Research Associate (Deterrence & Assurance) - SFRD

6 days left

Alexandria, Virginia
Oct 03, 2017
Oct 28, 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 analyses focused on nuclear deterrence and assurance.


Research Associates (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. RAs 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.


  • Master’s degree demonstrating a high level of academic achievement in an analytical social or political science discipline applicable to the study of deterrence and assurance theory and practice as applied to nuclear weapons policy and strategy.  The ideal candidate will have significant undergraduate or graduate coursework in mathematics, engineering, physics and related disciplines relevant to the understanding of weapons systems performance. 
  • Demonstrated ability to assemble and organize large, complex data sets for subsequent analyses using statistical techniques and/or techniques appropriate for data derived from surveys, interviews, focus groups, or other non-quantitative sources. 
  • Demonstrated ability to implement the models, macros, or analytical protocols typical of the applicant’s discipline.
  • Experience programming with high level languages, such as C/C++, Fortran, or Java is a plus.
  • Experience or coursework in Bayesian statistics, optimization, and/or machine learning is a plus.
  • Ability to communicate complex concepts simply and clearly in written and spoken contexts is essential.
  • 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.