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Research Analyst - Statistician

Contribute your statistical expertise to a diverse project portfolio in the national defense domain. Make a tangible impact for mission-driven work with great pay and benefits.
This position is in IDA’s Operational Evaluation Division (OED), located in Alexandria, VA, just outside Washington, D.C. OED collaborates with civilian government agencies to independently test and evaluate military technology to provide our warfighters with safe, effective, and usable military systems and ensure taxpayer funds are used appropriately.

What is the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA)?
IDA, as a non-profit, is uniquely positioned to answer the most challenging U.S. security and science questions with objective and rigorous analysis leveraging extraordinary scientific, technical, and analytic expertise.

What does statistical research look like in this position?
  • Assist in the design, planning, and observation of operational tests (e.g., develop test designs leveraging experimental design principles, produce power calculations, travel to observe data collection process).
  • Analyze test data, which may include survey, reliability, performance, simulation, streaming sensor, or other types of data. 
  • Assist in the preparation of documents (e.g., briefings and reports on the design, conduct, and findings of operational tests, including graphs that clearly present findings from analyses).
  • Communicate effectively to mid- and senior-level civilian and military officials regarding test design methods and findings from operational tests to the government sponsor in a clear, professional manner.
  • Develop new statistical methods to improve the DoD’s approach to experimental design, validation of models and simulations, and data analysis for the unique challenges of operational testing major acquisition systems, emerging technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence and autonomous systems), and data quality (e.g., small sample sizes, safety constraints, operational realism).
  • Develop materials to educate the DoD’s test community statistical design and analysis.
  • Possibly contribute to the development of policies, strategies, or frameworks surrounding the planning and execution of test and evaluation in DoD.

What qualifications and skillsets do you need?
  • A Doctoral degree in Statistics, Data Science, or another data-centric discipline; or a Master’s degree with 8 years of experience.
  • Eagerness to collaborate on research as part of a team. Willingness to speak publicly on your work and defend research to a skeptical audience.
  • Ability to advise others on correct statistical design and analysis.
  • Willingness to travel (5-10% time).
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance.
  • Successful completion of a background check is required.

Nice to have:
  • Military or civilian DoD acquisition or test experience.
  • Familiarity with experimental design, survival or reliability analysis, survey design.
  • Experience with R statistical programming language.

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 Fall 2022) and Potomac Yard DASH bus stop. Employer contributes $280/month (IRS max) to commuter benefits.
What are the next steps?
  • Complete the application and submit your resume.
  • 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 an hour 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