Writing on the whiteboard, NORC Bethesda office
Data If you can measure that of which you speak… -William Thomson, Lord Kelvin
A work session in NORC's Bethesda offices
Diagram Two NORC researchers in conversation

Center for Excellence in Survey Research

​Communication and technological advances have many and diverse implications for research design.  Budget concerns also impact the design of studies and the method of sampling and estimation employed in various studies.  In the evolving landscape of social science research, NORC continues to offer its clients outstanding staff and innovative methods in statistical and survey research.  The Center for Excellence in Survey Research (CESR) assists NORC in remaining a leader in methodological innovations in survey research.

CESR helps identify and share best practices—both internally and externally—across the continuum of research design and implementation at NORC. To accomplish its mission, the Center conducts timely, state-of-the-art statistical and methodological research on sample and survey design and estimation methods, as well as the analysis of data from surveys and information collection activities. CESR encourages internal innovation and best-practices through an annual, internal grant competition. External clients benefit from CESR’s team members’ expertise across a range of topics by working directly with CESR or through a multidisciplinary collaboration with NORC’s research departments.

The staff of CESR is comprised of NORC Senior Fellows; each one demonstrates outstanding skills and expertise in their field.  CESR Senior Fellows blend significant experience in subject matter areas, such as crime, child care, and income statistics, with research background  in many areas of statistical and survey research methods, such as sample design, estimation, imputation, and microdata disclosure-avoidance methods.

Areas of Expertise

  • Education
  • Child Care
  • Crime Statistics

Major Capabilities 

  • Statistics and Sampling
    • Sample Design
    • Weight Development
    • Variance Estimation
    • Nonresponse Bias Analysis
    • Nonresponse Adjustment Methods
    • Imputation Procedures
    • Statistical Data Analysis
    • Statistical Software Packages
    • Estimation, including small area estimation
    • Methods Research
  • Study Design and Survey Methodology
  • Dissemination and Knowledge Management
    • Disclosure Analysis

Representative Projects

2012 NORC Presidential Election Study. The 2012 NORC Presidential Election Study was conducted in the weeks prior to the Presidential election to measure public opinion about important issues the country faces – economic recovery, health care costs, and extreme partisanship. More

Privacy-Protected Method for Collecting Data on Immigration Status Through In-Person Surveys. Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, and led by Fritz J. Scheuren, this project studies and tests a method—developed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office in 2006—that asks sensitive questions about immigration status  and  protects respondent anonymity, reduces question threat,  provides direct estimates of the foreign–born in all legal immigration statuses, and indirect estimates of undocumented residents. More

Statistical Efforts in Support of the Office of Historical Trust Accounting.

NORC played a major role in the settlement of the Cobell lawsuit that alleged mismanagement of Individual Indian Money trust accounts and now provides statistical expertise to the Office of Historical Trust Accounting as they examine Tribal Trust accounts. More

