Mathematician, Operations Research Analyst, Social Scientist
The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), headquartered at the University of Maryland, College Park, has an opening for a postdoctoral research associate (university rank: postdoctoral research associate) in the areas of decision science/operations research to join our Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division (UWT) to apply tools and methods in decision science/operations research to a variety of national security related applications. This is a 12-month fixed-term appointment (starting in summer/fall 2019) with the possibility of a renewal, contingent on performance and availability of funds. The successful candidate must have earned a PhD in the relevant field within the past five (5) years as of the beginning of the position at START. U.S. citizenship is required for this position.
START’s Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division (UWT) has a diverse array of ongoing research projects focused on addressing our nation’s counter weapons of mass destruction and improvised threat network (CWMDITN) challenges. UWT’s research contributes to our understanding of state and non-state actor behavior in the spaces of decision-making, emerging technology, improvised threat, and unconventional/conventional weapons use/choices from human and social systems perspectives. UWT is looking for a postdoctoral research associate who is well-versed in decision science/operations research to join the team to augment its methodological capabilities and knowledge base. The position is open with respect to academic disciplines within social sciences; mathematics; operations or systems engineering; or theoretical computer science; however, the candidate must have an understanding and research interests in the CWMDITN issue area(s). The ideal candidate for this position will demonstrate s/he can provide the conceptual architecture and perform empirical analyses on the various research efforts that fall within UWT’s research portfolio. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to various ongoing UWT projects with an emphasis on UWT’s Department of Defense sponsored research efforts.
Duties of the postdoctoral research associate will include, but not limited to:
- Co-authorship of research deliverables - Assist with oversight of a small research team in conjunction with a project manager and/or principal investigator - Assist with research and/or database/codebook design
= A PhD within the last 5 years (or prior to employment) in a relevant social science, mathematics, operations or systems engineering, or theoretical computer science research or a related discipline = Demonstrated experience in systems modeling and analysis, optimization, or related areas such as multi-objective optimization, multi-criteria decision support, game theory, design of experiments, random variables, Monte Carlo analysis, simulation optimization, forecasting models, etc. = Excellent writing and communication skills = Flexibility to switch topic areas and tasks as the project requires = Ability to work independently and as part of a team = Ability to handle pressure and meet tight deliverable deadlines
= Knowledge of approaches to model complex systems including uncertainty and sensitivity analysis = Demonstrated understanding and research interests in the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction and Improvised Threat Networks (CWMDITN) issue areas = Demonstrated knowledge of international and/or transnational conflict processes involving violent non?state actors = Functional knowledge of commercial software, such as R, Python, Java, SQL, etc. = Experience in big-data processing and analyses = Record of publications in peer-reviewed journals or conference proceedings
Please submit application materials by email with the subject line “START Postdoctoral Research Associate” to search coordinator, Dr. Thomas Guarrieri at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All applications must include: = A cover letter = CV/resume with contact information for three references = 2-page research statement highlighting current interest(s) and future research trajectory = 5-page writing sample demonstrating methodological expertise(s)
The University of Maryland, College Park, actively subscribes to a policy of equal employment opportunity, and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant because of race, age, gender, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, national origin, or political affiliation. Minorities, women, and veterans are encouraged to apply.
About National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, University of Maryland
The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism—better known as START—is a university-based research and education center comprised of an international network of scholars committed to the scientific study of the causes and human consequences of terrorism in the United States and around the world.
A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence headquartered at the University of Maryland, START supports the research efforts of leading social scientists at more than 50 academic and research institutions, each of whom is conducting original investigations into fundamental questions about terrorism, including:
- What is the nature of terrorism in the world today? How has terrorist activity evolved over time? How does terrorism vary across geographies? And what do these trends indicate about likely future terrorism?
- Under what conditions does an individual or a group turn to terrorism to pursue its goals? What is the nature of the radicalization process?
- How does terrorism end? What are the processes of deradicalization and disengagement from terrorism for groups and individuals?
- What actions can governments take to co...unter the threat of terrorism?
- What impact does terrorism and the threat of terrorism have on communities, and how can societies enhance their resilience to minimize the potential impacts of future attacks?
START experts apply a range of research methods to the exploration of these questions in order to deliver findings based on the best available open-source evidence and data. At the heart of START's work are the principles that the research it is conducting must be both scientifically rigorous and directly relevant to homeland security professionals.
START is committed to the widespread dissemination of its research findings not only to homeland security professionals through tailored research, education and training efforts, but also to students of all levels and to the general public. START has developed educational materials and programs specifically designed for instructors and students at the secondary, university, and graduate levels. Educational resources available through START include relevant teaching tools and a range of unique data sources that can be integrated into an array of courses to deepen students' understanding of the dynamics of terrorism. START also has internships and funding opportunities available to undergraduate and graduate students engaged in terrorism research.
In addition, START has developed educational programs, including an Undergraduate Global Terrorism Minor Program available to students at the University of Maryland and an online Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis Program, available to qualified students around the world.
Since its launch in 2005, START has been headed by Dr. Gary LaFree, a professor of criminology at the University of Maryland, and START's work is managed by a small staff of terrorism experts and university administrators at Maryland, who work closely with the collection of scholars and students that comprise the START Consortium.
START is a part of the collection of Centers of Excellence supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate and also receives funding and support from a variety of Federal agencies, private foundations, and universities. All of START's research is conducted using non-classified materials and its findings are those of individual researchers and do not reflect the official position of any START funders.