Senior Program Officer - Cooperative Research Program

Washington D.C.
Apr 18, 2017
May 02, 2017
Analyst, Research
Engineering, Research
Full Time

The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Medicine work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.


The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is one of seven major program units of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. The Board's mission is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal.


The National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) is an applied, contract research program that develops near-term, practical solutions to transportation issues. TRB manages this program; a description of the program may be found at


The Senior Program Officer will manage projects primarily in the NCHRP. The Senior Program Officer will work with expert panels established for the purpose of guiding research projects on a wide variety of transportation topics including roadway design, construction, safety, hydraulics, and geotechnical engineering. The Senior Program Officer will be responsible for preparing project statements and progress reports, making presentations before technical groups, evaluating research reports, initiating contracts, and monitoring research. The selected candidate will assist in program administration.




1. Facilitating project panel meetings, supporting the panel chairs, and following up with notes of the panel meetings.


2. Working with prospective proposers resolving all matters relating to submission of acceptable proposals.


3. Evaluating research proposals for technical merit and participating in the process of selecting research agencies.


4. Becoming thoroughly familiar with the selected research plan and working with the agency and project panels in developing a detailed working plan to accomplish project objectives.


5. Working with administrative offices to provide information necessary for contract negotiation and execution.


6. Managing contracts by obtaining a clear meeting of minds on objectives and technical aspects of accomplishing objectives, visiting research agencies to become familiar with the organizations and their facilities and to monitor the work and assess comparative progress against project schedules, preparing visit reports setting forth progress and appraisal of agencies’ accomplishments, and making recommendations concerning orderly pursuit of the various research projects.


7. Reviewing monthly and quarterly reports of progress and such other reports as needed for administration of the program.


8. Reviewing all types of reports that emanate from research for clarity, completeness, adherence to CRP format, and fulfillment of research plan, and making recommendations as to acceptability.


9. Conducting periodic surveillance visits.


10. Making critical reviews of projects’ progress with recommendations for improvement.


11. Interpreting the findings of each project with respect to applicability for improving practices.


12. Preparing Research Results Digests and other derivative products.


13. Preparing staff forewords for use in published reports.


14. Making presentations on research findings at technical meetings.


15. Coordinating with appropriate agencies for work within given subject areas to ensure that projects have the benefit of all available knowledge.


16. Providing staff support to NCHRP project selection committees in formulating annual research programs by reviewing and evaluating problems submitted for research.




The position involves managing projects in the areas of roadway design, construction, safety, hydraulics, and geotechnical engineering.   Must possess excellent speaking and writing abilities, have strong organizational skills, and substantial experience in project management, research, report writing, and working with committees or panels.


Advanced knowledge of the scientific, technical, or policy issues in a related discipline. Strong program/project management and facilitation skills. Ability to understand and share technical/scientific issues with diverse audiences. Ability to solve problems using originality and ingenuity. Ability to serve as a resource to others in the resolution of complex problems and issues. Ability to operate using substantial latitude for independent judgment and action. Ability to independently develop and manage multiple and complex projects. Ability to work successfully in a team environment and to form and maintain effective teams. Ability to train and develop staff. Experience working in complex environments with a high degree of organizational effectiveness. Ability to develop relationships with co-workers, employees in other National Academies’ departments, and external constituents through effective communication. Excellent communication skills with a proven ability to effectively interact with all levels of staff and constituents.



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