Senior Research Scientist

  • Location
    Arlington, Virginia
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Feb 09

Position description

The Resources and Force Readiness (RFR) division is seeking a Sr. Research Scientist to join their Marine Corps and Defense Workforce Program team. Our ideal candidate will have (1) considerable relevant experience in military manpower, personnel, training, and education (i.e., policy and practices) and (2) demonstrated ability to operate and conduct research and analysis independently. 

Staff at this level will typically be leading projects of moderate to large size and/or complexity (to include developing study plans, oversee and/or conducting analysis, and communicating results both in writing and verbally), will be increasingly involved in business development efforts, and taking greater responsibility for managing client/sponsor relations.  Staff at this level will be operating as our more experienced analysts at CNA HQ or in the field.

The Resources and Force Readiness (RFR) division falls under our FFRDC business unit. Our primary clients are the Navy and Marine Corps. We also support OSD and other components of DOD. As our name implies, RFR focuses on a full range of resource issues. Six programs within RFR address problems in manpower, personnel, training and education; energy, infrastructure and the environment; cost, acquisition processes, material and supply readiness and logistics; and health analytics and medical readiness. 

CNA fosters an inclusive culture that values diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Our flexible and engaging work environment encourages iterative and creative collaboration at every stage of the problem solving process. Our employees are committed to helping clients develop effective solutions to better manage their programs through scientific, data-driven approaches. We are looking for creative and innovative individuals to help carry out our mission.



1. Independently produces analysis on a variety of issues that meets CNA’s quality standards.  Routinely leads our most complex projects with limited supervision.  Demonstrates ability to independently develop and apply creative and innovative analytic solutions to complex problems. Demonstrate the ability to synthesize analytic results into a broader context.  Routinely makes connections and synthesizes ideas across related studies, begins to make connections between seemingly unrelated projects. 

2. Established credentials as an expert in a specific field/research area.  Applies deep, specific institutional knowledge & expertise of primary clients/sponsors to lead training & mentoring of new staff, to support on-going work, and to lead development and shaping of work for multiple existing clients/sponsors.  Develops expanding knowledge of other clients/sponsors. 

3. Balances responsiveness to guidance with independent action; treats everyone respectfully, professionally and fairly.  Proactively identifies and acts on opportunities to collaborate.  Connects new staff to others working on similar topics.  Contributes to supervisor's initiatives and takes action to make vision a reality.  Recognizes and acknowledges contributions from subordinates.

4. Identifies above core, above ceiling, and other opportunities and assists in developing new business with existing clients/sponsors.  Assumes responsibility for managing relationships with existing clients/sponsors and develops relationships with potential clients/sponsors to help develop future business.  Occasionally takes the lead on developing competitive proposal ideas and managing proposal development. 

5. Takes the lead in engaging with clients/sponsors and related parties.  Some independent interaction at the more senior levels of client organizations.  Effectively represents CNA as an organization. 

6. Shapes/influences how our sponsors/clients think about issues.  Plays a supporting role in enhancing CNA's reputation as an organization.  Periodically delivers change.  Plays a key and active role in supporting efforts to enhance CNA's reputation via publishing and outreach activities.

7. Demonstrates ability to communicate complex, technical analytic results in a clear and concise fashion to sponsors/clients.  Can tailor analytic products, both briefings and reports, to suit particular audiences, and can effectively adapt to unexpected situations when communicating results of analysis.  Effectively communicates with & engages colleagues at all levels of the organization.

8. Works independently under general supervision from division management.  Can lead and manage multiple projects of low to medium size and/or complexity simultaneously or larger, more complex projects.  Responsible for follow-through with sponsors and synthesizing results of projects in a broader context.  

9. Demonstrates thoughtful attention to the needs of projects and project staff.  Exercises leadership in decision-making in the areas of budget planning and tracking, staffing, and delegating effectively. Serves as a role model and routinely takes a lead role in the mentoring and training of new staff individually or as a member of a project team.  Proactively seeks out opportunities to support corporate initiatives and to make CNA a better place to work

10. Performs other duties as assigned. 



1. Education: Minimum master’s degree in political science, international relations, economics or a relevant field or equivalent experience, PhD preferred. 

2. Experience: Typical minimum requirements 10+ years of experience in research and analysis, with a preference for expertise in military manpower, personnel, training, and education (i.e., policy and practice) and those who have applied quantitative or qualitative analytic techniques. 

3. Skills: 

  • Demonstrated ability to apply advanced principles, theories, and concepts to solve uniquely complex problems
  • Demonstrated ability to conceptualize and develop solutions, to formulate problem statements conducive to application of analytical methods, and to develop analysis methods and approaches
  • Ability to appropriately apply quantitative and/or qualitative analytic techniques to an analytic problem;
  • Ability to work in an unstructured environment
  • Demonstrated innovative and analytical thinking
  • Ability to use thoughtful attention to manage projects, project staff, contracts, funds, and resources
  • Ability to manage execution of a portfolio of projects in support of multiple clients
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise program and project operations by developing procedures, planning and directing all aspects of the effort, and monitoring and reporting progress
  • Demonstrated ability to interact, communicate, and advise at senior levels in both client organizations and the parent corporation
  • Excellent communications skills, both oral and written; experience in packaging analytic results in report format as well as in development and presentation of oral briefings.

4. Other: Ability to obtain and maintain an Active Secret Security Clearance.

Application instructions

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