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Entry/Mid-level System Acquisition Analyst

RAND Corporation
Santa Monica, California
Closing date
Dec 21, 2022
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Job Details

RAND is seeking highly motivated analysts and practitioners who would like to use their technical and domain expertise to directly impact government acquisition policy. The U.S. federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars each year to acquire and sustain systems that support our national and homeland security. RAND System Acquisition Analysts support research that informs the policies and decisions surrounding system acquisition strategy and operations. They contribute to multidisciplinary project teams to analyze acquisition policy problems where the technical details matter.

Acquisition research and analysis are carried out by four federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) that focus on U.S. national and homeland security policy issues. System Acquisition Analysts share and uphold RAND’s values to high-quality, rigorous analysis and objectivity, which has secured RAND's reputation for excellence and attracts studies that often pose novel challenges in analysis, modeling, research design, and computing. Analysts apply their skills in novel and flexible ways to emerging problems at the cutting edge of their fields and apply their insights to critical policy issues.


The System Acquisition Analyst will use their practical knowledge and experience in acquisition programs, coupled with their technical and methodological skills (e.g., in engineering, operations research, applied mathematics, and physical sciences) to:

  • Contribute to the development of research approaches to solve complex government acquisition policy problems.

  • Execute key project tasks (e.g., data collection, data or policy analysis, tool design, and other analytic tasks) within an area of substantive training or experience required by the research project.

  • Apply a broad range of quantitative and/or qualitative research tools, methods, and skills in order to support complex research activities and/or research project management needs.

  • Assist in communicating the results of these analyses to decision-makers through documents, PowerPoint briefings, and other media.


All research positions at RAND require excellent analytic skills; the ability to communicate clearly and effectively in English, both orally and in writing; the ability to work effectively as a member of a multi-disciplinary team; and a strong commitment to RAND's core values of quality and objectivity.

Successful applicants will have:

  • Demonstrated technical or methodological skills, and/or domain knowledge in one or more acquisition-related field. Examples of these skills and knowledge include:

    • cost analysis

    • analyses of alternatives

    • business-case analyses

    • supply chain management

    • technology transition/transfer

    • model-based systems engineering

    • acquisition/procurement policy and statute (e.g., JCIDS, FAR, PPBE), and

    • acquisition lifecycle processes (e.g., requirements development; acquisition strategy; source selection; design, development and integration; test and evaluation; and production).

  • Experience applying these skills to acquisition programs in government or industry. Professional acquisition experience is required for this position.

Education Requirements

A master’s degree with at least 2 years of relevant professional experience, or bachelor’s degree with at least 5 years of relevant professional experience, is required. Candidates with degrees in engineering, operations research, applied mathematics, and physical sciences are preferred. Candidates who hold a PhD may qualify for the System Acquisition Researcher position which can be found on the RAND Careers website.


Successful applicants with more than 10 years of experience will have demonstrated leadership experience through one or more of the following activities: mentoring or developing junior staff members; supervising project tasks and team members; project management; external stakeholder engagement; or communicating analysis results to external audiences.

As this is an early to mid-career level position, applicants with less than 15 years of professional experience are preferred.

Security Clearance

Candidates must be able to obtain and maintain a U.S. security clearance. Please note that U.S. citizenship is required to obtain and maintain a government security clearance.


Santa Monica, CA; Washington, DC; Pittsburgh, PA; Boston, MA; Offsite work arrangements will be considered.

Application Materials

  • CV, cover letter, and a writing sample are required (PDF documents are preferred). The writing sample can use a recent, previously written paper or report (e.g., journal article, master’s thesis or paper written for coursework, prior employment, or internship). Applicants with fields of study or work experience in which they have not produced written products (e.g., model development), or in which written products have dissemination restrictions, may submit a short, written summary (i.e., less than one page) of one or more recent products they have developed.

  • Successful applications will include documentation in the application package of academic and professional activities that meet stated qualifications.

Application Review

Review of applications will be ongoing through the 12th of December 2022.



Equal Opportunity Employer: race/color/religion/sex/sexual orientation/gender identity/national origin/disability/vet


The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. RAND’s research and analysis address issues that impact people everywhere, including security, health, education, sustainability, growth, and development. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, RAND has approximately 1,950 people from more than 50 countries working in offices in North America, Europe, and Australia, with annual revenues of more than $357 million.

RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest.  Our research is sponsored by government agencies, international organizations, and foundations. We rely on philanthropic support to pursue visionary ideas; address critical problems that are under-researched; and devise innovative approaches for solving acute, complex, or provocative policy challenges. RAND values objectivity and integrity in both its research processes and internal interactions. We emphasize a collegial environment that respects the contributions and dignity of all staff.

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