Position Classification Description

Position Class Code / Title: L3004 / Sr Research Scientist 3
Recruitment Tier: Tier 1
FLSA: Exempt
Grade: 16

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.


As an individual researcher or consultant, serves as a recognized leader and authority in a broad area of research or in a narrow but advanced and uniquely specialized field. Makes authoritative decisions and recommendations that have a major impact on extensive scientific research activities. Exercises a high degree of creativity, foresight, and mature judgment in planning, organizing, and guiding extensive scientific research programs and activities of outstanding novelty and/or importance.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Develops model concepts and approaches as an individual researcher and acts independently on technical matters.
  2. Makes authoritative decisions and recommendations that have a major impact on extensive scientific research activities and result in national and/or international recognition.
  3. Exercises a high degree of creativity, foresight, and mature judgment in planning, organizing, and guiding extensive research programs and activities of outstanding novelty and/or importance.
  4. Interprets, organizes, executes, and coordinates scientific research assignments concerned with unique or controversial problems.
  5. Prepares analyses, reports, and other documentation for publication; presents findings at local, national, and/or international meetings.
  6. Prepares grant proposals to obtain funding in support of research activities.
  7. Serves as principal investigator on single or multiple projects of complexity and scope consistent with above criteria, and/or manages a research unit.
  8. Maintains currency of knowledge with respect to relevant state-of-the-art technology, equipment, and/or systems.
  9. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements

  • Master's degree; at least 9 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

  • Comprehensive knowledge of engineering, scientific, and/or mathematical concepts and theories in area of specialty.
  • Ability to develop and deliver presentations.
  • Knowledge of current technological developments/trends in area of expertise.
  • Knowledge of scientific approach and methodologies.
  • Ability to develop scientific reports and manuscripts based on original research.
  • Ability to design, organize, and coordinate scientific and/or engineering research projects.
  • Skill in organizing resources and establishing priorities.
  • Ability to use independent judgment to develop model concepts and approaches for research.
  • Knowledge of contracts and grants preparation and management.
  • Ability to plan, develop, and manage highly influential and/or groundbreaking research projects in area of expertise.
  • Ability to conduct systematic analysis and develop solutions to complex scientific and/or engineering problems.
  • Knowledge of management principles and practices.
  • Knowledge of engineering and/or scientific research principles, practices, and protocols.
  • Ability to utilize advanced computer statistical and technical applications.
  • Ability to plan, develop, and coordinate multiple projects.

Distinguishing Characteristics

    Position requires: a) provision of broad leadership and direction in the establishment and implementation of multifaceted and/or highly advanced research programs of major importance to the University's overall standing in the research community; b) independent and highly creative development and extension of advanced scientific concepts and theories; c) independent scientific decision making as a recognized authority in a novel and/or highly specialized and significant area of research; d) as principal investigator, establishing the direction, scope, and funding base of integrated research projects; e) technical, organizational, and administrative management of investigation operations; f) collaboration, representation, and authoritative professional leadership within the field of study at a national/international level.

Conditions of Employment

  • National certification specific to the field of research may be required in some cases.
  • 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.
  • No or very limited exposure to physical risk.
  • 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