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The DFRLab is seeking to hire an experienced OSINT security researcher to play a key role in our extensive research portfolio across Eurasia and globally. Over the last six years, DFRLab has built a foundational body of investigations in this space, including documenting human rights violations in the war in Ukraine, identifying Russian military activity more broadly, and tracking and documenting the global presence of private military companies. This role will contribute to producing DFRLab investigations by applying open- source research methods to analyze conflict zones. The position will primarily focus on Russia’s war against Ukraine but will also support broader security research where necessary.

As Research Associate, you will monitor regional information environments to produce public reporting focusing on ongoing conflicts across the region. You will work closely with DFRLab’s editorial and research teams, as well as experts in the wider Atlantic Council, to support your day-to-day activities. In addition to research, you will help represent the DFRLab’s work through engagements with international partners and media, as well as teaching security-focused OSINT research skills to the growing international community of “digital sherlocks” working around the world.

We are currently hiring for an immediate start-date. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will be accepted until a suitable candidate has been selected. While the below qualifications serve as a preferred baseline, the DFRLab is open to tailoring the position within reason to match the expertise of promising candidates.

For the writing sample portion of the application, please submit examples of relevant open-source research you have conducted.

Job responsibilities

  • Conduct ongoing open-source security monitoring, focusing primarily on Russia’s past and present aggression toward Ukraine;
  • Produce regular open-source security investigations on developments across conflict environments in collaboration with DFRLab’s global research team;
  • Act as liaison with current and potential partners in the OSINT security research community;
  • Conduct OSINT security research training with our network of “digital sherlocks” from around the world;
  • Conduct briefings for government, industry, and civil society on research outcomes;
  • Identify additional research avenues and support broader reporting, as needed.


  • Minimum of three years of relevant work experience;
  • Expertise in open-source security research techniques, including satellite imagery analysis, identifying weapon systems, geolocation techniques, and social media monitoring;
  • Professional English language fluency;
  • Capability to produce writing outputs for a variety of audiences, including short-form and long- form research projects, and meet deadlines;
  • Familiarity with the regional political and social landscape and popular communication channels;
  • Be an entrepreneurial and detail-oriented self-starter and have the ability to work in a fast-paced environment;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including an ability to work well in a multi-national team and deal effectively with individuals ranging from interns to top representatives in government and the private sector;
  • Fluency in Russian strongly preferred; familiarity with Ukrainian and other regional languages also desirable;
  • Candidates with journalistic or research backgrounds are preferred.