Job Description

Title: Research Associate Director

State Role Title: Scientist Manager III

Hiring Range: $107,986 – $175,478

Pay Band: 7

Agency: VA Dept of Transportation

Location: VA Trans Research Council

Agency Website:

Recruitment Type: General Public - G


Job Duties

What drives you? Whether it's knowing the work you do makes a difference, having a great work/life balance, working on exciting and challenging projects, leading innovation and championing change or simply working with a great group of people who are committed to professionalism. Are you ready to advance you career at the Virginia Department of Transportation?

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is excited to announce an opportunity to serve as a Research Associate Director in our Research Council. The Research Associate Director will oversee and manage a research team that focuses on Structures and Bridges (Structures Team). This position is located in Charlottesville, VA. 

This position’s specific responsibilities and duties will include, but are not limited to:

Team Leadership and Program Management

  • Provide strategic direction, leadership, and management for the structure and bridge research program area while being aware of the comprehensive needs of the entire VTRC research program.

  • Work with the Structures Team to build a forward-thinking, anticipatory research agenda in all areas of responsibility without overlap with other teams within VTRC.

  • Develop and keep track of a budget for all project line items.

  • Promote meaningful collaboration within the team and with the members of other Research Council teams in carrying out projects.

  • Assist scientists in the conception and design of research projects and technical assistance activities.

  • Oversee project initiation; progress reporting; deliverable development and quality control; and implementation plan development and tracking assistance.

  • Provide technical guidance and direction throughout the project lifecycle and help steer the project if needs and goals change over the course of the study.

  • Communicate clearly and regularly with the team and the research stakeholders.

  • Ensure availability and appropriate allocation of resources.

  • Encourage implementable deliverables from research projects and help seek opportunities to implement recommendations resulting from these projects.

  • Support the professional development of all Structures Team members and mentoring of less senior scientists.

  • Keep abreast of the newest developments and issues pertinent to VDOT’s Structure and Bridge program.

  • Oversee and provide support to technical assistance efforts undertaken by staff.

  • Measure and track the performance of the team through meaningful metrics and ensure improvement in key areas.

VTRC Leadership

  • Assist in leading VDOT's research, innovation, and implementation efforts.

  • Assist the VTRC Leadership Team with developing its strategic direction for the Research Council and ensure its alignment with the VDOT strategic plan.

  • Serve as a catalyst and embrace change in VTRC culture; support new alternatives and solutions.

  • Work independently and collaboratively to build support and ownership throughout VTRC for Leadership Team decisions, direction, and initiatives.

  • Actively participate in Leadership Team meetings and contribute to development of agenda items and associated decisions.

  • Make periodic reports to the Leadership Team on key issues and events within area of responsibility.


VDOT Stakeholder Representative

  • Serve as VDOT stakeholder representative for transportation RD and T at the state, national, and international level to influence policy, legislation, funding and management related to transportation research that is within VDOT's and VTRC's best strategic interests.

  • Keep abreast of developments and initiatives in VDOT and the national research community that have an impact on VTRC.

  • Respond to these initiatives in a manner congruent with VDOT and VTRC organizational interests.

  • Build and maintain a credible, professional organizational image with employees, VDOT districts and divisions, Executive Team members, and other stakeholders and customers.

  • Demonstrate financial stewardship in program and organizational decisions.

  • Attend district and division staff meetings to carry word about RD and T and assess VDOT research needs.

  • Join and participate in external professional organizations.

  • Develop a relationship with VDOT Communications Division to share RD and T information and to help build a positive image about the Research Council, its programs, and its staff.

VDOT employees serve the citizens of the Commonwealth and travelling public daily through our mission to plan, deliver, operate and maintain a transportation system that is safe, moves people and goods, enhances the economy, and improves quality of life. VDOT is the third largest state maintained highway system in the country, maintaining over 58,000 miles of roads, bridges, and tunnels, and employing over 7700 people through a diverse workforce. Our culture includes teamwork, transparency, nimble learning, creativity and collaboration that values differences.

