View job on Handshake


The Institute for Defense Analyses is a federally funded research and development center that supports the Department of Defense and other federal agencies with rigorous and objective analysis of national security issues. The Strategy, Forces and Resources Division (SFRD) performs interdisciplinary analyses of plans and policies related to national security strategy, including:

  • Structure and capabilities of U.S., allied, and adversary forces
  • Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense
  • Organizational efficiency and management issues
  • Economic and human capital challenges
  • U.S. industrial base and resource management 

The Strategy, Forces and Resources Division has an opening for a Research Associate (RA) to assist with quantitative analyses and assessments of the defense industrial base and the broader US economy. 


Research Associates (RAs) directly contribute to IDA research efforts as part of interdisciplinary research teams led by IDA Research Staff Members. RAs perform information gathering; data cleaning, formatting, and manipulation; modeling, simulation, and analysis; and drafting of reports and presentations. RAs are expected to have demonstrated technical and analytic proficiency and be familiar with scientific and data processing software and techniques. RAs must communicate clearly and contribute effectively to team problem solving. As IDA’s research questions cover a wide range of topics, RAs must be adaptable and self-motivated, and exercise independent thought, sound judgment, conscientiousness, and creativity in analyzing complex policy problems. IDA research teams may travel to US government or US security partner field locations. RAs assist in the planning and coordination of these field research activities and will accompany research teams conducting field research, as individual projects require.


  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and 2-4 years work experience, or Master’s degree in economics including significant coursework in quantitative analysis disciplines (mathematics, statistics, econometrics, macroeconomic modeling, empirical microeconomics).
  • Demonstrated research excellence and a strong interest in applied research, and the ability to assemble and organize large, complex data sets for subsequent quantitative analyses. 
  • Experience in collecting, synthesizing, and analyzing economic, statistical, and financial data, to include data and reports on business operations, finances and financial statements, supply chains, and production processes.
  • The ability to communicate complex concepts simply and clearly in written and spoken contexts.
  • The ability and willingness to travel.
  • Experience employing macroeconomic simulation and forecasting and input-output models in assessments of macro-economic conditions, industry demands, and trade flows is desired.
  • Experience programming in high-level computer languages (e.g. C, C++, Python, Fortran, Java) to support technical analyses, modeling, and simulation is desired.
  • Prior work experience in the military, government, or non-governmental organizations performing national security related work is a plus. 

Successful completion of a criminal background check is 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.