Research Associate - CBRN –Quantitative Analyses and Modeling

6 days left

Alexandria, Virginia
Oct 12, 2017
Oct 28, 2017
Analyst, Research
Full Time


The Institute for Defense Analyses is a federally funded research and development center supporting the Department of Defense 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 (CBRN); organizational efficiency and management issues; and human capital challenges. 

SFRD has an opening for a Research Associate (RA) to support a portfolio of studies on CBRN defense. These studies examine a variety of issues including the risks posed by threats identified by the intelligence community, quantifying the potential CBRN environment that might challenge both US military forces and civilians, human physiological response to CBRN agents and effects, developing scenarios and vignettes to support exercises, modeling infectious disease spread, and assessing defensive technologies.  The work is performed by interdisciplinary teams and while some tasks will be narrowly focused, others will address a broader spectrum of concerns.  Our analyses are highly technical and involve considerable modeling and simulation.  This work will require a willingness to learn the essentials of CBRN phenomenology and to execute quantitative analyses of the highest caliber.


RAs are junior members of the full-time professional staff working under the guidance and direction of IDA Research Staff Members (RSMs).  In response to assignments provided by IDA RSMs, RAs contribute to research teams with information gathering; modeling and simulation; data manipulation, analysis and presentation; and drafting of reports and briefings.  Accordingly, RAs are expected to have demonstrated proficiency in technical areas and to be familiar with computer languages and computational and data processing software. 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 and sound judgment, and creativity in applying quantitative analysis methods to complex technical problems.


  • A Bachelor’s degree is required. Because of the breadth of our analyses, acceptable degrees include Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Engineering, Operations Research, Biology, Chemistry, and Computer Science.
  • A Master’s degree in a relevant scientific area is preferred.
  • Recent experience (within the last 3 years) working with programming languages used in research (e.g., Python, R, C++, MATLAB, Mathematica, etc.) is required.
  • Relevant work in an academic, corporate, or government environment (e.g., via work/study programs, internships, or teaching or research assistantships) is required.
  • Ability to identify information sources and assemble/organize large data sets is preferred.
  • Candidates must demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Transcripts and a writing sample will be required components of the interview process (unofficial transcripts will be acceptable). A minimum GPA of 3.5 is required for undergraduate coursework, and a minimum GPA of 3.75 is required for graduate coursework.
  • Candidates with a doctoral degree will not be considered for this position.
  • US Citizenship is required.
  • Applicants selected will be subject to a security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information.