6 days left

Alexandria, Virginia
Oct 02, 2017
Oct 28, 2017
Full Time


What will you get to work with?

Work at IDA is conducted in a team environment and often involves a multi-disciplinary approach with physicists, engineers, statisticians, economists, and other social scientists. Researchers work closely with and are in frequent contact with government sponsors. Consequently, strong communication skills are greatly valued.

What will you do in this role?

 Researchers support senior defense officials by applying economic theory to National Security policy and resource management issues. The work ranges from applying proven tools to new problems and data, to developing new models, to generating new theory.

What will you gain?

As an IDA economist, you will have extraordinary access to information. You will have the opportunity to use your education and expertise to make a meaningful impact that will be felt beyond a classroom, while being relieved of the race for tenure and the burden of a “publish or perish” environment. Recent examples of the influential work done at IDA include:

  • Development of an econometric model for forecasting the supply of recruits that highlights risks to Army recruiting and suggests policy improvements;

  • Assessments of the $50B/year DoD health-care program that suggest market-oriented reforms;

  • Enhancement of parametric models to forecast the costs of major weapon systems like the Joint Strike Fighter with an expected total program cost of more than $200B;

  • Development of metrics to measure the success of border-control initiatives;

  • Development of a stochastic model to analyze the ability of alternative military force structures to support an uncertain timing and severity of future conflicts;

  • Hedonic analysis to correct for quality differences in calculating price indices for fighter aircraft;

  • Examination of how to select a discount rate for calculating lump-sum payments as part of the military retirement package.

Who are we looking for?

IDA has openings for highly qualified PhD economists to join its growing team, specifically in applied economics (including labor economics, economics of education, health economics, public economics, industrial organization, regional economics, resource economics, and applied econometrics). We will consider job market candidates preparing to graduate, recent graduates, and mid-career individuals.

What will you need?

  • Demonstrated research excellence and a strong interest in applied research.

  • Demonstrated superior skill in quantitative, econometric, statistical, or computational methods.

  • Experience with machine learning techniques and large data sets is a plus.

  • Ability to make written and oral presentations to audiences at various levels of seniority and with wide-ranging levels of subject-matter expertise.

  • US Citizenship is required.

  • If selected, you must pass a security investigation and meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information.

Who are we?

The Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) is a non-profit corporation supporting the Department of Defense and other federal government agencies with applied economics and multi-disciplinary research. IDA operates three Federally Funded Research and Development Centers supporting federal decision making – two serving the Department of Defense and one serving the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President of the United States.  IDA assists the United States Government in addressing important national security issues, particularly those requiring scientific and technical expertise. IDA takes great pride in the high caliber and timeliness of its analyses, which are produced in an atmosphere that encourages independent thinking and objective results. 

How to apply:

Interested candidates must follow a 2-step process to apply on-line to BOTH of the following:

1) Apply to this posting by uploading a resume/CV (with GPA) and cover letter;


2) Apply to the IDA job posting on JOE and submit a CV, three letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, and your job market paper (abstract and full copy are required). 


We plan to recruit at the AEA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia on January 5–7, 2018. You are encouraged to submit your application as early as possible to be considered for interviews there.