View job on Handshake


The Operational Evaluation Division (OED) has immediate openings for a Research Analyst with experience or interest in the assessment of Department of Defense weapon systems. The ultimate goal is to understand how these systems will perform in combat. The Department of Defense trusts OED’s researchers to provide independent factual analyses backed by technical expertise. The OED staff draws upon its scientific and operational experience to objectively evaluate major defense programs in the air, land, sea, space, and cyber domains. IDA takes great pride in the rigor, quality, and timeliness of its analyses, which are produced in an atmosphere that encourages independent thinking and objective results. Work at IDA is conducted in a team environment and often involves a multi-disciplinary approach.  


OED develops test concepts, observe tests in the field, analyze data, write reports, publish research papers, and present results to senior government decision-makers. The Analyst will support and advise mid and senior-level Department of Defense personnel regarding operational test and evaluation of major acquisition programs and fielded systems. The position involves analyzing the design, execution, and results of operational and live-fire testing along with related activities to provide independent assessments to the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation. Close interaction with officials responsible for the planning, development, and execution of such assessments and operational tests is required. Travel is required.


  • A minimum of a PhD in Science, Technology and Math disciplines, such as Applied Mathematics, Astrophysics, Computer Science, Information Technology, Chemistry, Engineering (Aeronautical, Aerospace, Mechanical or Systems), Material Science, or Physics.
  • Previous military service or Department of Defense test and evaluation and/or acquisition experience is desirable, but not required.
  • Candidates must have strong computational and data analysis skills.
  • Travel is required.
  • Successful completion of a criminal background check is required.
  • Candidates are highly encouraged to submit a cover letter outlining their interests, skill set, experiences, and education. 

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.

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.