projects at ITRR.
  • Experience in research design, statistical analysis, and scientific report writing.
  • in-depth knowledge of the tourism and recreation industries and the tourism and recreation industry in relation to National Parks.
  • Abilities in multivariate statistical analysis.
  • Creative-thinking individual who can contribute to future research projects at ITRR is preferred.

About UM and The Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research

The University of Montana is flagship, research-intensive R1 institution with approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It is located in Missoula, a culturally vibrant community of about 75,000, surrounded by mountains where three rivers converge. Abundant recreational opportunities in surrounding state and national forests and nearby Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park complement a thriving intellectual atmosphere.

The Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research (ITRR) serves as the research arm for Montana's tourism and recreation industry. Its overall mission is to provide information that will help the industry make informed decisions about planning, promotion and management. Thus, the research conducted is designed to assist both private firms and public agencies who provide facilities and services to visitors (see attached organizational chart of ITRR).

To learn more about the University of Montana, Missoula, and the State of Montana, please visit the links below.
Criminal Background Investigation is required prior to Offer of Employment.
In accordance with University policy, finalists for this position will be subject to criminal background investigations.
ADA/EOE/AA/Veteran's Preference.
Reasonable accommodations are provided in the hiring process for persons with disabilities. For example, this material is available in alternative format upon request. As an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, we encourage applications from minorities, veterans, and women. Qualified candidates may request veterans’ or disabilities preference in accordance with state law.
References *References not listed on the application materials may be contacted; notice may be provided to the applicant.
Testing Individual hiring departments at UM may elect to administer pre-employment tests, which are relevant to essential job functions.

E mployment Eligibility. All New Employees must be eligible and show employment eligibility verification by the first date of employment at UM, as legally required (e.g., Form I-9).

Must be eligible to work in the United State upon hire.

How to Apply

Priority Application Date : Sunday, December 4, 2022

Complete applications received by this date will be guaranteed consideration. To receive full consideration, candidates are required to submit all of the following materials.

Please submit the following application materials** via the UM Jobs portal and by clicking "New Resume/CV" button. Please do not apply through*.
  • Letter of Interest – addressing the stated required skills for the position
  • Detailed resume listing education and describing work experience
  • Three (3) professional references - Names and contact information
* Applying through or easy apply through may result in submission of an incomplete application. Applications may be removed from full consideration if they are not complete with materials listed above under the "How to Apply" section. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure complete application materials are submitted and received by the date listed above.

** Please note: only five (5) attachments are allowed per application. Please combine documents accordingly.

Job Location Missoula, Montana, United States
Position Type Full-Time/Regular

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