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Research Analyst - Land Warfare Systems


The Operational Evaluation Division (OED) has an immediate career opening for an Analyst supporting the Department of Defense's assessments of land warfare-based combat vehicle survivability, personal protective equipment, and weapon and munitions lethality in support of live fire test and evaluation.  The Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) is a non-profit corporation that operates three federally funded research and development centers to provide objective analyses of national security issues, particularly those requiring scientific and technical expertise.  IDA research staff members conduct multi-disciplinary analyses in an environment that encourages rigorous, independent research on challenging and complex issues.  IDA provides an inclusive work environment and a comprehensive, competitive salary and benefits package.


The Live Fire group within OED supports and advises DoD officials regarding the live fire test and evaluation of Major Defense Acquisition Programs.  The Analyst will evaluate all aspects of ground vehicle survivability, which include withstanding hits to the vehicle (vulnerability), protecting crew and occupants (force protection), and detecting and avoiding threats (susceptibility).  Additionally, the Analyst will evaluate end to end lethality of weapons and munitions, and the performance of personal protective equipment.  The Analyst will support test planning, observe realistic survivability and lethality testing, conduct independent analyses of test data, develop findings and recommendations, and provide written reports to the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  The Analyst will work independently and in small teams using their strong scientific and analytical skills.  The position involves close interaction with mid- and senior-level civilian and military officials responsible for the planning, development, and execution of live fire tests.  Work to be performed in Alexandria, Virginia with limited telework.  Travel is required.

Required Qualifications

  • Candidates must have one of the following education/experience combinations:
    • A Doctoral degree in Material Science, Applied Mathematics, Engineering (Mechanical, Nuclear, Chemical, Other), Physics or a quantitative interdisciplinary program that encompasses one of these areas of focus coupled with relevant work experience (via government, industry, fellowships, or internships); OR
    • A Master’s degree in Material Science, Applied Mathematics, Engineering (Mechanical, Nuclear, Chemical, Other), Physics, Operations Research, National Security, or a quantitative interdisciplinary program that encompasses one of these areas of focus discipline coupled with 8+ years’ experience
  • Must have experience with qualitative or quantitative data analysis.
  • Military operations or DOD-level test and evaluation experience a plus.
  • Candidates selected will be subject to a security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information as required.
  • Candidates must successfully complete a background check

Why work at IDA?

  • Comprehensive benefits including diverse health insurance options, generous 11% contribution to retirement, maternity/paternity leave, 20 days paid time off, 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;
  • Organization-wide commitment to diversity in the workplace and providing a working environment free from discrimination, by fostering a culture of active citizenship and implementing data-driven processes of continuous feedback and learning.
  • Flat corporate structure that encourages collaboration and ability to choose your own projects.
  • 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; and
  • Easy access to Potomac Yard Metro stop 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.
  • The application process consists of three interviews.
    1. A short screening call with HR;
    2. A 30 min – 60 min screening call with researchers; and
    3. Full day interview with various researchers and staff; includes giving an hour presentation on a research project.
  • Prior to the full day interview, you will be asked to provide:
    1. Transcripts (unofficial accepted);
    2. 3 letters of recommendation; and
    3. A writing sample.


U.S. Citizenship is required

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.

IDA is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. If, because of a medical condition or disability, you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process or in order to perform the essential functions of a position, please send an email to and let us know the nature of your request and contact information.