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Job #: R-00064992
Location: McLean, VA
Category: Research Scientist
Schedule (FT/PT): Full Time
Travel Required: Yes, 10% of the time
Shift: Day
Potential for Telework: No
Clearance: None
Referral Eligibility: Eligible
Group: Civil

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Job Description:

Are you looking for an environment where off-the-wall ideas are sought, where enthusiasm and team participation are equally as important as technical prowess, and where leaders, teammates, and peers are equal contributors to solutions?

Leidos is searching for a dynamic leader for Leidos’ Surface Transportation Solutions Human Factors Team. The team, and the candidate, are located onsite at USDOT’s Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, VA. During the pandemic, the candidate will lead the team to perform work both remotely and onsite, with the potential to continue to perform up to 20% remotely (post COVID-19).

The ideal candidate will be able to simultaneously act as a thought leader guiding research efforts and program growth, supervise a diverse group of experienced professionals, and execute thorough-scientifically sound research. The core team conducts cutting-edge research for FHWA’s Office of Safety, Research and Development (R&D), and the Human Factors (HF) Team is the lead organization responsible for human factors activities in the RD&T, Safety, and Operations program areas. To fully meet its research responsibilities and agency’s mission in a timely and effective way, the HF Team requires both technical and administrative support.

The Human Factors Program Manager will lead on-site contract support to the FHWA with the administration and execution of its behavioral research programs requiring human factors, experimental design and data analysis, and traffic engineering expertise. Research generally lies within the areas of safety and operations such as: cooperative driving automation, intersections, roadways, pedestrians/bicyclists, visibility, traffic control devices, weather, work zones, and ITS/connected vehicles.

If this sounds like the kind of environment where you can thrive, keep reading!

An ideal candidate is able to design, plan, execute, and report on research studies. The candidate will use advanced research tools at TFHRC such as field research vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems and driving automation technology, a vulnerable road user active safety testing system, intelligent intersection test bed, roadway sign testing lab, virtual reality lab, and driving simulators to meet DOT research needs. Opportunities are available for publishing and presenting leading edge research results.

The Human Factors Program Manager also will collaborate with other leaders in Leidos’ Surface Transportation Portfolio to promote human-centered solutions for each of its customers. The Portfolio focuses on research, development, and solution application in surface transportation safety, operations, connected and automated vehicle technologies, ITS, asset management, policy, and freight, while improving mobility and sustainability for all users. The candidate will continue to support and grow newly established human factors research partnerships with other Department of Transportation agency programs and other human factors groups within Leidos, such as those supporting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Required Education & Experience:

  • A Masters degree in experimental psychology, human factors, systems engineering, or equivalent field with 10 years of research experience, and at least 5 years of experience in managing large multi-disciplinary teams OR a PhD in experimental psychology, human factors, systems engineering, or equivalent field with 8 years of research experience, and at least 5 years of experience in managing large multi-disciplinary teams
  • Ability to serve as a principal investigator and lead research studies
  • Experience achieving high quality work completed on or ahead of schedule
  • Experience supervising and managing a multi-disciplinary team of professionals
  • Experience analyzing research programs and needs and develop and review complex research programs
  • Experience developing and executing strategic plans to explore new research initiatives or establish new business opportunities
  • Experience interfacing with Government personnel
  • Experience communicating technical information to audience with diverse background
  • Experience providing technical and administrative support in developing Government programs and budgets
  • Experience providing support in Government certain procurement activities
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a public trust clearance

Desired Experience:

  • Knowledge of U.S. DOT’s existing related and interrelated programs
  • Knowledge of emerging vehicle- and infrastructure-based safety technologies and/or other technologies that can be applied to improve transportation operations and safety
  • Knowledge of existing related research
  • Demonstrated experience with business development is preferred, as is the desire to expand the program’s footprint with new clients involving new business areas
  • Active participation or leadership in national related committees, such as the Transportation Research Board
  • Interest in solution development, and business growth/ownership related to this field
  • Ability to lead a large, diverse team to ensure the execution of complex projects with a passion for the development of others
  • Ability to identify and creatively solve challenges – technical, human, research, management, etc
  • Highly proactive, self-motivated, and has sharp self-time management
  • Experience and expertise specific to the surface transportation field including highway safety and operations, visual perception, virtual reality, vehicle electronic safety systems, automated vehicles, and cooperative driving automation are a plus. In particular, detailed knowledge of and practical experience in:
    • human factors and behavioral research concerning highway safety;
    • human factors and behavioral research concerning highway operations;
    • traffic engineering;
    • Intelligent Transportation Systems/Connected and Automated Vehicles;
    • driving simulator experiments and analysis, and
    • simulation research including virtual reality.

External Referral Bonus:


External Referral Bonus $:

Potential for Telework:


Clearance Level Required:



Yes, 10% of the time

Scheduled Weekly Hours:




Requisition Category:


Job Family:

Research Scientist

Pay Range:

COVID Response

Please note that effective October 1, to enter Leidos facilities in the U.S. and to attend Leidos business events outside of our facilities, employees, vendors, subcontractors, and visitors will be required to be vaccinated or maintain proof of a weekly negative COVID-19 test. In addition, we are receiving guidance from certain customers that onsite contractor personnel will need to be fully vaccinated or able to show negative COVID-19 test results to access facilities. If you are not vaccinated, please consider getting your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. 

About Leidos

Leidos is a Fortune 500® information technology, engineering, and science solutions and services leader working to solve the world’s toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, civil, and health markets. The company’s 43,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $12.30 billion for the fiscal year ended January 1, 2021.  For more information, visit

Pay and Benefits

Pay and benefits are fundamental to any career decision. That's why we craft compensation packages that reflect the importance of the work we do for our customers. Employment benefits include competitive compensation, Health and Wellness programs, Income Protection, Paid Leave and Retirement. More details are available here.

Securing Your Data

Leidos will never ask you to provide payment-related information at any part of the employment application process. And Leidos will communicate with you only through emails that are sent from a email address. If you receive an email purporting to be from Leidos that asks for payment-related information or any other personal information, please report the email to [email protected].

Commitment to Diversity

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, ethnicity, age, national origin, citizenship, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, pregnancy, family structure, marital status, ancestry, domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran or military status, or any other basis prohibited by law. Leidos will also consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories consistent with relevant laws.

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