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Research Analyst Intern


University of Michigan Press


Ann Arbor, MI (Remote or Hybrid)


Charles Watkinson, Director, University of Michigan Press

Description of the Intern’s Role and Responsibilities

The Director of University of Michigan Press is co-leading a task force to identify pathways to career progression in publishing. The Association of University Presses and Society for Scholarly Publishing have established the task force to conduct its work in 2022 . The goals of the task force are to analyze position descriptions contributed by members, produce template descriptions of common publishing jobs, and articulate the skills and experience needed to obtain and move between different publishing roles.

Job descriptions in publishing are often full of jargon and articulate the skills and experience needed for different roles inconsistently. They also do not map well into university HR systems. The intern will assist the task force in analyzing a corpus of hundreds of real job descriptions and creating a public database of well-described publishing positions. This database will help students to identify entry points to publishing and current employees to identify the skills they need to make a next career step.

The ideal candidate will have experience in coding qualitative data, interest in data visualization, and curiosity about academic publishing. The position will offer a unique insight into how to build a career in publishing as well as opportunities to network with representatives from a range of book and journal publishing organizations. Because most of the publishers participating in the study are university presses, the work also involves working with university HR organizations. Understanding how universities determine classification and compensation will be useful for anyone contemplating a career in the field of higher education.


Note: all students are expected to work 20 hours per week. The specific days of the week and remote work possibilities (if any) are at the discretion of the site and should be discussed explicitly during the interview and hiring process. Here you can identify specific days of the week students should plan to work because of staff meeting times, team schedules, etc.

The work is flexible on a schedule convenient to the student. The only fixed points are required check-in meetings. The student will participate in scheduling polls to determine Zoom meetings with representatives of the task force. These will likely be every two weeks. They will also use Google Calendar to establish meetings with the director of the press, which will be weekly. The work can be conducted entirely remotely, but candidates who would prefer in-person experiences are welcome to work with press colleagues in the Buhr Building.

About the Organization

Founded in 1930, University of Michigan Press is the flagship publishing organization for the university. The 27 staff of the press select, produce, and market around 100 award-winning academic books in the humanities and social sciences every year in order to advance knowledge in key fields for which the university is famous. The press is administratively part of the U-M Library and is located in the Buhr Building on Greene Street. The organization is one of 150 members of the Association of University Presses, which represents mission-driven publishers around the world and particularly in North America.