Principal Research Scientist (Systems Tactics and Forces Development)

CNA, 3003 Washington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia, United States of America Req #507
Monday, April 24, 2023


The Systems, Tactics, and Force Development (STF) division focuses on systems and platforms at the tactical level of warfare in order to provide classical warfare analyses to help the USN and DOD win the great power competition while meeting other warfighting requirements to simultaneously deter and defeat lesser threats. ​The division conducts quantitative analyses of fleet systems and multi-mission platforms to develop performance estimates against China, Russia, and other threats. The division analyzes and assess alternative combinations of networks, sensors, weapons, and platforms to provide maritime warfighting capabilities in all warfare areas under realistic employment conditions for current operations and future force architectures.

Is a recognized expert in specific fields/research areas and has demonstrated leadership skills. Typically lead projects addressing complex issues that may be large in size, and will have clear accountabilities for business development and for managing, growing, and enhancing client/sponsor relationships. Operate as a senior researcher at CNA HQ or in the field.

1. Work independently and effectively on a wide range of non-traditional analytic problems that are of increasing complexity, and increasing visibility & significance to our sponsors/clients. Routinely take the lead in supporting the work and development of other staff either individually or as a member of a project team. Consistently produce the highest quality analysis.

2. Operate as a recognized expert in a specific field/research area within CNA; leverage that expertise to enhance CNA's reputation with existing clients/sponsors. Develop and maintain deep, specific institutional knowledge and expertise of new and existing clients/sponsors; their culture, organization, and issues. Apply that knowledge and expertise to lead development and shaping of new work for both existing & new sets of clients/sponsors.

3. Treats everyone respectfully, professionally and fairly.  Leads collaboration efforts.  Contributes to development of supervisor's vision and proactively takes actions to realize that vision.  Takes a business unit and corporate perspective; supports corporate initiatives. Recognizes and acknowledges contributions from subordinates.

4. Has independent responsibility to pursue business development opportunities and develop new clients/sponsors.  Uses network of clients/contacts to develop and sustain sponsor base, and develop new networks of clients/sponsors.  Writes competitive proposals and provides major support in marketing one or more areas.

5. Shape/influence how our sponsors/clients think about issues. Deliver fundamental change. Play a lead role in enhancing CNA's reputation as an organization. Play a lead role in efforts to enhance CNA's reputation via publishing and outreach activities.

6 Communicate complex analytic results in a clear and concise fashion to sponsors/clients at all levels, and to audiences of all sizes. Summarize and synthesize large bodies of work down to the essential elements and convey those results effectively and efficiently, in both written and oral form, to the most senior leaders in client organizations. Effectively communicate with & engage colleagues at all levels of the organization.

7 Work independently under limited supervision from division management. Lead our largest and/or most complex and significant projects or multiple projects simultaneously. Take responsibility for making connections and integrating work across teams and divisions.

8 Effectively distribute responsibilities to the appropriate people and levels. Serve as a role model/mentor for other staff regularly in the home division and occasionally in other divisions. Develop internal and external networks of contacts and have a positive influence on those networks. Play an active role in supporting corporate initiatives, and support senior leadership initiatives to realize CNA's goals and vision.

9 Perform other duties as assigned.


1.     Education: Minimum Master’s degree in a relevant field or equivalent experience, PhD preferred.


2.     Experience: Typical minimum requirements 15+ years of experience in research and analysis.


3.     Skills: Demonstrated ability to apply leading-edge principles, theories, and concepts to solve the most complex problems of critical importance to clients; 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 work in an unstructured environment; Demonstrated ability to identify, evaluate, and propose original and practicable methods of resolving complex problems; 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 in managing projects, contracts, funds, and resources; ability to conceptualize, develop, and manage execution of a portfolio of projects in support of multiple client organizations; Demonstrated ability to interact, communicate, and advise at senior levels in government and the parent corporation; Widely considered expert in a broad scope of applications and uses of analytic methods; 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. 

***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 here: "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.

Other details

  • Job Family Research
  • Job Function Career Path I - Research
  • Pay Type Salary
Location on Google Maps
  • CNA, 3003 Washington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia, United States of America