U-M ISR partners with Qatar University on research institute

September 26, 2008
  • umichnews@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR—The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR) has formed a partnership with Qatar University (QU) to establish the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute at QU as a leading source of social science research in the Arab Gulf region.

As part of the new collaboration, ISR faculty and staff will work with QU to ensure that the new venture meets the highest international standards of social science research and survey methodology.

“This partnership exemplifies the increasing importance of international collaborations,” said ISR Director James S. Jackson. “ISR has a long history of working with social scientists around the world to build capacity and experience in conducting independent research with both scholarly and applied value.”

“Qatar University views this venture as an important step in fostering fruitful intellectual co-operation through investigating a wide range of social and economic issues,” said QU President Sheikha Abdulla al-Misnad, in a Gulf Times article on the partnership earlier this month.

As part of the five-year project, ISR and QU will prepare to launch an on-going national survey designed to monitor social trends in Qatar, and to understand the forces underlying these trends.

“A wide array of issues and topics will be investigated,” said U-M political scientist Mark Tessler, principal investigator of the project. “These range from citizen attitudes about social concerns and competing cultural models to behavior patterns related to employment, migration, and family planning. We are looking forward to working with our Qatari collaborators to identify the key issues facing their society.”

Working with Tessler and Jackson on the project are ISR researchers David Howell, co-principal investigator; Michael Traugott; Steven Heeringa; James Lepkowski; Myron Gutmann; and a number of other U-M faculty and graduate students affiliated with ISR.


Established in 1948, the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR) is among the world’s oldest academic survey research organizations, and a world leader in the development and application of social science methodology. ISR conducts some of the most widely cited studies in the nation, including the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, the American National Election Studies, the Monitoring the Future Study, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, the Health and Retirement Study, and the National Survey of Black Americans. ISR researchers also collaborate with social scientists in more than 60 nations on the World Values Surveys and other projects, and the Institute has established formal ties with universities in Poland, China and South Africa. ISR is also home to the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, the world’s largest computerized social science data archive. Visit the ISR Web site at www.isr.umich.edu for more information.