Senior Research Scientist (Data Scientist IV) - Data Science Division

CNA, 3003 Washington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia, United States of America Req #439
Thursday, November 10, 2022
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 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 Data Science, Programming, Statistics or 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. Must have machine learning, coding (R or python), predictive analytics skills.


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

**Required Documents***
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 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.

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