University of Wisconsin - Madison

Position Vacancy Listing

PVL # 92449

Please Note: A change was made to this position announcement on 12/13/17


Working Title:
Researcher, State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI)
Official Title:
Degree and area of specialization:
Master's or PhD in transportation planning, civil engineering, public policy, or related field
Minimum number of years and type of relevant work experience:
Must have sufficient technical background, through education and/or work experience, to understand transportation research issues and interact effectively with faculty, researchers, and other policy and technically-oriented internal and external constituents/customers, including but not limited to state Departments of Transportation. Strong background in transportation policy and planning, a proven track record for project management and execution, and ability to develop transportation policy research and publishing opportunities required. Experience in the transportation industry is expected. This experience may be in research, planning, policy, management, logistics, operations, enforcement, or regulatory environments. A proven track record of research of transportation issues a plus.

This position requires independent problem solving skills; advanced knowledge and skills concerning budget development and management, information, technical outreach, office and fiscal management along with information technology applications (e.g., website creation, spreadsheet and database development and use, and desktop publishing). The position also requires good written and oral communication skills and exceptional organization, analytical, and interpersonal skills. A high-degree of professionalism and an ability to deal effectively and diplomatically with researchers, staff, and industrial, government, and university collaborators at all levels is essential.
  Position Summary:
 COWS is an applied research and strategy center for "high road" (equitable, sustainable, democratic) human development. COWS' work is collaborative, experimental, and evidence-driven. Working with a variety of partners (business, labor, government, NGOs, community groups) we try out new high-road ideas, evaluate the result, and disseminate successful innovations.

The State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI) promotes transportation practices that advance environmental sustainability and equitable economic development, while maintaining high standards of governmental efficiency and transparency. SSTI, jointly operated by the University of Wisconsin/COWS and Smart Growth America, operates in three ways:

-As a community of practice, where participating agencies can learn together and share experiences as they implement innovative smart transportation policies.
-As a source of direct technical assistance to the agencies on transformative and replicable smart transportation reform efforts.
-As a resource to the wider transportation community, including local, state, and federal agencies, in their efforts to reorient practice to changing social and financial demands.

SSTI employs several staff members as policy analysts/outreach specialists. These staff members, report to SSTI's director.

SSTI is currently undertaking a variety of projects that involve research and technical assistance to help modernize policy and practice at state DOTs and other transportation agencies. Successful applicants will be expected to contribute to the success of these initiatives, employing tools such as GIS and statistical analysis, with duties to include:
Principal duties:
--Oversee the development of new ST initiatives, promote these to SSTI stakeholders, and work to create a national presence for SSTI's policies and practices.
--Conduct research required by US DOT and Transportation entities (state agencies, policy advocates and other stakeholders) in cooperation with faculty members and other SSTI staff or independently as appropriate.
--Develop new policy research areas for SSTI in cooperation with the Executive Committee and state DOTs.
--Represent the Center in contacts with government, industry, policy advocates, and other external stakeholder interests.

Key areas of responsibility include:

Research (80%)
Create new methodologies and practice to assist state DOTs with reforming their transportation systems in line with Smart Growth principles.
1)Develop and extend planning and policy tools, such as those used in selecting infrastructure projects, for use by transportation agencies.
2)Explore trends in travel behavior, technology, safety and other topic areas in order to help agencies and their stakeholders develop policy.

Pilot new research via technical assistance to state DOTs.
1)Help provide technical assistance to states in concert with SSTI's contracted technical assistance providers.
2)Take a leading role in providing points of contact to the states as needed.
3)Support the director in tracking progress of TA providers deployed to the states concerned.

Communications (20%)
Develop and participate in meetings on transportation reform practices in these states.
Produce content for and maintain the SSTI web site publicizing our work in these states, as well as information from other sources.
Provide other policy and communication support as needed, including development of webinars, publications and reports.

A criminal background check will be conducted prior to hiring.
A period of evaluation will be required

  Employee Class:
 Academic Staff
Full Time Salary Rate:Minimum $50,000 ANNUAL (12 months)
Depending on Qualifications
Term:This is a renewable appointment.
Appointment percent:80% - 100%
Anticipated begin date:DECEMBER 19, 2017
Number of Positions:1

Application must be received by: DECEMBER 14, 2017
Please click on the "Apply Now" button to start the application process.

An applicant may be hired into an Associate Researcher or Researcher title dependent upon experience. Title will be determined upon hire.

For questions on the position, contact: Matthew Wyndham, 608-265-8665,

To apply for this position you will need to upload a cover letter, resume and contact information for at least three professional references, including your current supervisor. References will not be contacted without advance notice.

Your cover letter should address your qualifications as they pertain to the minimum number of years and type of relevant work experience listed above.
Questions about the position can be directed to:
Matthew Wyndham
Phone: 608-265-8665
1180 Observatory drive, Room 7122   
Fax: N/A
Madison, WI 53706   
Relay Access (WTRS): 7-1-1 (out-of-state: TTY: 800.947.3529, STS: 800.833.7637) and above Phone number (See RELAY_SERVICE for further information. )

If you need to request an accommodation because of a disability you can find information about how to make a request at the following website:

NOTE: Please indicate in writing if you request that your identity be kept confidential. If you do not indicate your preference to remain confidential, the University may be required to disclose your identify and/or application materials. The identity of finalists and successful candidates will be revealed upon request. See Wis. Stat. sec. 19.36(7).  

UW-Madison is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.