Company Name:

Institute for Defense Analyses


Alexandria, Virginia

Approximate Salary:

Not Specified

Job Category:


Work Setting:


Position Type:

Full Time

Required Education:


Date Posted:

June 4, 2019

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Research Analyst – Social/Behavioral Science Research and Organizational Culture


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 to contribute to analyses principally focused on socio-cultural aspects of human capital strategy and organizational effectiveness.


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.
  • Develop and deploy data collection strategies including those involving human subjects, various survey methods, interview protocols, focus groups, and literature reviews.
  • Collect or oversee the collection of data.
  • Implement and apply software appropriate to the research problem (including various approaches to text analytics, and analysis of survey or interview-based data).
  • Interact with research subjects, including subject matter experts, in the research process.
  • Communicate effectively with research sponsors in designing studies and disseminating results.
  • Direct more junior research associates and associates in the research process.

Some research tasks will be narrowly focused, while others will address a broader spectrum of concerns. Research Analysts contributing to SFRD’s human capital programs of work will apply social and behavioral science theory, conceptual models, and qualitative and quantitative methods to problems associated with the contribution of culture, climate, opinions, attitudes and other socio-economic factors to the effectiveness of national security policies, programs, operations and organizations. Research Analysts are expected to demonstrate proficiency in rigorous and structured analytic techniques and to be familiar with modern computer applications appropriate to the individual’s academic discipline. 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 rigorous 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).


  • Requires a PhD in a Social/Behavioral Science field (e.g., Psychology; Sociology; Organizational Behavior; Market Research; Public Health; Anthropology; Political Science; Social or Cultural History; Cultural Geography).
  • Requires a record of accomplishments and demonstrated research experience in the design, collection and analysis of socio-cultural, behavioral, or organizational data derived from surveys, interviews, focus groups, and other techniques suitable for discovery and analysis of socio-cultural factors in populations.
  • Requires experience with human subject research and IRB processes and procedures.
  • Requires the ability to communicate complex concepts simply and clearly in written and spoken contexts.
  • Prior work experience in or familiarity with the military, government, or nongovernmental organizations performing national security related work is strongly desired but not required
  • The ability and willingness to travel is desired.
  • At later stages in the process, applicants will be required to submit a writing sample that demonstrates the technical qualifications above and a copy of their transcripts for full consideration (transcripts only required for applicants less than 7 years post-degree; unofficial transcripts are acceptable).

U.S. Citizenship is required
Ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance is required
Equal Opportunity Employer

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