Position Classification Description

Position Class Code / Title: L1004 / Sr Research Scientist 1
Recruitment Tier: Tier 1
FLSA: Exempt
Grade: 14

This is a description of a Staff Position Classification. It is not an announcement of a position opening. To view descriptions of current openings, please go to UNMJobs and Search Postings to view positions that are currently accepting applications.

The following statements are intended to describe, in broad terms, the general functions and responsibility levels characteristic of positions assigned to this classification. They should not be viewed as an exhaustive list of the specific duties and prerequisites applicable to individual positions that have been so classified.


Independently employs a broad knowledge of principles, practices, and procedures in a particular field of specialization to plan, design, and conduct research and present findings. Carries out novel or complex assignments requiring the development of new or improved techniques and procedures. May act in a liaison capacity with various department, divisions, and organizations.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Designs and implements research protocols and projects; applies advanced analytical techniques and the modification and extension of theories and practices in innovative research projects in field of specialty; develops statistical and observational models.
  2. Operates and maintains sophisticated equipment to conduct research, analyze data, and report research findings; may instruct others in use of equipment.
  3. Applies diversified knowledge of scientific research principles, practices, and protocols in research projects; may make recommendations and conclusions which serve as the basis for decision making in a specialty area.
  4. Collaborates with users and principal investigators on design, analysis, application, and reporting of research projects; teaches and advises on techniques.
  5. Supplies technical leadership and consultation to professional co-workers, collaborators, and graduate students.
  6. Prepares analyses, reports, and other documentation for publication; presents findings at local, national, and/or international meetings.
  7. Prepares grant proposals to obtain funding in support of research activities.
  8. Serves as principal investigator, as appropriate, on sub-projects of complexities consistent with above criteria.
  9. May manage or oversee a research laboratory; may curate a research collection.
  10. Maintains currency of knowledge with respect to relevant state-of-the-art technology, equipment, and/or systems.
  11. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements

  • Master's degree; at least 5 years of experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified.
  • Completed degree(s) from an accredited institution that are above the minimum education requirement may be substituted for experience on a year for year basis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

  • Knowledge of current technological developments/trends in area of expertise.
  • Ability to provide technical guidance and leadership to professional personnel in area of expertise.
  • Ability to develop and deliver presentations.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community.
  • Ability to develop scientific reports and manuscripts based on original research.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of engineering, scientific, and/or mathematical concepts and theories in area of specialty.
  • Ability to utilize and maintain advanced scientific equipment and facilities.
  • Knowledge of contracts and grants preparation and management.
  • Skill in educating others in research methods and techniques in area of expertise.
  • Ability to utilize advanced analytical techniques and programs to develop scientific models.
  • Knowledge of engineering and/or scientific research principles, practices, and protocols.
  • Ability to utilize advanced computer statistical and technical applications.
  • Ability to use independent judgment to adapt and modify research concepts and approaches to specific projects.
  • Knowledge of research methodology, principles and procedures.

Distinguishing Characteristics

    Position requires: a) independent design and implementation of integrated research projects and protocols; b) modification and extension of scientific theories and practices; c) professional collaboration with researchers in other departments and/or organizations on research projects; d) utilization of highly specialized and advanced scientific knowledge in the development of broadly based statistical and observational model research concepts; e) provision of technical leadership and/or supervision to other scientists and technical support staff; f) direct participation in the development and submission of project budgets and grant proposals; g) authoring and/or co-authoring significant research manuscripts based on original research, and presentations of research to the scientific community at large in a defined area of expertise.

Conditions of Employment

  • Successful candidate must submit to a post-offer, pre-employment physical examination and medical history check. Additional health screenings may be required, dependent on the nature of the research conducted, as determined by Employee Occupational Health Services.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

  • No or very limited physical effort required.
  • Work environment involves minimal exposure to physical risks, such as operating dangerous equipment or working with chemicals.
  • Work is normally performed in a typical interior/office work environment.

The University of New Mexico provides all training required by OSHA to ensure employee safety.

Revised Date: 07/31/2018