Research Analyst (Systems Engineering) - SFRD

7 days left

Alexandria, Virginia
Aug 25, 2017
Sep 30, 2017
Analyst, Engineer
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.  IDA's Strategy, Forces and Resources Division (SFRD has an opening for a Research Analyst to contribute to analyses principally focused on strategy and risk pertaining to the nation’s defense industrial base and force structure planning.  


Research Analysts at IDA are career research staff. Research Analysts engage with senior government officials to develop research programs on government policy, budgetary, and program choices. After defining a research question, they will:

  • Develop and implement research plans
  • Select appropriate methodologies and analytic tools for research
  • Develop and deploy data collection strategies including those involving human subjects, various survey methods, interview protocols, and literature reviews
  • Collect or oversee the collection of data
  • Implement and apply software appropriate to the research problem
  • Interact with research subjects, including government officials and other subject matter experts, in the research process and with research sponsors in communicating results
  • Direct more junior research assistants and associates in development of data gathering, analysis and interpretation efforts, and in development of software code and in applying the code to test hypotheses, conduct analyses, and generate data

Some research tasks will be narrowly focused, while others will address a broader spectrum of concerns.  Research Analysts contributing to SFRD’s strategy and risk program of work will apply advanced modeling and simulation techniques, optimization methods, and stochastic models to problems associated with homeland defense, infrastructure protection, and economic/industrial base security. They are expected to demonstrate proficiency in rigorous quantitative analysis and to be familiar with modern computer science techniques, including programming in high level languages and applying computational and data processing software. Research Analysts are members of interdisciplinary research teams and must demonstrate good interpersonal communications skills and contribute effectively to a team approach to problem solving. The issues that IDA addresses change constantly and Research Analysts are expected to be adaptable and self-motivated, demonstrating a capacity for self-enrichment, independent thought and sound judgment while creatively 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 headquarters or office-like locations).


  • Requires PhD in operations research, statistics, computer science, mathematics, engineering or a quantitative social science with a record of accomplishments and demonstrated research experience in deterministic and stochastic modeling and simulation, optimization, numerical methods, regression analysis, algorithm development, data processing, constructing statistical models from real data, and/or design of experiments.
  • Requires demonstrated proficiency in conducting analyses featuring large, complex data sets and in producing and communicating mathematical models using scientific and quantitative analysis packages (e.g. MATLAB, Python, STATA, R, or SAS).
  • Requires the ability to communicate complex concepts simply and clearly in written and spoken contexts.
  • Experience with the development and maintenance of cross-platform (Windows and Linux) user interface software written in one or more modern programming languages (C/C++, Python, Java, Bash, etc.) is desired.
  • Experience in developing and linking Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and in testing and deploying software, including the development of unit tests and regression testing, is desired.
  • Experience developing and implementing software in high performance computing (HPC) environments is desired.
  • 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 process, applicants less than 7 years post-degree will be required to submit a copy of their transcripts (undergraduate & graduate//unofficial copies will suffice), a writing sample, and to provide contact information for at least three references able to evaluate applicant’s skills and work history.
  • US Citizenship is required.
  • Applicants selected will be subject to a security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information.