Headlines

All News

Published Research "Census 2000 Evaluation: Partnership and Marketing Program Evaluation.", Wolter, K.M., Calder, B., Malthouse, E., Murphy, S., Pedlow, S.E. and Porras, J., 2002 Download the PDF
Posted: 6.10.2014 10:19AM
Published Research "Social Media in Public Opinion Research: Report of the AAPOR Task Force on Emerging Technologies in Public Opinion Research.", Murphy, J., Link, M.W., Childs, J.H., Tesfaye, C.L., Dean, E., Stern, M.J., Pasek, J., Cohen, J., Callegaro, M., Harwood, P., 2014 More
Posted: 6.2.2014 10:20AM
Job Posting Programmer Analyst (SAS, Blaise) - Survey Research More
Posted: 4.16.2014 5:13PM
Job Posting Communications Specialist – Website Design and Promotion More
Posted: 4.16.2014 5:12PM
Published Research "The State of Survey Methodology: Challenges, Dilemmas, and New Frontiers in the Era of the Tailored Design.", Stern, M.J., Bilgen, I. and Dillman, D.A., 2014 (forthcoming) More
Posted: 4.14.2014 9:23AM
Published Research "Generalizing from Unrepresentative Experiments: A Stratified Propensity Score Approach.", O'Muircheartaigh, C.A. and Hedges, L.V., 2014 More
Posted: 3.18.2014 11:05AM
Published Research "Hard-to-Survey Populations.", Tourangeau, R., Edwards, B., Johnson, T.P., Wolter, K.M. and Bates, N. (eds)., 2014 (forthcoming) More
Posted: 3.4.2014 10:25AM
Published Research "Use of Paid Media to Encourage 2010 Census Participation among the Hard-to-Count.", Evans, D., Datta, A.R. and Yan, T. , 2014 (forthcoming) More
Posted: 3.4.2014 10:22AM
Published Research "At What Price? Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes.", National Research Council (Panel on Conceptual, Measurement, and Other Statistical Issues in Developing Cost-of-Living Indexes, Wolter, K.M., member; Committee on National Statistics; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education)., 2002 More
Posted: 2.12.2014 11:18AM
Published Research "Impact of Gulf Hurricanes on the National Immunization Survey.", Wolter, K.M. and Singleton, J.A., 2006 Download the PDF
Posted: 2.12.2014 10:59AM
Published Research "Once and Only Once and in the Right Place: Residence Rules in the Decennial Census.", National Research Council, Panel on Residence Rules in the Decennial Census (Cork, D.L. and Voss, P.R., eds; O'Muircheataigh, C.A., panelist)., 2006 More
Posted: 1.23.2014 11:01AM
Published Research "CASM: Successes, Failures, and Potential.", O’Muircheartaigh, C.A., 1999 More
Posted: 1.23.2014 10:57AM
Published Research "Balancing Statistical Theory, Sampling Concepts, and Practicality in the Teaching of Survey Sampling.", O’Muircheartaigh, C.A., 2005 Download the PDF
Posted: 11.21.2013 11:48AM
Published Research "Random Digit Dialing.", Whitney, M. and O’Muircheartaigh, C.A., 2005 More
Posted: 11.21.2013 11:46AM
Published Research "Simple Response Variance: Estimation and Determinants.", O'Muircheartaigh, C.A., 1991 More
Posted: 11.21.2013 10:53AM

News

News Looking at belief in God, with data and commentary from NORC expert Tom W. Smith More
Posted: 4.18.2012 2:45PM
News Finances, and how to be mature about them with help from NLSY and NORC Senior Fellow A. Rupa Datta More
Posted: 3.22.2012 3:19PM
News Valentine's Day: or, how I learned to be a more attentive husband with help from the GSS and NLSY More
Posted: 2.3.2012 3:45PM
News Start-up business alternatives, with research and data from the Survey of Consumer Finance More
Posted: 2.1.2012 3:21PM
News The link between social conservatism and IQ, with data and research from the GSS More
Posted: 1.30.2012 4:55PM
News "A statistical analysis of attitudes in the US reveals the main determinants of happiness ", with data from the GSS More
Posted: 1.3.2012 2:07PM
News "The Anti-Entitlement Strategy", featuring research and findings from the GSS. More
Posted: 12.27.2011 3:03PM
News Considering Mitt Romney's presidential plans, with data from the GSS More
Posted: 12.27.2011 2:34PM
News Roth IRAs versus retirement accounts, with data support from NLSY 1979 More
Posted: 12.22.2011 3:13PM
News Recent NLSY findings suggest that pediatricians could help children stay out of trouble More
Posted: 12.21.2011 4:19PM
News Reflections on the modern job market, with insight from the General Social Survey More
Posted: 12.21.2011 3:44PM
News "Are architects depressed, unhealthy and divorced?" featuring research from the GSS More
Posted: 12.15.2011 12:04PM
News "Who Counts as ‘Rich’? Continued" with data from the GSS More
Posted: 12.14.2011 4:05PM
News "The Five Secrets of Happily Married Parents" with data from NLSY and the GSS More
Posted: 12.13.2011 4:24PM
News Looking into shifting attitudes towards gun ownership, with data and findings from the GSS More
Posted: 12.12.2011 4:36PM

