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Rebecca Powell

Research survey methodologist


PhD, Survey Research and Methodology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
MS, Applied Statistics, Rochester Institute of Technology
BS, Applied Statistics, Rochester Institute of Technology


Rebecca J. Powell is a research survey methodologist with a specialty in questionnaire design and analysis. She has worked with and managed all stages of the survey process for mail, web, and mixed mode surveys including designing, programming, formatting, and implementation. Dr. Powell’s main research focus is on improving survey response quality through visual design principles in self-administered questionnaires and increasing response rates through innovative data collection protocols and visual design of contact materials. In addition, Dr. Powell has collaborated with industry and academic colleagues on the analysis of both paradata and substantive data collected through mail, telephone, web, and mixed-mode surveys. Dr. Powell is experienced in applying visual design best practices to self-administered surveys, designing experiments related to questionnaires and data collection protocols.

Dr. Powell is a survey methodologist for the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health Wave VI, a project funded by the National Institute of Aging through two grants (CORE Grant and ADRD Grant) to the Carolina Population Center (CPC) at the University of North Carolina. Wave VI’s scientific objective is to understand the life course exposures for health disparities and health among early midlife Americans, including cognitive, physical, and sensory functioning; substance use/abuse; mental health; and cardiometabolic health & well-being. In addition, she is the assistant project director for the Best Hospitals and Best Children’s Hospitals project, published annually by the U.S. News & World Report. The study uses original survey data and secondary analyses of data from all hospitals in the United States to create an overall score to rank hospitals in 26 medical specialties.

Dr. Powell is also the instrumentation task lead for the National Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Study (NPALS) funded by the National Center for Health Statistics. NPALS collects provider-level data from residential care facilities and adult day services centers along with person-level data on a sample of residents and participants of these facilities. She is a certified RStudio tidyverse instructor. She’s also a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Southern Association for Public Opinion Research, Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research, and the American Statistical Association.

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