Job Opening Description

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Postdoctoral Research Associate, Unconventional Weapons and Technology

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), headquartered at the University of Maryland, College Park, has an opening for a postdoctoral research associate (university rank: postdoctoral research associate) in the areas of decision science/operations research to join our Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division (UWT) to apply tools and methods in decision science/operations research to a variety of national security related applications. This is a 12-month fixed-term appointment (starting in summer/fall 2019) with the possibility of a renewal, contingent on performance and availability of funds. The successful candidate must have earned a PhD in the relevant field within the past five (5) years as of the beginning of the position at START. U.S. citizenship is required for this position.

Position Description:


START’s Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division (UWT) has a diverse array of ongoing research projects focused on addressing our nation’s counter weapons of mass destruction and improvised threat network (CWMDITN) challenges. UWT’s research contributes to our understanding of state and non-state actor behavior in the spaces of decision-making, emerging technology, improvised threat, and unconventional/conventional weapons use/choices from human and social systems perspectives. UWT is looking for a postdoctoral research associate who is well-versed in decision science/operations research to join the team to augment its methodological capabilities and knowledge base. The position is open with respect to academic disciplines within social sciences; mathematics; operations or systems engineering; or theoretical computer science; however, the candidate must have an understanding and research interests in the CWMDITN issue area(s). The ideal candidate for this position will demonstrate s/he can provide the conceptual architecture and perform empirical analyses on the various research efforts that fall within UWT’s research portfolio. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to various ongoing UWT projects with an emphasis on UWT’s Department of Defense sponsored research efforts.

Duties of the postdoctoral research associate will include, but not limited to:

  • Co-authorship of research deliverables
  • Assist with oversight of a small research team in conjunction with a project manager and/or principal investigator
  • Assist with research and/or database/codebook design

Required Qualifications:

  • A PhD within the last 5 years (or prior to employment) in a relevant social science, mathematics, operations or systems engineering, or theoretical computer science research or a related discipline
  • Demonstrated experience in systems modeling and analysis, optimization, or related areas such as multi-objective optimization, multi-criteria decision support, game theory, design of experiments, random variables, Monte Carlo analysis, simulation optimization, forecasting models, etc.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Flexibility to switch topic areas and tasks as the project requires
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to handle pressure and meet tight deliverable deadlines

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of approaches to model complex systems including uncertainty and sensitivity analysis
  • Demonstrated understanding and research interests in the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction and Improvised Threat Networks (CWMDITN) issue areas
  • Demonstrated knowledge of international and/or transnational conflict processes involving violent non‐state actors
  • Functional knowledge of commercial software, such as R, Python, Java, SQL, etc.
  • Experience in big-data processing and analyses
  • Record of publications in peer-reviewed journals or conference proceedings


Total scholarship for this position will be in the range of $60,000 – $70,000, depending on education and experience. Applications will be accepted until position is filled, with a best consideration date of Friday, May 31, 2019 and an anticipated start date at some point (to be negotiated with the successful candidate) in summer/fall 2019.

Please submit application materials by email with the subject line “START Postdoctoral Research Associate” to search coordinator, Dr. Thomas Guarrieri at [email protected].

All applications must include:

  • A cover letter
  • CV/resume with contact information for three references
  • 2-page research statement highlighting current interest(s) and future research trajectory
  • 5-page writing sample demonstrating methodological expertise(s)

The University of Maryland, College Park, actively subscribes to a policy of equal employment opportunity, and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant because of race, age, gender, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, national origin, or political affiliation. Minorities, women, and veterans are encouraged to apply.