Highway Safety Data Fellow

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
Reference Code
How to Apply

A complete application consists of:

All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

If you have questions, send an email to USDOT@orau.org. Please include the reference code for this opportunity in your email.

Application Deadline
1/1/2019 12:00:00 AM Eastern Time Zone

A post-graduate research project and developmental opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as a Highway Safety Data Fellow. The appointment will be supporting the Safety Data Initiative (SDI), with a primary focus on the transportation safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-occupants in rural areas. The participant will primarily be participating in the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Office of Highway Policy Transportation Studies (HPTS), with close coordination with the multi-modal SDI team, led by the Office of the Secretary’s Office of the Under Secretary for Transportation Policy.

FHWA HPTS conducts research to foster innovative transportation policy and legislative initiatives, and facilitate the implementation of these policies and initiatives through strategic planning. HPTS also develops analytical tools and methods to support decision-making.  The Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy provides leadership in policy matters affecting all aspects of transportation, and serves as the Departmental focal point for initiatives related to safety across all transportation modes.

The goal of the SDI is to develop DOT’s data-driven approach to decision making as it relates to safety issues.  This project will focus on pedestrian, bicyclist, and non-occupant safety. The participant will collaborate with individuals from the Federal Highway Administration, DOT’s other operating administrations, and offices under the Secretary of Transportation such as the Office of Policy Development, Strategic Planning, and Performance, to connect, understand, analyze, and visualize DOT safety databases, data sources outside of the Department, and geospatial data. This project offers a unique opportunity to take a more holistic approach to assessing vulnerable roadway user safety in varying types of rural communities than is generally used.  The research participant will integrate data and perform analysis to determine the relationships among demographic/travel behavior variables, crashes, and roadway characteristics, and identify insights that have the potential to help State and local governments responsible for roadway safety hone their investments to address the large portion of traffic fatalities that occur among non-occupants.

The USDOT is actively reviewing applications and is looking to fill positions as soon as qualified applicants are identified.

This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and DOT. The initial appointment is for 12 months, but may be renewed upon recommendation of DOT and is contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive an annual stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. The appointment is full-time in the Washington, DC area. Participants do not become employees of DOT, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.


The qualified candidate must have received a master's or doctoral level degree in the relevant fields.

Preferred Skills:

The participant will have a combination of the following experiences and competencies:

  • Demonstrated ability to transform information and data into visualizations that tell a compelling story;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with and connect multiple data systems and sources;
  • Experience analyzing data to identify patterns and trends;
  • Experience with statistical analysis and econometric modeling;
  • Experience presenting results to inform next steps;
  • Experience with data visualization tools and techniques, including the application of modern programming languages and open source software. Experience with geospatial data visualization is a plus;
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills;
  • Ability to work across various offices and work units to obtain information, collaborate on data-related projects, and validate findings and conclusions;
  • Ability to work with subject matter experts to identify and mitigate data limitations;
  • A self-starter with the ability to perform work with limited supervision and changing outcome goals;
  • Knowledge of U.S. transportation systems; basic knowledge of transportation safety issues is a plus but not required;
  • Experience working with forecast data and risk modeling a plus, but is not required.

Applicants who received his/her most recent graduate degree more than three years prior to the date of application will not be considered. The program is open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, sex, religion, color, physical or mental disability, or veteran status. The appointment is full time for one year and may be renewed upon recommendation by DOT and contingent on the availability of funds. The participant does not become a U.S. DOT Federal employee.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Computer Sciences (17 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (13 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (47 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (11 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (12 )
    • Physics (16 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (32 )