Research Associate (Computer Science Software Developer) - SFRD

Alexandria, Virginia
Sep 18, 2017
Oct 26, 2017
Full Time


The Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) is a federally funded research and development center that supports the Department of Defense and other federal agencies with 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, including:

  • Structure and capabilities of U.S., allied, and adversary forces
  • Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense
  • Organizational efficiency and management issues
  • Economic and human capital challenges
  • U.S. industrial base and resource management

SFRD has an opening for a Research Associate (RA) to assist with software programming supporting the models and suites of analytic tools used in our analyses.  


RAs directly contribute to IDA research efforts as part of interdisciplinary research teams led by IDA Research Analysts. RAs perform information gathering; data cleaning, formatting, and manipulation; modeling, simulation, and analysis; and drafting of reports and presentations. They are expected to have demonstrated technical and analytic proficiency and be familiar with scientific and data processing software and techniques. RAs must communicate clearly and contribute effectively to team problem solving. As IDA’s research questions cover a wide range of topics, RAs must be adaptable and self-motivated, and exercise independent thought, sound judgment, conscientiousness, and creativity in analyzing complex policy problems. IDA research teams may travel to US government or US security partner field locations. RAs assist in the planning and coordination of these field research activities and will accompany research teams conducting field research, as individual projects require.


  • Bachelors and/or Master’s degree demonstrating significant coursework and a high level of academic achievement (GPAs of 3.5 and above) in computer science, computer engineering, operations research, engineering, or a related field. 
  • Experience and demonstrated accomplishments in functional or production-level software development and maintenance is essential.
  • Experience with the development and maintenance of common platform (e.g. Windows, Linux) software written in one or more modern programming languages (C/C++, Python, Java, Bash, etc.) is required.
  • 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 required.
  • Ability to communicate complex concepts simply and clearly in written and spoken contexts is required.
  • Experience with the development of software user interfaces is desired.
  • Demonstrated ability to assemble and organize 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) is desired.
  • Experience in optimization, modeling and simulation, and applied mathematics is desired.
  • Experience developing and implementing software in high performance computing (HPC) environments is desired.
  • Prior work experience in the military, government, or non-governmental organizations performing national security related work is a plus.
  • The ability and willingness to travel is required.
  • In order to be considered, please submit a cover letter outlining interest in the position, and how skill set, experiences and education align with the defined responsibilities. At later stages of the candidate evaluation process, candidates will be required to submit a copy of their college and graduate transcripts (unofficial transcripts will suffice), 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.