A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

START fosters a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment to create a team to meet the needs of the homeland security enterprise and train the next generation of scholars and practitioners. 

Senior Researcher

Senior Researcher

April 1, 2019
Jobs at START


Position Announcement: Senior Researcher (University Rank: Principal Faculty Specialist or Assistant Research Scientist)

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) is looking to hire a senior researcher at the University of Maryland, College Park. This is a full‐time position, with an initial term of 12 months (starting in summer 2019). U.S. citizenship is required for this position. ABDs are welcome to apply, but you must have been awarded and conferred your PhD by the end of the appointment to be eligible for a contract extension, contingent on the availability of funds.


START’s Political Instability, Gray Zone Conflict and Counterterrorism team has a diverse array of ongoing research projects relating to political instability broadly defined, gray zone conflict and strategic influence, irregular warfare (namely but not exclusively counterinsurgency and counterterrorism), and preventing/countering violent extremism (P/CVE). The team is looking to hire a new Senior Researcher. The ideal candidate for this position will demonstrate that they can provide intellectual oversight and the conceptual architecture of the various empirical analyses and the occasional practitioner education/training development and delivery project undertaken by the team. The position is open with respect to academic discipline within the social sciences and research interests. The successful candidate will be expected to work on a diverse array of research and practitioner education/training projects, however, we are especially interested in recruiting a new Senior Researcher with experience in the domain of P/CVE with a non-U.S. focus.

These duties include but are not limited to:

  • Primary authorship of research deliverables for projects covering several world regions
  • Primary authorship of practitioner education/training facilitator guides 
  • Peer‐review editing of deliverables and proposals with multi‐method research design
  • Database and codebook design
  • Quality control concerning multi‐method empirical analysis and data visualization
  • Assist with oversight of a small research team in conjunction with a project manager
  • Proposal development

Required Qualifications:

  • At least ABD in a social science or public policy field (with letters of support about estimated finish date, if necessary)
  • Demonstrated knowledge in at least one of the following methodologies (including the ability to both communicate and design within those methodologies):
    • Statistical modeling (including, econometric/structural data, event data, survival analysis, forecasting models, etc.) from structured data sources
    • Computational modeling techniques (machine‐learning algorithms and structural topic modeling, social media analytics, automatic textual analysis) of unstructured data sources
    • Computational social science (such as agent‐based modeling)
    • Survey design and enumeration
  • Demonstrated knowledge of one of the following:
    • Comparative case study (historical)
    • Ethnographic methods
    • Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)
    • Regional expertise (including relevant language fluency) in: Middle East/North Africa, Sub‐Saharan Africa, or Southeast Asia
  • Demonstrated knowledge of international and/or transnational conflict processes involving violent non‐state actors
  • Demonstrated knowledge of preventing/countering violent extremism
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a small team
  • Ability to handle pressure and meet deliverable deadlines
  • Flexibility to switch topic areas and tasks as the project requires
  • Willingness to travel – including overseas in both the developed and the developing world – when required for research and/or practitioner education/training delivery

Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD in a social science or public policy field
  • Experience with overseas field research
  • Experience with developing and delivering practitioner education and training
  • Experience designing and implementing monitoring and evaluation procedures
  • Experience in implementing quality control procedures
  • Superior writing and presentation abilities
  • Evidence of grant or competitively awarded funding, or revenue growth of a mission-driven organization


The annual salary for this position will be in the range of $75,000‐$85,000, depending on education and experience. Applications will be accepted until position is filled, with a best consideration date of Monday, April 1st, 2019 and an anticipated start date at some point (to be negotiated with the successful candidate) in summer 2019.

Please submit application materials by email with the subject line “START Senior Researcher” to search coordinator Mr. Max Erdemandi at maxerd31@umd.edu.

  • a cover letter,
  • resume/CV with contact information for three references,
  • 5‐page writing sample demonstrating methodological expertise(s)
  • 1-page document highlighting current and future research interests

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 and women are encouraged to apply.