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Lead Human Factors Research Associate - Transportation Research

Rockville , MD
Closing date
Sep 29, 2022

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Analyst, Research
Full Time
Career Level
Experienced (Non-Manager)

Job Details

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 Lead Human Factors 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. Clients include: federal, state, and local governments, as well as nonprofit, foundations, and vehicle manufacturers. Our team works collaboratively with our clients to implement innovative research designs that explore a variety of 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.

This is a full time position with flexibility for telework or remote work arrangement (within the U.S.).

Job Responsibilities:
In this role you will lead other team members through all stages of research study design, data collection and management, analysis, and report writing.
  • Serving as principal investigator and co-principal investigator capacities on multiple studies.
  • Leading proposal development and working collaboratively with other team members to develop winning proposals.
  • Conceptualizing, designing and conducting research studies using driving simulator, laboratory settings, test track, observational surveys, and on-road settings.
  • Developing and executing focus groups, interviews, surveys, and field studies.
  • Designing data collection plans and guiding the creation of data collection instruments and protocols.
  • Conducting reviews of research literature and synthesizing findings.
  • Developing analysis plans, including video coding, quality control review, and conducting analysis.
  • Communicating effectively with clients and developing new relationships with potential clients.
  • Managing project budgets and schedules.
  • Writing technical reports and articles for peer-reviewed journals and professional conferences.
  • Mentoring and supervising junior and mid-level staff.
Basic Qualifications:
  • A Master's degree in human factors, experimental psychology, biomechanical engineering or social science related field with 8 years' of experience or  Ph.D in  human factors, experimental psychology, biomechanical engineering or social science related field and 3-5 years' of experience.
  • Experience with human factors research in transportation, safety, or related fields.
  • Experience with data analysis techniques.
  • Experience with writing reports for a wide range of audiences
Minimum Qualifications:
  • Understanding of research methodology designs and analytical methods.
  • 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 OMB 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.
  • Experience writing research proposals or grants.
  • Creative in problem-solving, taking initiative, effectively manage multiple tasks simultaneously, and work well in a fast-paced team environment.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Experience directing and managing multiple research studies in a laboratory environment as well as using driving simulator, and on-road settings.
  • Experience with statistical analysis, including R, SAS, or similar statistical analysis software.
  • Demonstrates experience with quantitative and qualitative research methods. Understands descriptive and inferential statistical analysis.
  • Experience with writing technical reports and articles for peer-reviewed journals and professional conferences.

Examples of Recent Work
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
Salesperson knowledge of teen-specific vehicle safety features, Traffic Injury Prevention.
Reducing child restraint misuse: National survey of awareness and use of inspection stations: Traffic Injury Prevention: Vol 21, No 7 (

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.


Westat, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, near Washington, DC, is an employee-owned research corporation serving agencies of the U.S. Government, state and local governments, businesses, and foundations. We conduct surveys and program evaluations, provide statistical research, and offer related services. Our multiproject environment provides career opportunities in health, energy, education, transportation, the environment, human services, and the workforce. We combine the relevant research area expertise

Company info
1600 Research Blvd

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