Research Associate (GCS/UAS) SJSU Research Foundation, Department of Psychology United States

Position:                RESEARCH ASSOCIATE (GCS/UAS)       

DEPARTMENT:                           Department of Psychology, SJSU and the SJSU Research Foundation                                                              

IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR:         NASA Program Director

POSTING DATE:                          February 23, 2018          

CLOSING DATE:                          Posted until filled           

SALARY:                                      Negotiable, DOQ/E
                                                   Full time

EXEMPT STATUS:                         Exempt    



Do you want to help support NASA’s missions, but don’t want to go through astronaut training camp? Do you like making a difference in the world and help progress the vision of NASA? 


The Psychology Department at San Jose State University is involved in collaborative research efforts with civil service scientists from the Human Systems Integration Division at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. The research is centered on the following areas: Ground Control Stations (GCS) displays for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), human-automation integration and adaptive automation design, and airspace operations. We are seeking an individual with academic training in human factors and prior experience with aviation operations research. This person will be involved in conducting research in support of the Human Autonomy Teaming Laboratory, with a focus on GCS displays and requirements to support the integration of UAS into civil airspace.


You will work with people across NASA, hear about upcoming missions and how we help support them.                                                                                                                                                                              

Our work environment is very open, collaborative and welcoming to others.  We are a diverse and tight-knit team who enjoys off-site team building events and activities.  We believe that having a comfortable environment for everyone is important!  Our team values a healthy approach to the workplace, from providing adjustable desks to maintaining a balanced work-life schedule.  You will contribute to our wide diversity of skills and incorporate new ideas into our environment.



1)       Participate in ongoing human-in-the-loop simulations related to display of traffic information, detect and avoid guidance, and control and navigation interfaces within the UAS GCS.

2)       Develop operational scenarios, metrics, and evaluation methodologies to assess potential UAS technologies and operational concepts for integration of UAS into the National Airspace (NAS).

3)       Develop and assess concepts to support the safe integration of UAS, including the display of traffic, weather and terrain in UAS GCSs.

4)       Participate in testing and shakedown efforts of newly implemented UAS GCS display features in preparation for experimental simulations.

5)       Contribute to the development of training materials for and manage training efforts of participant pilots in ongoing simulations.

6)       Participate in training and observation of pilots during simulations.

7)       Participate in data collection and reduction during simulations.

8)       Conduct statistical analyses of data collected during simulations.

9)       Produce reports (whole or in part) and present work to relevant audiences.




INTERPERSONAL CONTACTS:   Reports to the Program Director. Interacts with NASA Ames civil service and research staff, and Research Foundation staff, including student assistants, on a daily basis.





1)                   Education and Experience

a)       MA/MS in Psychology, Human Factors, or related field is required.

b)       Course work in human factors and psychology statistics, including analysis of variance (ANOV) is required

c)       Minimum 1 to 3 years’ experience in human-in-the-loop simulation research is required.

d)       Experience in aviation simulation research is desired.


2)                   Knowledge, Skills and Abilities preferred or required

a)       General knowledge of aviation (both manned and unmanned) and airspace management.

b)       Good understanding of the basics of conducting experimental research as well as excellent scenario development skills.

c)       Strong interpersonal skills that will allow interaction with the staffs of the various research facilities at NASA Ames (CVSRF,  AOL).

d)       Strong written and verbal communication skills

e)       Strong understanding of the basics of statistical analysis of data.


3)            Physical requirements

a)       Must be able to travel domestically and internationally. 

b)       Located at the NASA Ames Research Center. Therefore, this employee must meet security qualifications for entrance to the Center.


4)          Complexity of Duties

Exercises independent judgment in the management and completion of a diverse set of tasks.


5)         Benefits


a)      Ten Health Insurance Plans to choose from

b)      Free dental and vision coverages for employee and family

c)      Paid Federal & State Holidays

d)     Retirement Plan:  403 (b) employee contribution plan component and an additional 403 (b) employer contribution component

e)      Vacation and separate sick plans

f)       Employee Discounts

g)      Paid Training and Conferences

h)      Increases based on merit (performance)





To apply for this position, you may submit a letter of interest and a resume and a formal application.  An application and other information, including the job description, may be obtained from the Research Foundation through its web site at    You may also obtain information in person by visiting the Research Foundation, located at 210 North 4th Street, 4th Floor, San Jose, CA (corner of St. James and North 4th Streets).   A formal application for employment will be required of all candidates who are selected for a personal interview.    Please address your letter of interest and resume or application directly to:


San Jose State University Research Foundation

Attn: HR/Job Code  RA GCSUA

210 North 4th Street

San Jose, CA  95112



Research Foundation employment is separate and distinct from San Jose State University or State of California employment.  Research Foundation employees are not employees of either SJSU or of the state of California.


The San Jose State University Research Foundation (SJSURF) is a non-profit auxiliary of San Jose State University. SJSURF is totally self supported.  The majority of the organization’s funding comes from the federal government, and other public and private entities.  With annual revenues totaling over $65 million, programs managed through SJSURF cover a rich diversity of applied research, public services, and educational related activities.




is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of  race, color, creed, gender, religion, marital status, registered domestic partner status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, sex, genetic information, sexual orientation, military and veteran status or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws. It also prohibits unlawful discrimination based on the perception that anyone has any of those characteristics, or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics.



  The SJSURF has implemented California State University Executive Order 1083 ( ).  By policy, all SJSURF employees are mandated reporters for suspected child abuse or neglect and are expected to undergo formal training in accordance with the directives of the Executive Order.



The SJSURF has also implemented California State University Policy Memorandum HR 2015 – 08 ( ).


A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with the SJSURF. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current SJSURF employees who apply for the position.

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