Robert Agans

Robert Agans, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Biostatistics
Carolina Survey Research Laboratory
730 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
Suite 100
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Dr. Robert Agans is an associate professor in the Department of Biostatistics and director of the Carolina Survey Research Laboratory (CSRL). Dr. Agans directs and orchestrates complex survey research operations, including development of sample designs, questionnaire review and psychometric analysis, as well as expertise in both quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Operations at the CSRL include, but are not limited to, focus groups, cognitive interviews, web surveys, mail surveys, and computer-assisted telephone interviews. 

Dr. Agans has directed dozens of projects since coming to Carolina in 2000, including local, state and national population-based surveys.

Research Activities

Population-based research methods; multi-mode data collection procedures; questionnaire development, standardization, validation and translation into other languages; hard-to-reach populations and minorities

Service Activities

SAPOR Prothro Student Paper Competition, Chair (2005-Present)

Ad hoc reviewer for Preventing Chronic Diseases; American Journal of Public Health

American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), Member (2001)

Southern Association for Public Opinion Research (SAPOR), Member (2001)

Ad hoc reviewer for Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and
Basic and Applied Social Psychology (1992-1995)

Key Publications

Using Social Networks to Supplement RDD Telephone Surveys to Oversample Hard-to-Reach Populations: A New RDD+RDS Approach. Agans, R.P., Zeng, D., Shook-Sa, B.E., Boynton, M.H., Brewer, N.T., Sutfin, E.L., Goldstein, A.O., Noar, S.M., Vallejos, Q., Queen, T.L., Bowling, J.M., Ribisl, K.M. (2021). Sociological Methodology, 51(2), 270-289.

Sampling and Weighting in Telephone Surveys. Kalsbeek, W. D., & Agans, R. P. (2007). Telephone Survey Methodology, New Work: Wiley & Sons,..

Enumerating the hidden homeless: Strategies to estimate the homeless gone missing from a point-in-time count. Agans, R.P., Jefferson, M.T., Bowling, J.M., Zeng, D., Yang, J, Silverbush, M.  (2014). Journal of Official Statistics, 30(2), 215-229.

On examining the quality of Spanish translation in telephone survey: A novel test-retest approach. Agans, R.P., Vallejos, Q. & Benefield, T. (2020). Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology, 8(4), 691-705.

Staff/Administrative Duties

Director, Carolina Survey Research Laboratory


  • PhD, Social Psychology, Texas A&M University, 1992
  • MA, Clinical Psychology, West Chester University, 1989
  • BA, Psychology, Saginaw Valley State University, 1984