The Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) has an immediate opening in the System Evaluation Division (SED) for a Research Staff Member with military leadership experience within any of the U.S. armed forces. The ideal candidate is an experienced military officer with a background in analysis and an eagerness to support the broad spectrum of research conducted in SED. The long-standing mission of SED is quantitative analysis and modeling of military systems and operations. Topics SED examines include performance of individual military or intelligence systems; effectiveness of various force mixes in a mission or campaign context; test and evaluation of systems in development; and the military utility of new concepts, technologies, or system architectures. IDA takes great pride in the high caliber and timeliness of its analyses, which are produced in a collegial atmosphere that encourages independent thinking, teamwork, and objective results. IDA provides an inclusive work environment and a comprehensive and competitive salary and benefits package. More information on the mission and research of the System Evaluation Division can be found on our webpage at https://www.ida.org/ida-ffrdcs/systems-and-analyses-center/system-evaluation-division
Research Staff Members are mid- to senior-level members of IDA’s career research staff, typically with an advanced technical degree, extensive research, practical, or operational experience. Research Staff Members are responsible for contributing to scientifically sound research and providing technical review for others’ research products. Topics IDA addresses are diverse and ever-changing. Research Staff Members are expected to be adaptable, self-motivated, and committed to life-long learning; capable of working independently or as a member of an interdisciplinary research team; and able to work multiple projects concurrently. Specific research-related activities expected of Research Staff Members include:
Develop and maintain relationships with potential sponsors and stakeholders in the national security community to identify emerging issues.
Engage effectively with sponsors to understand their issues and constraints, and develop responsive research plans.
Formulate research questions that address sponsors’ challenging and complex problems, and are informed by the broader context of national security.
Identify key factors of the issue under study, and create and execute appropriate quantitative analytic methodologies, including novel computational and model-based approaches.
Interact with government officials, military personnel, and other subject matter experts during the research process.
Analyze, evaluate, and integrate data and model results to develop strategic and actionable insights.
Prepare reports and presentations documenting findings, conclusions, and recommendations and effectively communicate the results of IDA’s analysis to sponsors and selected audiences.
Mentor and advise IDA research team members without military experience to ensure the tactical, operational, or strategic relevance of their analysis and findings.
Significant military leadership experience at the O5 level or above, preferably including operational command experience—successful completion of Senior-Service or Senior-Level Professional Military Education (e.g., a War College graduate) is desired.
Experience leading or conducting quantitative analysis, test and evaluation, or support for military acquisition programs, preferably with a strong technical component.
Strong written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills, particularly the ability to communicate technical information to technical and non-technical audiences.
Ability to guide execution of research, and mentor and supervise research team members—experience with project management and leading interdisciplinary research teams is desired.
A current SSBI and recently active TS/SCI clearance (within the last 6 months) is desired.
Successful completion of a criminal background check is required.
Travel (domestic or international) may be required.
Candidates must submit a writing sample and provide an oral presentation to demonstrate good written and oral communication skills.
Candidates must identify three references capable of attesting to the candidate’s skills and qualities relevant to the responsibilities of the position.
Candidates are encouraged to submit a cover letter outlining how their experience, education, and skill set align with the responsibilities of the position.
The Institute for Defense Analyses is a nonprofit organization that provides government agencies with high-quality, objective analyses of issues of national security. We provide a work environment that encourages rigorous, independent research on challenging and complex issues.
IDA embraces diversity and supports an inclusive work environment. Working here requires energy, commitment, flexibility, and teamwork. Whether you’re a graduate student ready to start your career, a professional looking for your next challenge, or a member of the military hoping to transition to the private sector while continuing to make a difference in the national security of your country, we offer exciting opportunities to learn and grow.