Human Resources

Assistant, Associate or Senior Research Scientist/Engineer

Apply now Job No: 23021, 23157, 23203
Department: Great Lakes Research Center
Work Type: Staff - Full Time
Location: Main Campus (Houghton, MI)
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Research

Department: Great Lakes Research Center

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

Job Description Summary

The Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) at Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) aims to advance freshwater and coastal ocean research as a foundation for health, economic prosperity and global sustainability through interdisciplinary research cutting across Michigan Tech’s academic programs. The GLRC institute includes collaborative faculty from fourteen disciplines within the Colleges of Engineering, Computing, Sciences and Arts, Business, and Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences. The GLRC is currently seeking to hire outstanding scientific or engineering research scientists in the areas of (1) marine technology and engineering (emphasizing maritime autonomous vehicles, controls, sensors, decision making, and policy); (2) applied sensing, modeling, and signal processing (including, but not limited to, underwater acoustics, data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data fusion); (3) Polar processes and sea ice dynamics (observation, modeling, and forecasting); or (4) other areas of freshwater and coastal ocean research. Successful candidates will show evidence of a commitment to public outreach and the translation of research into impactful change.

Ideal candidates will have a strong background in ocean or freshwater science and/or engineering and demonstrated involvement in interdisciplinary research with evidence of direct success in developing proposals to state or federal agencies, industry, or other sources resulting in a funded research portfolio. Candidates should bring innovative ideas to build additional collaborations across academic disciplines and provide expertise that bridges existing competencies to positively impact the success of others on campus. Successful candidates will exhibit depth of knowledge in their field(s) while exhibiting breadth and a strong desire to engage others in interdisciplinary work to advance the missions of the Institute and the University.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

1. Identify funding opportunities and develop proposals independently and in collaboration with other faculty and staff yielding an externally funded research portfolio that provides solutions to governmental and societal challenges
2. Provide technical expertise and delivery support of sponsored research as both a project lead and team member
3. Successfully establish and grow your own funded research program and contribute to that of the department and Institute to become a self-supporting researcher after an initial two-year growth period
4. Contribute technical expertise to symposia, journal articles, and technical reports
5. Support professional and public outreach and science communication to the public
6. Prepare and deliver reports or presentations of research projects/analysis results to sponsors as appropriate
7. Cultivate relationships with agencies and the public that supports department and Institute growth
8. Contribute to a productive team environment
9. Participate in seasonal field deployments including boat- and shore-based data collection
10. Apply safety-related knowledge, skills, and practices to everyday work
11. Encourage continuous improvement practices among employees. Commit to applying continuous improvement strategies to strategic goals and leadership skills
12. Other tasks and responsibilities as assigned

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

  • Applications will be accepted from professionals with a PhD in science or engineering.

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

1. Demonstrated record of research publication and public outreach
2. Experience managing research projects
3. Experience developing relationships with funding agencies and partners

Desirable Education and/or Experience

1. Evidence demonstrating a strong potential for leadership in team-based research and success in writing grant proposals to secure external funding
2. Leadership in research including community service
3. Experience using autonomous technologies and platforms to advance scientific knowledge and applications in the field
4. Industry experience

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements)

1. Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication and presentation skills
2. Demonstrated ability to develop and test new hypotheses and ideas that integrate across disciplines
3. Demonstrated ability to contribute to competitive grant proposals
4. Demonstrated ability to clearly communicate complex ideas through symposia, methods documentation, reports, and publications
5. Demonstrated ability to meet and manage deadlines
6. Demonstrated ability to organize, prioritize, and manage multiple projects and types of activities
7. Demonstrated ability to work with accuracy, precision, and attention to detail
8. Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate in both technical and non-technical terminology at a variety of technical-competency levels
9. Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries and work harmoniously with diverse groups of students, faculty, and staff
10. Demonstrated knowledge and execution of statistics in analysis and presentation of research findings
11. Evidence of self-motivation and a high level of accountability
12. Candidates must address their desire to live and work in a unique, water-dominated environment, along the shore of Lake Superior (Houghton) or Lake Michigan (Traverse City)

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

1. Ability to participate in ITAR regulated research which requires US Citizenship or permanent resident status
2. Existing relationships with funding agencies and organizations
3. Previous experience serving as a Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on sponsored grants and contracts
4. Evidence of an established regional network to facilitate research collaboration

Language, Mathematics and/or Reasoning Skills


Work Environment and/or Physical Demands


Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 4 required trainings; additional training may be required by the department.

Required University Training:

  • Employee Safety Overview

  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training

  • Annual Data Security Training 

  • Annual Title IX Training

Background Check:

Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

Other Conditions of Employment:

The successful applicant will be responsible for ensuring eligibility for employment in the United States on or before the effective date of the appointment. Visa sponsorship is unavailable at this time. This is not an E-Verified Position.


Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1=100%)


FLSA Status


Appointment Term

12 months

Pay Rate/Salary

Negotiable Based on Experience

Title of Position Supervisor

Director, Great Lakes Research Center

Posting Type

Internal and External

Dependent on Funding


Special Instructions to Applicants (if applicable)


Additional Information

  • Position has the ability to be located in the Traverse City area

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close:

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