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Research Assistant Job Description

The research assistant will work directly with and provide support to CSBA’s management team and research staff. This position is fluid with evolving requirements to support day-to-day operations and long-term goals. The following is a breakdown of the position’s responsibilities and requirements:

Research and Analysis

  • Research topics broadly related to CSBA’s core areas of study: strategy and policy; future warfare and concepts; military forces and capabilities, and defense budgets and resources
  • Review books, reports, journals, media accounts, databases, military and government publications
  • Prepare summary memos on special topics
  • Prepare reference materials for use in wargames, to include information needed to develop scenarios, orders of battle, technical specifications for key military capabilities
  • Analyze large data sets, create charts and tables, identify new data sources, and check the accuracy of calculations
  • Perform basic financial analysis, such as adjusting for inflation

Writing and Editing

  • Draft original written material for use in CSBA publications
  • Edit and fact check papers, op-eds, speeches, and other products
  • Assist in writing and editing summaries of work for posting online
  • Create charts and graphs and procure digital images for use in publications
  • Ensure correct application of the CSBA Style Guide and the Chicago Style Manual on all CSBA publications
  • Assemble reports, including printing and binding; help with distribution and outreach efforts

Administrative Support

  • Support meetings, workshops, and wargames by scheduling, arranging venues, assembling materials, preparing briefing slides, setting up and running audio/visual equipment, and performing other logistical tasks
  • Attend and take notes at meetings, workshops, and wargames, and other events
  • Manage CSBA’s social media accounts and support its promotion and outreach activities
  • Provide administrative support to President and Director of Studies andChief Administrative Officer


  • Bachelors degree and professional work experience in a defense research or policy-oriented environment (Masters degree desirable but not required)
  • Demonstrated interest in defense policy and military affairs
  • Strong analytical skills, ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing
  • Initiative, flexibility, and willingness to “roll up sleeves” and work outside of job description as needed
  • Solid organization and time management habits, ability to work alone and as part of a team
  • Eligible for a SECRET-level security clearance; prior access/eligibility and higher eligibility/access a plus
  • Expert user of MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Word
  • Graphic design experience and proficiency with software such as Photoshop, InDesign, etc.

Applicants should submit a resume, cover letter, and 500-1,000 word writing sample to no later than March 6, 2015. The writing sample should be an essay addressing a topic broadly relevant to CSBA’s research portfolio and demonstrating the candidate’s rhetorical and analytical ability. Stand-alone thought pieces and excerpts from larger research papers are both acceptable. Selected candidates will be contacted and will undergo further evaluation as part of the selection process.