Research Analyst (Naval Operations Research Capabilities) - SFRD

Alexandria, Virginia
Sep 08, 2017
Sep 30, 2017
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, organizational efficiency and management issues and human capital challenges. SFRD has an opening for a Research Analyst to contribute to analyses of the structure, size and effectiveness of naval forces within a joint force context.    


Research Analysts (RA) at IDA are career research staff, typically with PhDs or Masters degrees coupled with a successful military or government career involving assignments in operations research or analytical organizations.  IDA RAs engage with senior government officials to develop research programs on government policy, budgetary and program choices. After defining a research question, RAs:

  • 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

Some research tasks will be narrowly focused, while others will address a broader spectrum of concerns. 

SFRD is seeking candidates to conduct analyses of (a) naval capability requirements within a portfolio of joint forces and individual Military Service systems employed within a joint force context across a wide range of missions and scenarios; (b) operational performance assessment of naval forces and (c) the efficacy of particular programs or operational concepts, particularly those related to command and control. 

Research Analysts are expected to demonstrate proficiency in rigorous and structured analytic techniques and to be familiar with modern computer applications appropriate to the individual’s academic discipline. RAs 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 RAs are expected to be adaptable and self-motivated, demonstrating a capacity for independent thought, synthesis of a variety of sources, 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).


We are seeking candidates who have successfully completed a career of service with the US Navy featuring:

  • Required: An advanced degree in national security strategy, military operations research, engineering or similar highly quantitative discipline.
  • Required: At least two assignments on the staff of a US Combatant Command, the Joint Staff, the Headquarters staff of the US Navy or a Navy Component Command to a US Combatant Command with duties involving military force planning or programming; analysis of force structure or weapons system alternatives; operational performance assessment and evaluation; definition and analysis of military capability requirements; or specification, evaluation, or analysis of the readiness of assigned or apportioned forces for the conduct of specific missions.   
  • Required:  Familiarity with modeling, simulation and other quantitative techniques employed in the analysis of military capabilities or military force requirements and/or operational performance assessment of the naval aspects of a military (including non-kinetic) campaign. 
  • Desired:  Familiarity with experimentation, wargaming and concept development at the Joint and/or Service level.
  • Desired: Successful completion of Senior-level Professional Military Education (a War College graduate)
  • Desired: Successful command of naval or joint forces
  • 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 writing sample and the names of three references whom we can contact. 
  • Travel may be required.
  • US Citizenship is required.
  • Applicants selected will be subject to a security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information.