Research Analyst – National Security Strategy and Risk
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, organizational efficiency and management issues, and human capital challenges.
The SFRD has an opening for a Research Analyst, preferably with significant work experience, to contribute to analyses principally focused on quantitative aspects of strategy and policy development and assessments, including but not limited to risk assessments.
Research Analysts are career research staff, typically with PhDs. Research Analysts engage with senior US government officials to develop research programs on government policy, budgetary, and program choices. After defining a research question, Research Analysts:
- Develop and implement research plans
- Select appropriate methodologies and analytic tools for research
- Collect or oversee the collection of data
- Implement and apply software appropriate to the research problem (including developing software code to operationalize statistical and/or dynamic models)
- Interact with research subjects, including subject matter experts, in the research process and with research sponsors in communicating results
- Direct more junior research assistants and associates 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. Research Analysts contributing to SFRD’s strategy and risk programs of work will apply advanced stochastic models, simulation techniques, and optimization methods to problems associated with homeland defense, infrastructure protection, and economic / industrial base security. Research Analysts are expected to demonstrate proficiency in rigorous quantitative analysis and to be familiar with modern computer science techniques, including programming in high level languages and applying computational and data processing software. Research Analysts 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 Research Analysts are expected to be adaptable and self-motivated, demonstrating a capacity for independent thought 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).
- Must have a PhD (or be a PhD candidate) in operations research, statistics, computer science, mathematics, engineering or a quantitative social science with a record of accomplishments and demonstrated research experience in constructing statistical models from real data, stochastic and deterministic modeling and simulation, optimization, numerical methods, regression analysis, algorithm development, data processing, and/or design of experiments.
- Requires demonstrated proficiency in conducting analyses featuring large, complex data sets and in producing and communicating statistical models using mathematical analysis software (e.g. STATA, MATLAB, R, or SAS).
- Requires experience with the development and maintenance of cross-platform (Windows and Linux) user interface software written in one or more modern programming languages (C/C++, Python, Java, Bash, etc.).
- Requires experience in developing and linking Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and in testing and deploying software, including the development of unit tests and regression testing.
- Requires demonstrated ability to produce clear, presentation-quality tables, graphs, charts, and diagrams depicting complex statistical relationships using statistical processing software, Excel, and Power Point.
- Applicants are REQUIRED to submit a copy of their transcripts for full consideration. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. Please attach these as separate documents from the resume.
- Requires the ability to communicate complex concepts simply and clearly in written and spoken contexts.
Desired knowledge and experience include:
- Prior experience in the military, government, or non-governmental organizations performing national security-related work.
- Experience developing and implementing software in high performance computing (HPC) environments.
- Experience in design of experiments, data elicitation protocols, and social surveys.
- Experience in designing and implementing machine learning algorithms for complex data analysis.