Events

Publications

"Census 2000 Evaluation: Partnership and Marketing Program Evaluation." Wolter, K.M., Calder, B., Malthouse, E., Murphy, S., Pedlow, S.E. and Porras, J., 2002 Download the PDF
Posted: 6.10.2014 10:19AM
"Social Media in Public Opinion Research: Report of the AAPOR Task Force on Emerging Technologies in Public Opinion Research." Murphy, J., Link, M.W., Childs, J.H., Tesfaye, C.L., Dean, E., Stern, M.J., Pasek, J., Cohen, J., Callegaro, M., Harwood, P., 2014 More
Posted: 6.2.2014 10:20AM
"The State of Survey Methodology: Challenges, Dilemmas, and New Frontiers in the Era of the Tailored Design." Stern, M.J., Bilgen, I. and Dillman, D.A., 2014 (forthcoming) More
Posted: 4.14.2014 9:23AM
"Generalizing from Unrepresentative Experiments: A Stratified Propensity Score Approach." O'Muircheartaigh, C.A. and Hedges, L.V., 2014 More
Posted: 3.18.2014 11:05AM
"Hard-to-Survey Populations." Tourangeau, R., Edwards, B., Johnson, T.P., Wolter, K.M. and Bates, N. (eds)., 2014 (forthcoming) More
Posted: 3.4.2014 10:25AM
"Use of Paid Media to Encourage 2010 Census Participation among the Hard-to-Count." Evans, D., Datta, A.R. and Yan, T. , 2014 (forthcoming) More
Posted: 3.4.2014 10:22AM
"At What Price? Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes." National Research Council (Panel on Conceptual, Measurement, and Other Statistical Issues in Developing Cost-of-Living Indexes, Wolter, K.M., member; Committee on National Statistics; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education)., 2002 More
Posted: 2.12.2014 11:18AM
"Impact of Gulf Hurricanes on the National Immunization Survey." Wolter, K.M. and Singleton, J.A., 2006 Download the PDF
Posted: 2.12.2014 10:59AM
"Once and Only Once and in the Right Place: Residence Rules in the Decennial Census." National Research Council, Panel on Residence Rules in the Decennial Census (Cork, D.L. and Voss, P.R., eds; O'Muircheataigh, C.A., panelist)., 2006 More
Posted: 1.23.2014 11:01AM
"CASM: Successes, Failures, and Potential." O’Muircheartaigh, C.A., 1999 More
Posted: 1.23.2014 10:57AM
"Balancing Statistical Theory, Sampling Concepts, and Practicality in the Teaching of Survey Sampling." O’Muircheartaigh, C.A., 2005 Download the PDF
Posted: 11.21.2013 11:48AM
"Random Digit Dialing." Whitney, M. and O’Muircheartaigh, C.A., 2005 More
Posted: 11.21.2013 11:46AM
"Simple Response Variance: Estimation and Determinants." O'Muircheartaigh, C.A., 1991 More
Posted: 11.21.2013 10:53AM
"Measurement Error in Continuing Surveys of the Grocery Retail Trade Using Electronic Data Collection Methods." Donmyer, J.E., Piotrowski, F.W. and Wolter, K.M., 1991 More
Posted: 11.21.2013 10:39AM
"Some Problems and Proposed Solutions in Developing a Small Area Estimation Product for Clients." Singh, A.C., 2006 Download the PDF
Posted: 11.20.2013 2:21PM

Job Postings

Programmer Analyst (SAS, Blaise) - Survey Research More
Posted: 4.16.2014 5:13PM
Communications Specialist – Website Design and Promotion More
Posted: 4.16.2014 5:12PM

Contacts

Kirk M. Wolter

Senior Staff

Kirk M. Wolter

Kirk M. Wolter
Chief Statistician and Executive Vice President of Statistics and Methodology

A. Rupa Datta

A. Rupa Datta
Vice President and Senior Fellow

Colm O'Muircheartaeigh

Colm O'Muircheartaigh
Senior Fellow and Co-Principal Investigator

Fritz Scheuren

Fritz Scheuren
Senior Fellow and Vice President