Build your research portfolio in a fixed-term research-focused faculty position in a world-class, collaborative academic environment.

A Research Assistant Professor (RAP) at TTIC is a 3-year term, non-tenure track faculty position. It is fully funded by the Institute and focuses on research. RAPs are independent, eligible to be PIs or co-PIs on grants, have no compulsory teaching duties, and are able to co-advise students, serve on thesis committees, and host summer interns if they wish. The position is intended to help researchers in the beginning of their careers to build strong portfolios of research and to prepare for more senior/permanent research positions in academia and industry, but without the overhead and stress often associated with junior faculty positions.

Dr. Audrey Sedal is a first-year RAP at TTIC, conducting research in soft robotics. “I think the main thing that is unique about being an RAP is that I’m an independent researcher. Unlike before, when I was a PhD student, I worked toward the vision of my lab. As an RAP, I get to work toward my own vision,” said Dr. Sedal. “Tenure track positions are a little different, because you have to meet certain obligations. It’s more responsibility. And then there are postdocs, where you’re not necessarily going to be pursuing your own original ideas.”

RAPs are an integral part of TTIC’s vibrant research community. They interact with tenure-track faculty, postdocs, and PhD students at TTIC and also have ample opportunity to work with colleagues at the University of Chicago. The RAP position combines the research-focused, distraction-free nature of postdoctoral positions with the independence, flexibility and status of faculty positions. It is intended, and has been used by many past RAPs, as a launching pad for permanent tenure-track and industrial research positions.

Dr. Brian Bullins describes his RAP experience as a professorship in training. “In many ways, it’s the best of both worlds. What it has meant for me is the chance to explore all of the research ideas that I’m interested in. I’ve been able to establish really great collaborations with faculty members and students. All of those things have come together to make for such a unique and amazing experience. I couldn’t be happier,” said Dr. Bullins. “The people at TTIC in general are absolutely fantastic.”

For more information on the Research Assistant Professor position, please see the RAP position description on our website. Current TTIC Research Assistant Professors are listed on TTIC’s Faculty page and a list of RAP alumni can be seen at our Faculty Alumni page. Many former TTIC RAPs have gone on to tenure-track positions in top academic institutions and to research scientist positions at leading industrial research labs.

TTIC is now accepting applications for the 2022-23 academic year and will review applications until all spaces are filled. For full consideration, please apply by December 1. For more information about applying, please see the Faculty Opportunities at TTIC page on our website. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to

For more information on Dr. Sedal and Dr. Bullins’s experiences as current RAP’s, see their Research Highlight articles here.