Senior Research Scientist (Systems, Tactics, and Forces Development)

CNA, 3003 Washington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia, United States of America Req #511
Friday, May 5, 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.


Represents level for those with considerable relevant experience and demonstrated ability to operate independently.  Staff at this level will typically be leading projects of moderate size and/or complexity, 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.



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 a relevant field or equivalent experience, PhD preferred.


2. Experience: Typical minimum requirements 10+ years of experience in research and analysis.


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 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.


***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
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  • CNA, 3003 Washington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia, United States of America