Institute for Defense Analyses

Position Title: Research Analyst - Computational Economist or Applied Mathematician
Position Type: Government or industry
Position Location: Alexandria, Virginia 22311, United States [map]
Application Deadline: 2021/03/25 11:59PMhelp popup (posted 2020/10/09, listed until 2021/04/09)
Position Description:    

*** the list date or deadline for this position has passed and new applications are no longer being accepted. ***


The Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) is an independent, non-profit, federally-funded research and development center that provides objective analyses to the Department of Defense and other federal government agencies. Researchers in IDA’s Human Capital Group (HCG) support senior defense leaders by applying knowledge and methods from economics, statistics, data science, psychology, and sociology to a broad range of national security policy issues. As needed, we apply proven tools to new problems and data, develop new models, and generate new theory.

Recent examples of our work: Training machine learning models to predict individual’s career events using a rich set of administrative personnel records Estimating causal effects of staffing levels on mission effectiveness Designing and conducting a multi-year personnel retention experiment impacting thousands of service members Designing a trial of alcohol market interventions for use on military bases to learn whether such intervention can prevent harmful behaviors associated with alcohol misuse Architecting a collaborative data-hosting analytic platform to facilitate timely and secure analysis of sensitive Department of Defense information assets across a diverse community of users Exploring alternative organizational structures and delivery methods for educating and training military medical personnel, in order to reduce costs and streamline management Identifying opportunities to transfer positions among active and reserve military personnel, federal civilians, and contractors in order to reduce costs and concentrate military personnel in more operational (vs. administrative) positions

HCG researchers work on a variety of projects. For each project, researchers are responsible for choosing and using the right tool, whether a familiar standby or a cutting-edge technique. When the right tool is new to us, we learn it. When the right tool doesn't yet exist, we create it (see

We are growing our team of quantitative researchers, in particular with skillsets in the area or structural and/or counterfactual analyses. Related sub-fields may include Industrial Organization, Economic Computation, or Macroeconomics. We take pride in the high caliber and timeliness of our analyses, our independent thinking, and our objective results. We value strong teamwork and communication skills.

Responsibilities: Conceptualize and write computational code for quantitative research Write quantitative research papers Create and give presentations of research methods and results Debate research methods with other experts Explain research methods, obstacles, and results to non-experts

Qualifications: Ph.D. in Economics, Applied Mathematics, Systems Engineering, Management Science, Operations Research, or a related field is required ​Prior experience with structural estimation, dynamic programming, computational economics, or analogous methods in domains such as applied math, management science, or engineering is strongly preferred Proficiency with Python, R, or Julia is required Demonstrated research excellence and a strong interest in applied research is required Ability to relocate to the Washington, DC area and work on-site at IDA's headquarters in Alexandria, VA (as needed) is required Experience with machine learning techniques and large data sets is preferred Experience in DoD or other branches of government is preferred Familiarity with panel (“multivariate time series”) data analysis is preferred

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, IDA will not attend the 2021 AEA meetings.

Application Materials Required:
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