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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. 


The Operational Evaluation Division (OED) has an immediate career opening for an Analyst supporting the Department of Defense’s assessments of aircraft combat survivability 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 fixed and rotary wing aircraft survivability, which include withstanding hits to the aircraft (vulnerability), protecting crew and passengers (force protection), and detecting and avoiding threats (susceptibility). Additionally, the Analyst will evaluate the lethality of weapons and munitions launched towards or from aircraft. The Analyst will support test planning, observe realistic survivability and lethality testing, conduct independent in-depth analyses of test result, and provide written assessments 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 technical skills, particularly in the area of quantitative analysis. 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.  

Required Qualifications

  • Candidates must have one of the following education/experience combinations:
  • A Doctoral degree in Engineering (Aeronautical, Aerospace, Mechanical, or Systems), Material Science, Applied Mathematics, 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 Engineering (Aeronautical, Aerospace, Mechanical, or Systems), Material Science, Applied Mathematics, 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 compiling and analyzing quantitative data.
  • Candidates must submit writing samples and provide an oral presentation to demonstrate good written and oral communication skills.
  • Travel is required. 
  • Experience in threat systems evaluation, military flight operations, live fire testing, aircraft safety, aircraft survivability modeling and simulation is a plus.
  • Successful completion of a background check is required.
  • Candidates selected will be subject to a security investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information as required.

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.