Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Pay Scale
$82,500 - $90,000 / Year
La Jolla
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, Monday - Friday

#127255 VR Research Engineer

Extended Review Date: Tue 2/20/2024

UC San Diego values equity, diversity, and inclusion. If you are interested in being part of our team, possess the needed licensure and certifications, and feel that you have most of the qualifications and/or transferable skills for a job opening, we strongly encourage you to apply.

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 12/20/2023 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 1/3/2024 Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.

*Minor revisions have been made to this requisition and does not change the nature of the position effective 01/17/2024. *


The Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) was formed in 1991 as a cooperative agreement between the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the University of California, San Diego. The ADCS is a multi-center clinical trials consortium that provides an operational framework for large-scale Alzheimer's disease research projects. The ADCS consists of 7 cores, 22 committees, 39 research sites that are members of the consortium/Steering Committee, and an additional 40 or more research sites located across the U.S. and Canada that participate in one or more trials coordinated by the ADCS. Annual funding for the ADCS ranges from $15-$25M. The ADCS provides expertise in developing Alzheimer's disease-related protocols and is the coordinating center for multiple clinical trials of varying sizes and complexity under subcontracts funded by NIH and clinical trial agreements with industry partners.

The VR Research Engineer will oversee the engineering development for Pa’s Lab at the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) and report directly to Dr. Pa, ADCS Co-Director. The lab focuses on identifying genetic and lifestyle risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and developing innovative interventions for improving brain and cognitive health in older adults. Using a combination of cognitive, behavioral, and neuroimaging techniques, our primary goal is Alzheimer’s prevention.

The VR Research Engineer will provide a full range of professional engineering services and use skills as a seasoned, experienced engineering professional for multiple clinical trials research projects. Utilizing a deep understanding of computer vision, machine learning algorithms, and technologies necessary to build interactive, real-time, and immersive systems. Assignments require subject matter knowledge and expertise relevant to research objectives and methodology for different types of research and clinical trial projects, including life-style intervention trials. Establishes best practices and engineering design criteria as required for each clinical trial or research project. Leads virtual reality database development and technology-based intervention development. Demonstrates good judgment in selecting methods and techniques for obtaining solutions.


  • Seven (7) years of relevant experience or a Bachelor's degree plus three (3) years of related experience or equivalent experience/training.

  • Thorough knowledge and experience with engineering principles and methods to independently perform the full range of engineering professional design work.

  • Thorough knowledge necessary to apply principles, practices and procedures in the completion of assignments.

  • Demonstrated organizational and decision-making abilities to prioritize competing work assignments in order to meet deadlines and adherence to quality standards.

  • Strong analytical and judgment skills to independently conduct analyses and develop appropriate recommendations.

  • Effective written and verbal communication and presentation skills.

  • Ability to work in a collaborative manner; identify challenges and barriers and recommend resolutions.

  • Experience creating an computer interface between virtual reality environment and physical environment.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of Unity Virtual Reality (VR) software design and development.

  • Ability to optimize virtual reality experiences.


  • Demonstrated ability to build electro-mechanical and kinematic systems. Design 3-D CAD models and assemblies using SolidWorks and perform FEA on the components.

  • Strong knowledge of manufacturing techniques (CNC, Welding, Sheetmetal). Experience in prototyping components using 3-D Printing, Lathe, Drill and Mill.

  • Experience with Arduino or other microcontrollers and working with sensors (potentiometer, hall effect sensors, encoders) and building complete circuits and wire harnesses.

  • Ability to lead and influence others.

  • Experience developing database circuit drawings.


  • Job offer is contingent upon satisfactory clearance based on Background Check results.

  • Must be willing to work outside of normal business hours, including evenings and weekends to meet deadlines as needed.

Pay Transparency Act

Annual Full Pay Range: $82,500 - $151,500 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Hourly Equivalent: $39.51 - $72.56

Factors in determining the appropriate compensation for a role include experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. The Hiring Pay Scale referenced in the job posting is the budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position. The Annual Full Pay Range may be broader than what the University anticipates to pay for this position, based on internal equity, budget, and collective bargaining agreements (when applicable).

If employed by the University of California, you will be required to comply with our Policy on Vaccination Programs, which may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

If applicable, life-support certifications (BLS, NRP, ACLS, etc.) must include hands-on practice and in-person skills assessment; online-only certification is not acceptable.

UC San Diego Health Sciences is comprised of our School of Medicine, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, The Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science, and our Student Health and Well-Being Department. We have long been at the forefront of translational - or "bench-to-bedside" - research, transforming patient care through discovery and innovation leading to new drugs and technologies. Translational research is carried out every day in the hundreds of clinical trials of promising new therapies offered through UC San Diego Health, and in the drive of our researchers and clinician-scientists who are committed to having a significant impact on patient care. We invite you to join our team!

Applications/Resumes are accepted for current job openings only. For full consideration on any job, applications must be received prior to the initial closing date. If a job has an extended deadline, applications/resumes will be considered during the extension period; however, a job may be filled before the extended date is reached.

To foster the best possible working and learning environment, UC San Diego strives to cultivate a rich and diverse environment, inclusive and supportive of all students, faculty, staff and visitors. For more information, please visit UC San Diego Principles of Community.

UC San Diego Health is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

UC San Diego is a smoke and tobacco free environment. Please visit for more information.

UC San Diego Health maintains a marijuana and drug free environment. Employees may be subject to drug screening.

Application Instructions

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