Research Analyst - Economist
Advertiser: Institute for Defense Analyses
Field(s) of specialization: Any field
Position type(s): Other nonacademic
Location of job: 730 East Glebe Road, Alexandria, VA, 22305, United States
Degree required: Doctorate
Job start date: Flexible
Job duration: Continuing/permanent
Application deadline: 24 Mar 2024 midnight UTC (no longer accepting applications)
Current search status: Reviewing applications
Posting end date: 24 Mar 2024
Ad text:


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. Economists at IDA support senior defense leaders by applying economic theory and analytic methods to issues of National Security policy and resource management. 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 individuals’ career events using a rich set of administrative personnel records
  • Estimating causal effects of staffing levels and characteristics on mission effectiveness
  • Designing a personnel retention experiment impacting thousands of service members
  • Designing a trial of alcohol market interventions for use on military bases to learn whether such interventions 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
  • Constructing mechanisms for the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to care for each other’s patients and to better transfer funding across departments
  • 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

Who will you get to work with?

Work at IDA is conducted in a collaborative environment with multi-disciplinary teams. Researchers work closely with and are in frequent contact with government sponsors. Consequently, we value strong communication skills.

What will you gain?

As an IDA economist, you will have unique access to sensitive and proprietary data to address questions of National Security. You will have the opportunity to use your expertise to make a meaningful impact. Our work regularly informs defense policy and resource management decisions. We take pride in the high caliber and timeliness of our analyses, our independent thinking, and our objective results.


  • Ph.D. in Economics or related discipline
  • Demonstrated research excellence and a strong interest in applied research
  • Demonstrated superior skills in quantitative, econometric, statistical, or computational methods
  • U.S. Citizenship is required
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance is required.
  • We will consider job market candidates preparing to graduate, recent graduates, and mid-career individuals.

Why work at IDA?

  • Competitive salary and benefits, including diverse health insurance options, generous 11% contribution to retirement, 6 weeks 100% paid parental leave, 20 days paid time off plus 11 Federal holidays, and relocation reimbursement.
  • Mission-oriented work at a non-profit that supports and protects our Nation’s warfighters; as a non-profit, IDA employees are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSFL)
  • Organization-wide commitment to diversity in the workplace and providing a working environment free from discrimination, by fostering a culture of active citizenship and implementing data-driven processes of continuous feedback and learning
  • 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, telework options, and expectation of communication only during core business hours
  • Located near Washington, D.C., in Alexandria’s high-tech corridor, IDA’s brand-new Potomac Yard facility is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, workspaces, and amenities, including a cafeteria, grab-n-go cafe, and gym

Application Process

Interested candidates must follow a 2-step process and apply on-line to BOTH of the following:

1) Apply at by uploading a CV and cover letter


2) Submit a CV, three letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, and your job market paper (or equivalent items) with your application to JOE,

We will be conducting first-round interviews virtually.

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.

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