CTS Job Openings

Director, Accessibility Observatory

This position is responsible for providing leadership and direction to the research and outreach activities of the Accessibility Observatory (AO) research program at the Center for Transportation Studies. These activities include research and evaluation projects, communication of research results and impact, business development and partnership activities, and program management and administration. The director conducts research as a principal investigator, managing the work of staff and student researchers as well as making individual contributions.


  • Program administration/strategy (40%): Lead and oversee the administration and strategic management of the Observatory program. Lead the strategic planning process and lead and/or participate in the delivery of tactics. Oversee and contribute to program and process development, project planning and progress tracking, staffing strategies and assignments, and other group management functions. Manage program budgeting and contract requirements in coordination with CTS financial staff and other Observatory staff.  As needed, coordinate with Observatory staff to identify technology and training needs. Identify and implement opportunities to improve efficiency and quality in the delivery and management of research projects.
  • Research (20%): Direct research and evaluation projects for the Accessibility Observatory program. Plan and coordinate efforts of professional research staff as well as graduate and undergraduate student researchers on all Accessibility Observatory projects. Set research priorities, evaluate research methodologies and tools, ensure Observatory’s work remains at leading-edge among access scholars and practitioners.
  • Business development (20%): Lead the development of new business and research opportunities for the Accessibility Observatory. Attract funding for accessibility-related research by identifying funding opportunities; facilitating connections with potential research partners; and communicating and promoting AO expertise. Build and maintain relationships with existing and potential funding partners as well as research partners. Oversee the development of sponsored projects and external sales agreements, including the creation of proposals, work plans, budgets, and schedules that meet client needs and contract requirements. Coordinate Observatory staff efforts in business development activities.
  • Communication/outreach (10%): Assist CTS Director of Communications and team with communication of research-in-progress and research results.  Encourage the transfer of research results into practice by presenting research results at conferences and meetings; creating and contributing to research articles in peer-reviewed journals and other publications; and sharing ideas with the CTS Communications group to foster the dissemination of research results.
  • Other (10%): Provide support to Center-wide strategy and policy discussions and the implementation of Center-wide initiatives. Serve as a supervisor, including conducting annual reviews, providing mentoring support, monitoring workload, and addressing staff concerns and other issues. Perform the role of PI or Co-I, including preparing budgets, developing contracts, and monitoring financial performance.


Required Qualifications

  • Advanced degree and at least six years of experience, or terminal degree and at least three years of experience
  • Familiarity with data analysis methods
  • Familiarity with geospatial data processing concepts and tools
  • Proven ability to communicate complex issues in a concise and thoughtful manner
  • Demonstrated proficiency in managing relationships with clients/sponsors
  • Demonstrated proficiency in business and partnership development
  • Experience interacting with local, state, and federal transportation agency officials

Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD in a related field and four years of experience delivering and/or supporting transportation and accessibility research projects
  • Experience using data and geospatial analysis software such as ArcGIS, QGIS, PostGIS, SQL databases, Pandas, R
  • Experience achieving data analysis goals using computer programming languages such as Python, Java, SQL
  • Experience preparing documents using LaTeX

The successful candidate will also be resilient, curious, and nimble, and able to thrive in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.

Work with Flexibility

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and the Center for Transportation Studies endorses a “work with flexibility” approach that offers a welcoming and flexible work environment where everyone is inspired to do their best. Work location options include working fully remote, partially remote, or entirely in the office and are based on the work of the position. Some on-site work may be necessary for certain positions, even those designated as fully remote.

This position has been designated as eligible for a work profile of 1, 2, 3 or 4. Profile 1 is expected to work primarily on-site. Your office will be located at the Center for Transportation Studies. Profile 2 is expected to work on-site more than 50% of the time. Your office will be located in the Center for Transportation Studies. Profile 3 is expected to work remotely more than 50% of the time. Your dedicated office space will be in your remote work location. Profile 4 is expected to work fully remotely with the exception of required attendance for on-site events. Your dedicated work space will be in your remote work location. The Center for Transportation Studies management retains the right to modify flexible work arrangement agreements on a temporary or permanent basis for any reason at any time.

How to Apply

Apply on the U of M jobs web page (job ID 349009):

The posting will remain open until the position is filled.

Postdoctoral Associate

This postdoctoral associate will share time and responsibilities between CTS and the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program  at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The postdoctoral associate will teach 6 credits in MURP's transportation curriculum and work with CTS to identify and participate in transportation research activities in their related field. 

This position is envisioned as a full-time, nine-month position. This position may be renewable, for a second year, pending successful review and funding. Salary range: $75,000-80,000.

Primary MURP teaching duties and activities include:

  • Teach PA 5232 Transportation Planning, Policy, and Deployment (3 credit hours), Fall 2022
  • Teach PA 5290 Emerging Trends in Transportation (1.5 credit hours), Spring 2023
  • Teach PA 5290 Selected Topics in Transportation Planning (1.5 credit hours)
  • Participate in MURP Program faculty meetings.

Primary research activities at CTS include:

  • Identify and develop high-impact transportation research products that could include reports, white papers, or academic publications.
  • Participate in CTS research scholars events, conversations, and projects.
  • Work with CTS leadership and staff to develop and disseminate research findings in high-impact ways.


The ideal candidate will have their PhD in hand and professional experience in transportation planning and policy, broadly defined, with specific expertise in analysis of transportation demand, infrastructure planning, and assessment of risk and safety. Project experience in sustainable and active transportation will be highly valued.   

Candidates with professional or lived experience in engaging diverse constituencies in their scholarship or practice are especially encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

Apply on the U of M jobs web page (job ID 350573):