Research Associate-Transportation Research

Rockville , MD
May 09, 2022
May 28, 2022
Analyst, Research
Full Time
Westat is an employee-owned corporation providing research services to agencies of the U.S. Government, as well as businesses, foundations, and state and local governments. Westat's research, technical, and administrative staff of more than 2,000 is located at our headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, near Washington, DC.

Job Summary:
Westat's Center for Transportation & Safety Research is seeking a qualified Research Associate to join a multidisciplinary team of experienced researchers who are building on the current state of transportation safety knowledge and supporting our clients' mission of maintaining safer roads and saving lives. Our team works collaboratively with our clients to implement innovative research designs that explore a variety transportation and safety challenges including occupant protection, child safety, driver behavior and autonomous vehicles, driver distraction, situational awareness, vehicle technology and safety implications, pedestrian safety, and travel behavior. Our research studies employ a wide range of novel and inventive approaches including in-laboratory testing, Level 2 autonomous and instrumented vehicles, multi-modal surveys, focus groups, driving simulators, observational surveys, test track, and on-road studies. 

Professional development is valued at Westat. There are multiple opportunities for growth on the job and through both internal and external programs and workshops.

This is a full time position with flexibility for telework arrangement.

Job Responsibilities:
Our Research Associates work with other team members at all stages of research study design, data collection and management, analysis, and report writing. 
•    Contribute to proposal development.
•    Assist in designing and conducting research using driving simulator, laboratory settings, test track, observational surveys, and on-road settings.
•    Contribute to the development and execution of focus groups, interviews, surveys, and field studies. 
•    Develop data collection instruments and protocols.
•    Conduct reviews of research literature. 
•    Prepare data for analysis, including video coding, quality control review, and conducting preliminary analysis. 
•    Communicate effectively with clients. 
•    Manage project schedules.
•    Contribute to report writing.
•    Contribute to papers for publication/presentation at professional conferences.
•    Submit papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
•    Supervise junior staff.

Basic Qualifications:
•    Ph.D. in human factors, experimental psychology, biomechanical engineering or social science related field. 
•    Experience with managing research studies in a laboratory environment. 
•    Experience with data analysis techniques. 

Minimum Qualifications: 
•    Excellent written and verbal communications skills, client-focused, detail-oriented, effective time management and organizational skills.
•    Proficiency with MS Office suite of applications. 
•    Experience with developing IRB materials and stepping a study through the approval process.
•    Possession of a driver's license and a driving record in good standing.
•    Availability for occasional work on weekends and evenings.
•    Availability for occasional travel.
•    Exercise good judgment and possess strong supervisory, problem solving, communication, organization, and documentation skills.
•    Creative in problem-solving, taking initiative, effectively manage multiple tasks simultaneously, and work well in a fast-paced team environment.

Preferred Qualifications:
•    Experience with statistical analysis, including R.
•    Demonstrated experience with quantitative and qualitative research methods. 
•    Experience with research-related project management. 
•    Experience writing research proposals or grants.

Examples of Recent Work:
  • Salesperson knowledge of teen-specific vehicle safety features, Traffic Injury Prevention,
  • Using Electronic Devices While Driving: Legislation and Enforcement Implications Transportation Research Board.
  • Automated driving systems' communication of intent with shared road users
  • Impact of information on consumer understanding of a partially automated driving system
  • Reducing child restraint misuse: national survey of awareness and use of inspection stations: Traffic Injury Prevention: Vol 21, No 7 (
  • Automated driving systems' communication of intent with shared road users
  • Impact of information on consumer understanding of a partially automated driving system

Westat is committed to building a diverse workforce and a culture of inclusivity, belonging and equity for all. We believe that our greatest strength draws on the different backgrounds, cultures, perspectives and experiences of our employees.

​​​​​​​Westat offers a well-rounded and comprehensive benefits program focused on wellness and work/life balance. Eligible employees may participate in:
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Vacation Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Holiday Leave
  • Professional Development
  • Health Advocate
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Travel Accident Insurance 
  • Medical Insurance 
  • Dental Insurance 
  • Vision Insurance 
  • Short Term Disability Insurance
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Life and AD&D Insurance
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Supplemental Life Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Health Savings Account

Protecting the health and safety of our employees and survey participants is a top priority for Westat. As a federal government contractor, Westat will require Westat staff, regardless of work location, to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon hire and to follow all safety protocols, subject to approved accommodations under applicable law.

Westat is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information, gender identity or expression, or any other protected status under applicable law.

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