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CNSI Research Associate/Senior Research Associate

University of Colorado Boulder
Colorado, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Jun 3, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Professional Fields, Urban & Regional Planning, Science, Technology & Mathematics, Biotechnology & Bioengineering, Engineering, Administrative, Academic Affairs, Institutional Research & Planning, Research Administration
Employment Type
Full Time
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Job Summary

The Research & Innovation Office at CU Boulder is encouraging applications for Research Associates and Senior Research Associates, in multiple domains, who will support efforts to grow the campus's National security-related research enterprise. These positions will report directly to the Director, Center for National Security Initiatives (CNSI) within the Research and Innovation Office (RIO). You will be responsible for developing groundbreaking research associated with the National Security research portfolio, identifying new sponsored research opportunities with DoD and Intelligence Community partners, and preparing and executing strategic proposals in collaboration with the NSI support staff. These positions will be focused on strategic portfolio development, with an emphasis on growing the applied research portfolio. New positions are available in the following focus areas:

Hypersonics: This position requires a detailed understanding of the current U.S. activities on hypersonics, both in terms of weapons development and approaches to counter hypersonics. This opportunity will develop and apply computational tools for analysis of various aspects of hypersonic vehicle performance and phenomena including aerothermodynamics, material, structures, propulsion, signatures, and mission design.

Autonomous Systems: This position requires expertise relevant to the areas of field robotics, assured algorithms, information theory, control theory, computer vision, natural language processing, and/or machine learning. This opportunity will address challenges in the contexts of swarming, networked autonomy, human-machine teaming, and/or perception.

Space Domain Awareness: This position requires specialization in areas including Astrodynamics, sensor tasking, state estimation, GNC, and Space Weather. The individual will address key challenges in Information Fusion, perception, and activity interference with emphasis on Space Operations and Anomaly Identification and Characterization.

Positioning, Navigation, and Timing: This position requires expertise in PNT science (GNSS/radionav, inertial, and clock instrumentation), algorithms supporting the development of Assured PNT and GPS limited/ denied technologies. The individual will develop high precision, low SWaP-C solutions for resilient operations in relevant DoD environments.

Cybersecurity: This position requires expertise in areas of Cyberphysical security, spectrum management, and data assurance/ data integrity. The individual will develop solutions focused on addressing cybersecurity of U.S space assets and essential global communications and operations.

RF Engineering: The candidate will develop solutions for wireless communications, electronic warfare, radar, and sensing to address DoD challenges in SWAP-C, bandwidth, efficiency, integration, reconfigurability, simultaneous transmit and receive (STAR), and stealth. This position requires expertise in RF front-end components, such as power amplifiers and transmitters, low-noise amplifiers and receivers, filters, and antennas to address primary DoD challenges.

Geospatial Data Analytics: This position requires expertise in applying analytics to earth and space data sets, including fusing disparate and large data sets to produce impactful information. This opportunity will develop algorithms and Apps by applying machine learning, AI, computer vision, and state-of-the-art techniques to create models that support decision-making tools across the DoD Domain.

Research Associates must have a customer-centric, results-focused mentality with the ability to operate in a sophisticated and dynamic environment to attain the strategic goals of the rapidly growing CU Boulder national security portfolio.
The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Who We Are

The University of Colorado Boulder’s Research and Innovation Office (RIO) is the central point for support and advocacy for CU Boulder’s world-class scholarship, creative work, and research. The Center for National Security Initiatives is dedicated to providing high-impact national security research enabled by world-class research scientists and essential infrastructure. As the sole Tier-1 research institution in Colorado and the top public University in NASA funding, CU Boulder is well-positioned for continued growth to the current $45M per year DoD research portfolio. Colorado’s $15.4B Aerospace & Defense Economy and a strong ecosystem of defense prime contractors, entrepreneurs, and Federal partners further strengthen our opportunity to grow our strategic impact on National Security research.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be
  • Design, plan, conduct and coordinate various research projects in support of the NSI portfolio.
  • Develop research proposals, key research tasks, and deliverables in support of DoD, IC, and Aerospace and Defense Industry customers.
  • Provide technical leadership of research projects or project subtasks and coordination across academic departments and research groups for interdisciplinary efforts.
  • Summarize results and provide required documentation and SW/HW deliverables to sponsors.
  • Engage Government and Industry sponsors, with support from NSI Staff, to shape strategic research opportunities and win research contracts.
  • Understand and communicate key challenges and R&D priorities regarding DoD and other national security organizations to develop the CU Boulder applied research portfolio.
  • Provide recommended prioritization of new sponsored research opportunities to the NSI leadership team.
  • Establish and use a professional network with key customers, influencers, and executive decision-makers in the national security community and gain insight into strategic direction, policies, R&D priorities, allocated budgets, and plans associated with relevant national security programs.
What You Should Know
  • Due to the requirement to access export-controlled data and information, only U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (green cards), or other protected individuals (i.e., persons designated as an asylee, refugee, or a temporary resident under amnesty provisions) may apply.
  • Travel out-of-state will be required.
  • Irregular work hours including evenings and weekends may be required.
  • All University of Colorado Boulder employees are required to comply with the campus COVID-19 vaccine requirement . New employees must provide proof of vaccination or receive a medical or religious exemption within 30 days of employment.
What We Can Offer

We offer a competitive salary, commensurate with experience, along with a generous benefits package.

A Research Associate hired for this specific opportunity will be hired with an initial salary in one of the following ranges, depending on education and experience.
  • Research Associate: $100,000 to $130,000 annually
  • Senior Research Associate: $130,000 to $180,000 annually

Relocation expenses may be available for this position following RIO and the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and procedures.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits , including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder .

Be Statements
Be dynamic. Be proactive. Be Boulder.

What We Require
  • Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, or a field relevant to the given focus area.
  • Research Associate: A minimum of three years of experience in Academia, or the Aerospace and Defense Industry, or Government in a research role.
  • Senior Research Associate: A minimum of six years of experience in Academia, or the Aerospace and Defense Industry, or Government in a research role.
  • Proven expertise in the development and application of research in research focus area/s specified above.
What You Will Need
  • Demonstrated record of success and credibility within both the national security and academic communities.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills; strong interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated high-level critical thinking and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work within a complex, dynamic, matrixed structure across colleges and university administration and externally with Government and Industry partners.
What We Would Like You To Have
  • Experience working in a collaborative and interdisciplinary role at, or with, an academic or research institution.
  • Proven track record leading research efforts in support of DoD or Aerospace and Defense Industry.
  • Program management, Contracting, and/or Business Development experience in the Federal Government or Industry.
  • Active and or previous security clearance with the ability to acquire clearance.
Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. A current resume
  2. A cover letter that specifically addresses how your background and experience align with the requirements, qualifications, and responsibilities of the position

You will not be asked to upload references at this time.

Position will remain open until filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email:

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