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U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) serves the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

A post-graduate research opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Office of the Secretary of Transportation. The appointment will be served within the Office of the Under Secretary for Policy in the Infrastructure Permitting Improvement Center (IPIC), located in Washington, DC. The position is currently remote but can change.

As a research participant in the Office of Policy Development you will collaborate with individuals from DOT’s operating administrations (e.g. Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, etc.) and offices under the Secretary of Transportation, including the Office of Policy, Build America Bureau and the Office of the Chief Information Officer, to connect, understand, analyze, and visualize DOT databases, data sources outside of the Department, and geospatial data.

IPIC supports the Under Secretary for Policy and Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy in matters related to safety, energy, climate, and other environmental policies affecting all aspects of transportation. The office provides technical expertise for the Department’s legislative, regulatory and research programs, conducts analyses and recommends policies, and serves as the Departmental focal point for initiatives related to safety, energy, and the environment. The Office also provides support for the Department’s Build America Bureau.

This project focuses on the environmental and permitting processes associated with implementing DOT infrastructure projects to address requirements associated with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and associated environmental reviews and approvals related to various substantive environmental laws. This is intended to further develop DOT’s data-driven approach to decision making as it relates to improving the efficiency of the environmental review/permitting process to accelerate delivery of critical infrastructure projects and to achieve improved environmental and community outcomes and related Department Strategic Goals across the modes of transportation (highway, rail, air, water, and pipeline). Additionally, the project will focus on implementing administration initiatives with regard to climate change, resiliency, environmental justice and equity.

This project will provide training opportunities to conduct analysis, and develop products that engage decision makers, with emphasis on providing analysis and products that DOT can use to implement additional permitting reforms to accelerate project delivery and achieve improved environmental outcomes. This may relate to:

  • Improvements to modernize NEPA/Permitting process implementation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental review and permitting;
  • Aligning federal environmental reviews;
  • Integrating GIS mapping tools and other tools with fiscal management systems to provide more detailed data; and
  • Tracking projects furthering the administration initiatives such as lower GHG emissions and development and construction of green infrastructure, and advancing environmental justice and equity from transportation decision making through infrastructure construction, operation, and maintenance.

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