Research Scientist (Assistant, Associate or Full)

Website University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

Advancing safe, equitable, & efficient transportation & mobility

Job Summary 

We are inviting applicants to apply for a full-time research faculty position at the rank of Research Scientist, Associate Research Scientist or Assistant Research Scientist. These non-tenure-track positions offer the opportunity to focus on research in the Engineering Systems Group (ESG).  We are looking for individuals who would like to join UMTRI long term and who will contribute to the excellence and diversity of our research efforts.   Individuals being considered for senior level faculty positions must be able to demonstrate leadership skills.  The intended start date for this research faculty position will be in the Fall of 2024 and would require the individual to live in or relocate to Southeastern Michigan.

As an UMTRI faculty member, you would work collaboratively with other faculty, research staff, and student researchers to study issues related to transportation safety and mobility.  We offer an interdisciplinary environment that includes engineers, psychologists, behavioral scientists, and statisticians working on projects funded by government and industry sponsors. Most faculty work primarily with one research group (Behavioral Sciences, Biosciences, CMISST (Data), Engineering Systems, Human Factors) but collaborate across groups as projects demand.  UMTRI is offering a substantial commitment for the first three years in the position. This includes 50% flexible salary support for three years and guaranteed 50% project-funded support in the first year.  Project-funded support after the first year will be obtained in collaboration with UMTRI faculty.

The University of Michigan has established two research faculty tracks: Research Scientist and Research Professor. While this role is currently for the Research Scientist track, it is important to note that there are many possible trajectories for career promotion at UMTRI, including crossing from one track to the other.


Daily activities include conducting research, performing experiments, analyzing data, and coordinating activities with other faculty, research staff, and students.  Ongoing activities include writing reports and journal articles, presenting at conferences, and writing proposals to secure additional funding.  Student engagement is highly encouraged and could involve supervision of paid student research assistants, participating as mentors in formal UM student research programs (UROP, SURE, MDP), classroom teaching, or service on graduate committees.  UMTRI recently initiated a program where faculty can supplement their salary by offering students experiential learning opportunities, as well as accrue additional backstop funding.  Many faculty actively participate in professional organizations.  All faculty members are asked to serve on UMTRI administrative committees.

Required Qualifications 

Successful applicants must hold a Ph.D. in engineering, computer science, mathematics, or the physical sciences.
Must have 1 year (Assistant-level), 5 years (Associate-level), or 10 years (Senior-level) of experience and an expertise applicable to automotive perception, decision, and control, or to electric vehicle battery usage and impacts.
Candidates should have a record of scholarly research and publications that demonstrates potential for success in the field.
Interest in both individual and team research is necessary, as well as a passion for impacting society through quality research.
*Some funding sources are subject to export control restrictions. Please note that these projects will require US Citizenship or permanent residency to work with export-controlled material.

Desired Qualifications 

Previous experience or interest in requirements and/or evaluation methods; system use impacts on safety or efficiency; interdisciplinary collaboration; and/or data science including AI.
Demonstrated potential to develop successful proposals for research funding, from both government and industry sponsors.
Interest in providing hands-on experiential learning opportunities for students.
A record of both independent and collaborative research based on extramural funding.
Ability to lead journal article development as demonstrated by authorship in peer-reviewed journal articles.

How to Apply 

Applications are being accepted through the MCareers website at the following link:

Please submit the following items in one continuous document:

1)      A cover letter describing why you are interested in the position, the contributions you have made to your publications, any experience developing proposals for research funding, and examples of how you have worked both independently and as a member of a team.

2)      An academic CV detailing education, experience, publications by type, and presentations. In this document, provide separate lists for (a) peer-reviewed journal articles, (b) conference papers, and (c) other publications.

3)      A 1-page research statement highlighting your research experience and your goals for future research, including the primary topics you would like to pursue. Address how these align with UMTRI’s research activities.

4)      UMTRI, the College of Engineering (CoE), and the University of Michigan (U-M) recognize and value contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI; Please include a statement (up to 1 page) describing your past efforts to support DEI and how you would work to support DEI at UMTRI.

5)      Names and contact information for three references. If you would prefer to submit them later in the process, please mention this in your cover letter.

6)     Copies of 1-3 publications that best demonstrate the quality of your work.

Note:  Review of applications will be conducted on a rolling basis.


Who We Are

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) is recognized internationally for our multidisciplinary research focusing on transportation safety and mobility ( Established in 1965, we maintain the highest standards of excellence as we conduct research that improves peoples’ lives through access to safe, equitable and efficient mobility.  UMTRI is a non-degree-granting unit within the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan that includes 22 faculty members, 40 research staff and technical staff, and 300 student researchers annually. Lecturer opportunities may be available for those who are interested, and several UMTRI faculty currently serve as lecturers in the College of Engineering. UMTRI generates between $14M and $18M in research expenditures each year with funding from a wide range of government agencies and industry partners.

To get a glimpse of UMTRI at work as a leader in providing safe, equitable and efficient transportation research innovation, follow the link below:

Michigan Engineers are world-class educators, researchers, students and staff who strive to build a people-first future. As part of the nation’s number one public research institution, Michigan Engineering’s mission is to provide scientific and technological leadership to the people of the world, develop intellectually curious and socially conscious minds, create collaborative solutions to societal problems, and promote an inclusive and innovative community of service for the common good.

Our vision, mission and values are supported by a people-first engineering framework that guides our work. As Michigan Engineers, we strive to apply excellent engineering fundamentals, integrated expertise and equity-centered values to reimagine what engineering can be, close critical gaps, and elevate all people. Information about our vision, mission and values can be found at:

The University of Michigan has a storied legacy of commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Michigan Engineering models that commitment in our research, culture and collaborations. We seek to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of that commitment. Learn more about DEI at Michigan Engineering:

Underfill Statement 
This position is posted as Research Scientist/Associate Research Scientist/Assistant Research Scientist. The rank of the selected candidate will depend upon the candidate’s qualifications.
Background Check Screening
The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third-party administrator to conduct background checks.  Background checks are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Why Work at Michigan?

In addition to a career filled with purpose and opportunity, The University of Michigan offers a comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and your family and plan for a secure future. Benefits include:

Generous time off
A retirement plan that provides two-for-one matching contributions with immediate vesting
Many choices for comprehensive health insurance
Life insurance
Long-term disability coverage
Flexible spending accounts for healthcare and dependent care expenses
Maternity and Parental Leave

Application Deadline 

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended.

Additional Information 

Located in southeast Michigan, Ann Arbor is a vibrant university town, technology and innovation hotspot, and culinary center with an active downtown scene. Frequently voted the best place to live in Michigan, Ann Arbor blends the charm of the U.S. midwest with multicultural influences from around the globe.  Ann Arbor is approximately a 45-minute drive from Detroit, a 4 hour drive from Chicago, and is in close proximity to the North American Great Lakes, which are beautiful and popular spring, summer, and fall destinations for locals.

The University of Michigan is responsive to the needs of dual-career families. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all members of our community. We are a non-discriminatory, affirmative-action employer.

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