Research Associate - China

The Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) is a federally funded research and development center that supports the Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies with rigorous and objective analysis of national security issues.

This position is in the Intelligence Analyses Division (IAD). IAD delivers objective solutions to the toughest intelligence problems facing the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community. IAD’s work ranging from cross-cutting assessments of the intelligence ecosystem, to comprehensive intelligence and security analyses, to deep technical reviews of classified programs and systems. Additionally, IAD applies extraordinary knowledge focused on three geostrategic regions: China; Russia; and Africa. Housed in a state-of-the-art sensitive compartmented information facility, IAD researchers have access to information technology systems and data needed to conduct the sensitive work of IAD sponsors.

IDA is seeking candidates for a position as a Research Associate with strong proficiency in China in the Intelligence Analysis Division. This role supports IDA’s leading edge in tackling some of the most challenging China-related questions and will support projects for the DoD and the Intelligence Community (IC). Primary work will be conducted at the IDA headquarters in Alexandria, VA in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility.

Research Associates are self-starting early to mid-career professionals, which exhibit strong research, analysis, and writing skills. They are expected to support the team which develops the broader context for problems facing senior executives and military officials across the Federal government. Some China- related research projects will be narrowly focused, while others will address a broader spectrum of concerns. Research Associates primarily work collaboratively within interdisciplinary research teams led by substantive experts in the development and completion of written and oral deliverables for sponsoring organizations. They must demonstrate strong interpersonal communications skills and contribute effectively to a team approach to problem solving.

– Candidates must have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with a focus on China. Expertise in assessing implications of China’s contemporary goals and strategies on U.S. interests is highly desired.
– Candidates must have experience working on contemporary China-related issues and demonstrated knowledge of China’s political system, foreign policy, defense policy and military theory and systems, and/or national security strategies.
– Candidates must possess a working proficiency in reading Mandarin Chinese.
– Candidates must possess strong research and analytical skills and the ability to fuse all-source information into clear and concise conclusions and recommendations. Candidates will be asked to provide a writing sample demonstrating research and writing skills.
– Candidates are required to have an active Top Secret clearance and recent SCI Access (within the last six months/current SSBI). Candidates who do not meet this requirement will not be considered.
– Strong interpersonal, and oral and written communication skills are required. Demonstrated capacity for independent thought and sound judgment is required. Ability to contribute effectively to a team approach to problem solving is required.
– Candidates with familiarity with the U.S. national security establishment and the intelligence community, as well as strong all-source intelligence analysis skills, are highly desired.

About IDA
The Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) is a private, nonprofit corporation headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC. IDA’s mission is to answer the most challenging U.S. security and science policy questions with objective analysis leveraging extraordinary scientific, technical, and analytic expertise.

IDA embraces diversity and supports an inclusive work environment. Working here requires energy, commitment, flexibility, and teamwork. Whether you’re a graduate student ready to start your career, a professional looking for your next challenge, or a member of the military hoping to transition to the private sector while continuing to make a difference in the national security of your country, we offer exciting opportunities to learn and grow.

Sponsors rely on IDA for dispassionate, fact-based, and scientifically rigorous research and advice performed in a research environment free of commercial or shareholder interests where objectivity and the public interest are foremost. The work produced by IDA is characterized by unquestioned objectivity and high quality. Because of our unique relationship with our U.S. Government sponsors, IDA enjoys unusual access to classified government information and sensitive corporate proprietary information.

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, 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 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.
– Easy access to local dining and shopping, the Potomac Yard Metro stop (opening May 2023), and the Potomac Yard DASH bus stop. Employer contributes $300/month (IRS max) to commuter benefits.

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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