Sabbatical Opportunity for Official Representatives

ICPSR occasionally sponsors an Official Representative Sabbatical, an opportunity for an OR to work in Ann Arbor on a special project for up to three months during the winter or spring/summer term. ORs have found the sabbatical fellowships to be very rewarding, and ICPSR has benefited as well.

Generally, ICPSR announces the sabbatical opportunity during September for the upcoming year with the deadline for project proposals in November and an announcement of the sabbatical recipient in December. Proposals should briefly describe the planned activities and should be accompanied by a vita.


Proposals for RCMD OR Sabbatical Now Being Accepted

ICPSR's Resource Center for Minority Data (RCMD), in conjunction with the Instructional Resources unit, is sponsoring an OR sabbatical in 2014. It will provide an opportunity for researchers and instructors at institutions serving underrepresented populations to spend time at ICPSR to learn about the many resources offered, to create or suggest new resources, and to assist in efforts to diversify ICPSR's user community.

The sabbatical will focus on development of teaching modules for undergraduate education and/or tools or services designed to identify and disseminate quantitative and qualitative data focused on minority populations.

To see examples of past OR Sabbatical projects, visit:

We especially encourage development of modules that help students understand diversity issues, such as disabilities, economic status, gender and gender identity, geographic origins, racial and ethnic health disparities, and religiosity. Some examples include:

  • Tools to identify and address gaps in the RCMD data collection (American Indian and/or Asian-American populations)
  • Tools that identify collections that focus on underrepresented populations
  • Preparation of data relevant to underrepresented populations for purposes of archiving and enhancing of data
  • Tools to enhance researchers' efficacy in using secondary data to address issues particularly relevant to underrepresented populations

Details: RCMD provides a stipend of up to $7,500, depending on length of stay (up to three months) and also pays for the OR's travel and lodging. Finding housing is the OR's responsibility, but we can assist with this. ICPSR provides the OR an office and a computer. After the sabbatical is over, we ask the OR to write an ICPSR Bulletin article.

Selection: Recipients are selected by RCMD and Instructional Resources staff members. Selection is based on project proposal quality and its relevance to the focus stated above.

Application: Sabbatical project proposals for 2014 (fiscal year 2015) are due in March 2014. Announcement of the recipient will be made in April 2014. Proposals must be two pages or less, describe the planned activities, and be accompanied by a CV. Please send questions or applications to

Previous Awardees


The 2008 fellows analyzed the evolving roles of ICPSR's Official Representatives. The articles documenting their work are found in the Spring 2009 ICPSR Bulletin (PDF 568K).

Gregory Adams, Sociology, Southern Connecticut State University, designed a project to help social scientists and librarians maximize their complementary relationship and advance the utility of social science data at the college level. He discusses his findings in: "Librarian and Faculty ORs: Shifting Roles and Social Capital."

Rui Wang, Social Sciences Librarian, Central Michigan University, identified best practices in the OR role that serve the growing needs and dynamic changes related to using the ICPSR collection. In her article, "The Evolving Role of ICPSR Official Representatives," she suggests a reinvention of OR roles to address the growing cyber-infrastructure of social science.


In an effort to meet the growing demands for international data, Denise DeGarmo, Political Science, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, produced a comprehensive online resource guide highlighting the international data holdings of ICPSR. The International Data Resource Center (IDRC) acts as a clearinghouse for international data housed at ICPSR.


Lori M. Weber, Associate Professor of Political Science at California State University, Chico, developed a resource based on data about social capital. The module, titled "Investigating Community and Social Capital," introduces students to important social science concepts and develops skills in quantitative reasoning and data analysis.

Rachael E. Barlow, Social Sciences Data Coordinator at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, created a set of Web-based instructional materials designed to help students understand the links between datasets and the publications that report on analyses of datasets. The module is titled "Exploring Data Through Research Literature."


Donald Davison, OR from Rollins College, spent a month in spring 2005 in Ann Arbor working on an instructional module using the National Election Studies. You can read more about his work in the Fall 2005 Bulletin (PDF 1.2MB).


Michal Peleg, of the Israel Social Sciences Data Center, Hebrew University, worked on issues of confidentiality in social science data (see her article in the Fall 2002 Bulletin (PDF 191KB)) and also helped ICPSR to create an online Data Use Tutorial.

Jim Oberly, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, focused on the preparation of instructional datasets using ICPSR data (see his article in the Winter 2003 Bulletin (PDF 749KB)).