Research Associate (Force Structure Analysis) - SFRD

Alexandria, Virginia
Aug 25, 2017
Sep 27, 2017
Analyst, Research
Full Time


The Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) is a federally funded research and development center supporting the Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies that require rigorous and objective analysis of national security issues. The Strategy, Forces and Resources Division (SFRD) performs interdisciplinary analyses of plans and policies related to national security strategy; the structure and capabilities of US, allied and adversary forces; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense; human capital management; and organizational efficiency and management issues.  A major program of work in the division supports Defense Institution Building (DIB)—assisting in the design, development and implementation of management process change and capacity building within the Ministries of Defense of US Security Partners.   SFRD has an opening for a Research Associate (RA) to assist with quantitative analyses across this research portfolio, especially related to military capability and cost analyses supporting SFRD’s DIB program of work.    


RAs are full-time professional staff working under the guidance and direction of IDA Research Analysts. Some research tasks will be narrowly focused; others will address a broader spectrum of concerns. In response to assignments provided by IDA Research Analysts, RAs contribute to research teams with information gathering; modeling and simulation; data manipulation, analysis and presentation; and drafting of reports and briefings. Accordingly, RAs are expected to have demonstrated proficiency in technical areas and to be familiar with computer languages and computational and data processing software. RAs are members of interdisciplinary research teams and must demonstrate good communications skills and contribute effectively to a team approach to problem solving. The issues that IDA addresses change constantly and RAs are expected to be adaptable and self-motivated, demonstrating a capacity for independent thought, sound judgment, and creativity in applying quantitative analysis methods to complex policy problems. As part of the research process, IDA research teams will travel to US government or US security partner field locations (typically, but not always, headquarters or office-like locations).  RAs will be required to assist in the planning and coordination of these field research activities and will accompany research teams conducting that field research. 


  • Four to eight years of experience serving in the armed forces of the U.S. or allied nations is required. 
  • A Master’s degree with a high level of academic achievement (GPAs of 3.5 and above) in a quantitative, analytical discipline: applied mathematics; economics with a focus on econometrics; business administration; statistics; operations research; engineering; or a highly analytical social science.
  • Demonstrated facility with employment and operation of software models, macros, analytical protocols and databases typical of the applicant’s academic discipline is required.
  • Ability to communicate complex concepts simply and clearly in written and spoken contexts is essential.
  • The ability and willingness to travel is required.  Expect six to eight trips per year, each of about two weeks duration, to the capital cities of one of the world’s lesser-developed countries. 
  • A cover letter outlining interest in the position, and how skill set, experiences and education align with the defined responsibilities is desired. At later stages of the candidate evaluation process, candidates will be required to submit a copy of their transcripts, a writing sample and the names of three references whom we can contact. 
  • US Citizenship is required.
  • Applicants selected will be subject to a security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information.