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The Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) is a Federally-Funded Research and Development Center supporting the Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies. IDA’s mission is to provide objective analyses of national security issues and related national challenges, particularly those requiring extraordinary scientific and technical expertise. IDA takes great pride in the high caliber and timeliness of its analyses, which are produced in an atmosphere that encourages collaboration, independent thinking, and objective results.


IDA is seeking an Operations Research Analyst to join the Research Staff of the Cost Analysis and Research Division (CARD). An ideal candidate will enjoy working with and leading diverse project teams and using a variety of analytic techniques to tackle an ever changing set of challenging questions related to government policy and our national defense.

The Cost Analysis and Research Division (CARD) at IDA engages in both traditional cost analysis and applied research on a broad range of topics involving resource allocation, forecasting, econometrics, and systems modeling. CARD researchers perform a wide variety of quantitative analyses that clearly illuminate the resource and outcome consequences of government decisions, policies, and actions. As studies often require a multi-disciplinary approach, CARD maintains a highly educated and diverse research staff with advanced degrees in many quantitative fields, including operations research, engineering, statistics, economics, mathematics, and the natural sciences.


  • A Ph.D. in Operations Research, Systems Engineering, Applied Mathematics (or a similar field), or an M.S. degree with 8+ years of experience is required.
  • Demonstrated strong communications skills are essential.
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and as part of small project teams is vital.
  • Strong quantitative skills are critical, including the ability to apply advanced analytical techniques such as optimization, data mining, machine learning, statistical analysis, and mathematical modeling.
  • Experience working with data, including data collection, normalization, analysis, and visualization is highly desirable.
  • Skills working with programming languages (e.g., R, Python) are a plus.
  • Successful completion of a criminal background check and the ability to obtain and maintain necessary security clearances.
  • US citizenship is required.

​​​​​​​Effective October 11, 2021, all current and newly hired IDA employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have been granted a medical or religious exemption. Individuals who accept employment with IDA will be required to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated or receive approval for a medical or religious accommodation prior to starting employment. ​​​​​​​

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.