Research Associate Chemical, Biological, Radiological, & Nuclear Defense (Cbrn) Defense And Emergency Management

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Posted by: Institute for Defense Analyses on Mar 25, 2020


Alexandria , VA

Job Description:


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) at IDA performs integrated, interdisciplinary studies of plans and policies related to national security strategy and homeland security and defense. The Division assists the U.S. and allied nations in analyses to provide defensive capabilities (which could be technical, medical, and/or procedural) against state or terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction against US military forces or civilians. Our analyses are highly technical and involve considerable modeling and simulation. 

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, providing support to 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. This work will require a willingness to learn the essentials of CBRN phenomenology and to execute quantitative analyses of the highest caliber.


Research Associates are junior to mid-level researchers, usually working under the guidance and direction of senior IDA researchers. 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, sound judgment, and creativity in applying quantitative analysis methods to complex technical problems. This position requires operational military experience, preferably in CBRN, to provide greater analytical appreciation for and perspective in austere, contested environments.

A Bachelor’s degree is required. Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in operations research, applied mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, data science, engineering, or related fields. Military experience is required. At least four years of service as a commissioned officer. Recent experience (within the last 4 years) working with programming languages used in research (e.g., Python, R, C++, MATLAB, Mathematica, etc.) is required. Ability to identify information sources and assemble/organize large data sets is preferred. Operational military experience that provides greater analytical appreciation for and perspective in austere, contested environments is required. Candidates must demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills. Candidates must be prepared to provide a writing sample and transcript upon request (unofficial transcripts are acceptable). Candidates must be prepared to provide, upon request, three references capable of attesting to the candidate’s skills in relation to the job qualifications described above. Candidates with a doctoral degree will not be considered for this position.

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

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About Institute for Defense Analyses

IDA is the Institute for Defense Analyses, a not-for-profit corporation that operates three Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) in the public interest: the Systems and Analyses Center, the Science and Technology Policy Institute, and the Center for Communications and Computing. IDA exists to promote national security, preserve the public welfare, and advance scientific learning by analyzing, evaluating, and reporting on matters of interest to the United States Government.

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