SMU DataArts - Cultural Data Profile


Research Director

Position Overview

SMU DataArts, the National Center for Arts Research at Southern Methodist University, invites nominations and applications for its next Research Director, to begin September 2024 for a renewable five-year term. This non-tenure track faculty position at the Research Professor or Research Associate Professor level is an exciting opportunity to direct and shape the future of research on all aspects of the nation’s diverse arts and culture ecosystem. Working with the SMU DataArts Director, the Research Director will lead the organization’s academic research agenda and provide support and advice for the applied research program. This appointment provides an ideal opportunity for individuals with PhD’s in fields such as marketing, statistics, economics, organizational behavior, strategy, or arts management who enjoy working with big, messy data, and have demonstrated the ability to publish in the top journals in their field.  The Research Director reports to the Center’s Director, manages a Data Scientist, a Post-Doctoral researcher, and the Associate Director for Research, and works closely with the entire research team, including a group of academic research fellows. The Research Director will provide oversight in designing and managing fee-for-service research projects, maintaining and enhancing the SMU DataArts database, and developing academic research that uses the data and results in publications in top academic journals. The person in this position will also strengthen SMU DataArts’ expertise, reputation, and credibility by building strategic relationships with thought partners across the field and academic researchers.

The appointment will be based in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, which is a dynamic, innovative, and inclusive institution. The SMU DataArts team is distributed across the country. This position can work remotely or from SMU's Dallas campus. There is potential for a courtesy appointment in another campus unit, depending on fit with the candidate’s research interests.

About SMU DataArts: SMU DataArts, the National Center for Arts Research, is a project of the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. SMU DataArts compiles and analyzes data on arts organizations and their communities nationwide and develops research articles and reports on important issues in arts management, arts ecosystems, patronage, and equitable access and inclusion. Its findings are available free of charge to arts leaders, funders, policymakers, researchers, and the general public. SMU DataArts is committed to equity, diversity, accessibility and inclusion and prioritizes data collection and research projects that celebrate the arts and culture of communities of color, and advance equity in access to art, cultural funding, and the sector at large. For more information, visit



A Ph.D. degree is required. Candidates should have an established track-record publishing research articles in top academic journals. The successful candidate will be an energetic self-starter who will have excellent analytic, leadership, communication, and organizational skills.

Preferred qualifications: Research experience using the field of arts and culture or related industries as a context of study. Data science experience including structuring and querying large databases, data modeling, and data visualization would be valuable in this role. Also desirable are the ability to mentor culturally diverse post-doctoral researchers and experience working with culturally diverse colleagues. We encourage applications from a wide range of disciplines. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.



The salary range for the role is $155,000 - $175,000 per year.



Remote or on campus in Dallas, TX.


Application Instructions

To apply, please submit a cover letter, a curriculum vitae which includes a list of papers, publications, and presentations, a list of references, and a one-page statement describing your area of research focus/interest via Interfolio at Salary and benefits are competitive based on technical capabilities and experience. Requests for additional information may be directed to Arin Sullivan at  Hiring is contingent on the satisfactory completion of a background check. 

The review of applications will begin July 1, 2024. To ensure full consideration for the position, the application must be received by Monday, July 22, 2024, but the committee will continue to accept applications until the position is filled. The committee will notify applicants of its employment decision after the position is filled.


Apply Online


SMU is an inclusive and intellectually vibrant community of teachers and scholars that value diverse research agendas. SMU is in the culturally dynamic city of Dallas. Explore Virtual SMU at SMU offers excellent benefits including full same-sex domestic partner benefits, for further information see:

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