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Research Associate - Operational Evaluation Division - Full Time - Alexandria, VA

U.S. Citizenship is required.

IDA is a federally-funded research and development center that produces objective, high impact
analyses for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). IDA prides itself on the quality and timeliness of these analyses, and its multi-disciplinary problem-solving approach. The Operational Evaluation Division (OED) is the largest division at IDA. Its primary task is to support the DoD in evaluating how effective, suitable, and survivable weapons systems and other major defense systems are under operationally realistic conditions.
Currently, OED is seeking a Research Associate to work on a range of DoD and DHS projects, including those associated with artificial intelligence and homeland security, in Alexandria, VA.

The Research Associate will be involved in the planning and organization of materials associated with IDA’s support for the Department of Defense's Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO) and the technical review of homeland security and defense technologies. The Associate will work in a multi-disciplinary team to support and advise IDA senior leadership and support briefings to senior DoD and DHS officials. The Associate will also help develop management tools and perform data analysis in support of DoD projects. Duties include:
  • Conduct independent research into physical and cyber security for critical infrastructure, software development, emergency preparedness and response, and anti-terrorism education and training related topics.
  • Identify, collect, organize, clean, and document project data sources and conduct basic analysis using the data.
  • Help plan and organize sponsor engagements or other project events.
  • Keep track of project milestones using project management software.
  • Build documentation of best practices and solutions to common pain points.
  • Organize survey data, and, with supervision, conduct structured interviews.
  • Interact with Government or industry representatives on technical topics.
  • Travel may be required.

Required Qualifications
  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in the Physical Sciences, Applied Mathematics, Statistics, Engineering, Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, or Data Science, coupled with relevant work experience (via government, industry, fellowships, or internships).
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong data analysis skills.
  • Ability to work independently or in teams.
  • Expertise in survey methods and/or computer programming is desired.
  • Experience with one or more of the following statistical packages: JMP, R, SPSS, Matlab, SAS, or Python is desirable.
  • Candidates should submit a brief cover letter describing applicable interests, skill sets, and specific abilities (upload as one single document with resume/CV).
  • Successful completion of a background check is required. 

Why work at IDA?
  • Comprehensive benefits including diverse health insurance options, generous 11% contribution to retirement, parental leave, 20 days paid time off (which increases with tenure), and relocation reimbursement;
  • Mission-oriented work at a non-profit that supports and protects our warfighters; as a non-profit, IDA employees are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSFL);
  • Professional development including tuition reimbursement, internal and external trainings, and funding for researcher-pitched projects and publications;
  • A strong employee and corporate culture of work-life balance, including commitment to average 40-hour work weeks through flex time, partial telework options, and expectation of communication only during core business hours;
  • A brand-new facility located in Alexandria’s high-tech corridor in Potomac Yard; amenities include a cafeteria, grab-n-go café, gym, and close proximity to local dining and shopping;
  • Easy access to Potomac Yard Metro stop (opening 2023) and Potomac Yard DASH bus stop. Employer contributes $300/month (IRS max) to commuter benefits.

What are the next steps?
Complete the application and submit your resume/cover letter.
The interview process consists of three steps.
  • A short screening call with HR;
  • A 30 min – 60 min screening call with researchers; and
  • A full day interview with various researchers, HR and OED Director; includes giving a presentation on a research project.
Prior to the full day interview, you will be asked to provide:
  • Transcripts (unofficial accepted)
  • 3 contacts that are willing to write letters of recommendation
  • A writing sample
  • You will NOT be asked to do a take home / mock work assignment.

Ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance is required

IDA is an equal opportunity employer committed to providing a fair recruiting process and working environment free from discrimination. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. Click here to learn more about IDA's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.