In addition to a rewarding work experience, VDOT offers excellent health and life insurance benefits, pre-tax spending accounts, state funded Short and Long Term Disability, paid holidays, vacation, tuition assistance, free wellness programs, and a state retirement plan with options for tax-deferred retirement savings including employer matching.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is an Equal Opportunity Employer by both policy and practice. For more information about our employment practices, please visit “Information for VDOT Employees and Applicants”:

We have Shared Values and a Code of Ethics. Your success in our organization depends upon modelling these values, therefore visit to review them and, if in agreement, we welcome you to apply.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Ability to anticipate future trends, needs in transportation research and technology that have major strategic value to the sponsors.

  • Considerable knowledge of management, leadership principles and practices.

  • Highly skilled in the use of computers and web-based applications.

  • Ability to lead, motivate research teams to identify innovative solutions to complex problems, issues and advance the state of the art.

  • Knowledge of transportation issues at local, state, national, and international levels.

  • Ability to provide technical assistance and transfer technology developed from research into practical applications for VDOT.

  • Ability to effectively communicate highly technical information both orally and in writing to diverse audiences.

  • Ability to integrate research findings into VDOT and the transportation community at large.

  • Ability to generate, create, plan, organize, prioritize, and lead a program of complex research that addresses VDOT's highest priority needs.

  • Progressive knowledge of advanced research methods, procedures, experimental design, and applied research.


Additional Considerations

  • Experience conducting and/or managing research in area of specialty desired.

  • A combination of training, experience, or education in Social Sciences, Civil Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Economics, or related field desired.

  • Knowledge related to research methods or analysis.

  • Knowledge of VDOT policies, procedures, and practices.


Special Instructions

You will be provided a confirmation of receipt when your application and/or résumé is submitted successfully. Please refer to “Your Application” in your account to check the status of your application for this position.

This position requires a fingerprint based Criminal History Background Check, DMV Record Check and Work History Verification with references.

VDOT is an emergency operation agency. Positions physically working within Central Office locations may be designated upon request and coordination among the respective District Engineer or Administrator and Chief. Assignments are updated annually. Not all designated employees are provided an emergency operations assignment.

Once onboarded, this position may be eligible for telework opportunities; availability, hours, and duration of telework shall be approved as outlined in the Commonwealth telework policy.

VDOT utilizes a market based pay program, which has been approved by DHRM. Therefore, advertised rates of pay may or may not align with the Commonwealth pay bands.

We are a “Virginia Values Veterans” (V3) official certified company and state agency that provides hiring preference to Veterans and Members of the Virginia National Guard in support of Executive Order 29, (2010). If you are a Veteran or Virginia National Guard Member, we urge you to respond accordingly on your state application.

This position requires the submission of a Statement of Economic Interests (financial disclosure).


Contact Information

Name: Logan Sanchez

Phone: (804) 807-3482



In support of the Commonwealth’s commitment to inclusion, we are encouraging individuals with disabilities to apply through the Commonwealth Alternative Hiring Process. To be considered for this opportunity, applicants will need to provide their AHP Letter (formerly COD) provided by the Department for Aging & Rehabilitative Services (DARS), or the Department for the Blind & Vision Impaired (DBVI). Service-Connected Veterans are encouraged to answer Veteran status questions and submit their disability documentation, if applicable, to DARS/DBVI to get their AHP Letter. Requesting an AHP Letter can be found at AHP Letter or by calling DARS at 800-552-5019.

Note: Applicants who received a Certificate of Disability from DARS or DBVI dated between April 1, 2022- February 29, 2024, can still use that COD as applicable documentation for the Alternative Hiring Process.


0 - 0 USD

Yearly based


Charlottesville, VA USA

Job Overview
Job Posted:
1 week ago
Job Expires:
4w 2d
Job Type
Full Time

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Charlottesville, VA USA