Research Scientist - Data Science Division
The Data Science Division (DSD) is part of the Center for Naval Analyses. The mission of the DSD is to develop innovative, cutting-edge analytics that are relevant, impactful, and actionable.
The DSD provides data science expertise and support to the Department of the Navy and Department of Defense. The division collaborates with our sponsors to transform their operations by making data and analytics an integral part of their decision-making. As part of the Navy’s only dedicated FFRDC, we use our analytic skills and our knowledge of naval operations to help create a competitive advantage for the Navy. That advantage has never been more critical than it is today, with great power competition challenging the Navy in several concurrent theaters and across all warfighting domains.
The division has full time and part time analysts with advanced degrees in data science, operations research, statistics, economics, computer science, physics, mathematics, engineering, chemistry, and other technical disciplines. The Data Science Division has a large set of core technical competencies, including:
- Developing supervised and unsupervised machine learning models, such as artificial neural networks, random forests, and clustering, to predict outcomes and assist decision-makers
- Leveraging high performance computing to obtain insights from big data
- Developing custom analytical simulations using techniques such as continuous time, discrete event, and Monte Carlo approaches to approximate existing systems to quantify the effects of changes to improve those systems
- Building and deploying dashboards and dynamic decision support tools in the Navy’s cloud environments
- Identifying optimal solutions using mathematical programming techniques such as mixed integer programming, network analysis, and linear/non-linear programming.
- Leading and facilitating human centered design workshops to ensure data-driven solutions meet stakeholder requirements and preferences
The DSD develops models and analytics to support Navy problems across all Navy domains, including aviation, surface warfare, undersea warfare, cyber, logistics, readiness, force generation, sustainment, acquisition, and cost modeling. DSD analysts support decision-makers by identifying key drivers of both successful and poor performance to improve Navy and Marine Corps outcomes. The division currently supports the Navy’s Performance-to-Plan forum, which provides senior Navy leadership forward‑looking performance forecasts, which are foundational to articulating Navy progress toward readiness and capability goals. Projects generally involve large datasets and complex questions that demand advanced coding skills as well as statistical and modelling techniques. The division leverages agile project management techniques to support faster cycle times to insights and to develop analytic minimum viable products.
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.
Represents level for those with some relevant experience and increasing ability to operate independently. Staff at this level will typically be leading smaller and/or less complex projects, playing a critical role as a team member on projects with specific technical/scientific expertise, or operating as a field rep. Consistently produces high quality analysis.
JOB DESCRIPTION AND/OR DUTIES
1. Routinely produces analysis on structured and unstructured problems that meets CNA’s quality standards with limited direction and general supervision. Demonstrates ability to develop and apply creative and innovative analytic solutions to complex problems with assistance/support from more senior staff. Shows the ability to synthesize analytic results into a broader context. Can lead complex analytic projects with supervision. Begins to make connections and synthesize ideas across multiple, related studies.
2. Develops and maintains deep, specific institutional knowledge and expertise of primary clients/sponsors; their culture, organization, and issues. Uses that knowledge to support training & mentoring of new staff, to support on-going work, and to support development and shaping of new work for existing clients/ sponsors.
3. Balances responsiveness to guidance with independent action. Contributes productively and harmoniously to the work of others; treats everyone respectfully, professionally and fairly. Independently identifies opportunities for collaboration within team, division, and operating unit. Supports supervisor's initiatives and helps make vision a reality. Recognizes and acknowledges contributions from subordinates.
4. Supports business development efforts and/or marketing activities by interacting with CNA managers and current clients/sponsors on securing follow on work (e.g., small grants, or above core projects), expanding or developing new ideas for future projects, and occasionally working with potential clients/sponsors on developing new project ideas. Occasionally serves as internal reviewer of technical proposals.
5. Interacts regularly and independently with clients/sponsors and related parties. Typical interactions are at the "peer equivalent" level, but some level of interaction at senior level. Can effectively represent CNA as an organization.
6. Influences decisions by sponsors/ clients; provide sponsors/clients with implementable recommendations. Occasionally supports efforts to enhance CNA's reputation via publishing and outreach activities.
7. Demonstrates strong and effective communications skills, to include ability to summarize and synthesize larger pieces of work into effective executive summaries/executive briefings. Can effectively present work to more senior and larger audiences. Effectively communicates with & engages colleagues at all levels of the organization.
8. Works under limited direction and general supervision from division management. Can lead projects of low to medium size and/or complexity, as well as significant tasks on large or more complex projects. Effectively manages all aspects of assigned projects, to include delivery of high-quality analytic products on-time, and on-budget.
9. Plays a supporting role in the mentoring and training of new staff individually or as a member of a project team. Regularly demonstrates initiative in pursuing improvements in the quality of our projects and analytic products. Participates in corporate initiatives when asked to do so, and makes contributions to initiatives focused on making CNA a better place to work.
10. Performs other duties as assigned.
1. Education: Minimum Master’s degree in Data Science, Programming, Statistic or a relevant field or equivalent experience, PhD preferred.
2. Experience: Typical minimum requirements 5+ years of experience in research and analysis.
3. Skills: Ability to work on progressively more difficult projects/analyses, including directing portions of large research projects or small to medium projects under general supervision; Ability to operate independently and proactively in the execution of assignments; Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary environment; Strong critical thinking skills; Knowledge of research techniques; Strong planning and organizational skills; Excellent interpersonal skills; Strong and effective oral and written communication skills; Ability to interact directly and effectively with clients and influence their decisions.
4. Other: Ability to obtain and maintain an active clearance
1. Cover Letter - Please include a cover letter as part of your application to be considered for this position. A cover letter should introduce yourself, briefly summarize your professional background, explain why you are a good candidate and the reason for your personal interest in applying for this job
2. Transcripts - Please include your transcripts as part of your application to be considered
***Voluntary (but highly desired) document***
Please include a personal statement as part of your application. A personal statement is a chance for us to get to know you. The statement is your opportunity to share your goals, interests, influences and show us that you will be a valuable asset to our organization. Please click here for personal statement guidelines – Click here
Personal statements will not be used as an elimination criteria for this position. They will only be used to enhance a candidate’s application.
CNA is committed to providing equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), parental status, national origin, age, disability, family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service and protected veterans, or other non-merit based factors. In addition to federal legal requirements, CNA complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. These protections extend to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting and hiring practices, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training and career development programs. For more information about EEO protections, please view the EEO is the law posters below: "EEO is the Law" Poster; "EEO is the Law" Poster Supplement. The pay transparency policy is available here: Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Poster
To be considered for hire, all individuals applying for positions with CNA are subject to a background investigation. For positions requiring access to classified information, U.S. citizenship is required. Individuals will also be subject to an additional government background investigation, and continued employment eligibility is contingent upon the ability to obtain and maintain an active security clearance.
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