The Research and Innovation Office (RIO) at CU Boulder is
encouraging applications for Principal Research Associates and
Senior Principal Research Associates in Autonomous Systems 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 (NSI) within
RIO. You will be responsible for developing groundbreaking research
associated with the NSI portfolio, identifying new sponsored
research opportunities with the Department of Defense and
Intelligence Community, and preparing proposals and executing
awards in collaboration with NSI staff, campus faculty, industry,
and other partners. Candidates will be focused on strategic
portfolio development, with an emphasis on growing applied
The successful candidate will create a research program at NSI that
- Extensive field deployment of heterogeneous autonomous
platforms, e.g., drones, ground vehicles, underwater vehicles,
surface vehicles, and walking robots
- Implementation of perception and planning algorithms for
long-distance, long-duration autonomous operation
- Use-inspired research that addresses a range of robotic
applications, with emphasis on national security applications as
well as applications with local relevance, e.g., wildfire
monitoring and forest ecology
- Human-robot interaction capabilities to enable significant user
studies in realistic scenarios
- Training and mentoring for significant involvement by advanced
undergraduate students and graduate students from departments
The ideal candidate would be able to articulate how robotics and
autonomy fit into the current funding landscape with its emphasis
on artificial intelligence and machine learning. This researcher
would have expertise that spans computer science, computer
engineering, and robotics with demonstrated experience implementing
advanced autonomy algorithms on limited computing resources typical
of fielded robotic systems.
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
What You Should Know
- 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
- 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
deliverables to sponsors.
- Engage Government and Industry sponsors, with support from NSI
Staff, to shape strategic research opportunities and win research
- 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 leverage 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 We Can Offer
- 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
- 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
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 $140,000 annually
- Senior Research Associate: $140,000 to $180,000 annually
Relocation expenses may be available for this position following
RIO and the University of Colorado’s relocation processes and
procedures. A signing bonus may be available.
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 ambitious. Be groundbreaking. Be Boulder.
What We Require
What You Will Need
- PhD 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
- Senior Research Associate: A minimum of eight 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 We Would Like You to Have
- Demonstrated record of success and credibility within both the
national security and academic communities.
- Excellent verbal and written communications skills; strong
- Demonstrated high-level critical thinking and organizational
- Ability to work within a complex, dynamic, matrixed structure
across colleges and university administration and externally with
Government and Industry partners.
- A minimum of two years of experience working in a collaborative
and interdisciplinary role at, or with, an academic or research
- 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 a clearance.
To apply, please submit the following materials:
- Resume or CV
- Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly
describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific
interest in this position.
During the application process, you will be asked to provide
contact information for 2 confidential letter of recommendation
providers. We will request the letters immediately following your
If you are selected as the finalist, your degree will be verified
by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department using an
approved online vendor. If your degree was obtained outside of the
United States, please submit a translated version as an optional
The position will be open until finalists have been identified.
Applications will be screened as they are received.
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: