Defense, research
Permanent employment
Doctorate/PhD (EQF 8), Master (EQF 7)
Apply before:
Hours p/wk:


RAND is an independent not-for-profit research institute, whose mission is to help improve public policy- and decision-making through objective research and analysis. Part of the RAND Corporation, RAND Europe has over 30 years of experience in conducting client-funded policy research for governments, international organisations, research councils, charitable foundations and other organisations. Our mission is to help improve public policy and decision making through evidence-based research and analysis.

The Defence & Security (D&S) research group conducts a wide-ranging portfolio of research for a diverse client base in the Europe and beyond. Our clients include the National Coordinator for Terrorism and Security (NCTV), the Ministry of Justice and Security, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other national government departments, EU institutions (e.g. European Commission, European Parliament), international defence and security organisations (e.g. Foreign Affairs ministries across Europe, NATO, UN), and various third sector and humanitarian organisations.

Our team’s work covers a broad range of public policy issue issues, including:

  • Defence Strategy, Policy and Capability (strategy; policy and planning; capability)
  • Defence Industry and Acquisition (industry; acquisition; international cooperation & institutions)
  • Defence Workforce and Skills (public sector; industry; Armed Forces community)
  • Security (national/international security, counter terrorism, preventing and countering violent extremism, human security, border security)
  • Technology, Disruption and Uncertainty (cyber and information; emerging technology; future threats and uncertainty; defence innovation)
  • Sustainability and Resilience (climate and decarbonisation; energy and energy security; critical infrastructure; emergency response) 

Researchers in the Defence & Security group originate from a diverse range of nationalities, disciplines, and professional backgrounds including consultancy, academia, international institutions, NGOs, the civil service, and the military. There are many opportunities for career progression within RAND, for diversification of research working alongside the other groups and in the specialist centres within the organisation, and for collaboration across the wider RAND Corporation.


We are specifically looking for an individual with a strong, proven track record of delivering research on issues related to: Defence capability and acquisition; Defence industry, strategy and policy; armed forces, personnel, doctrine and resources. We are also interested in individuals with expertise in a range of methods.


Key Responsibilities

Your primary role will be to design, lead and manage research and analysis on topics related to defence capability development and acquisition, industrial base analysis and policy questions on behalf of our government clients.


You will work as part of our wider research leadership team to ensure that projects are delivered on time, on budget and to the highest quality standards.


This role will involve:

  • Leading or managing the development of competitive research proposals, including designing an effective approach and project management plan that delivers against the client’s requirements

  • Leading or managing research projects, working collaboratively as part of an interdisciplinary project team and demonstrating mature understanding of the policy context, applying relevant knowledge and research methods, and using strong project management, teamwork and leadership skills to support junior researchers

  • Contribute to the management of the Dutch office under the leadership of the office director, and contribute to the growth strategy in the Netherlands

  • In consultation with the Research Group and office leadership, proactively developing relationships with current or prospective clients, as well as wider networks of experts and collaborators

  • Frequently liaising with government and industry stakeholders as part of the research projects

  • Mentoring and developing junior researchers through training and development activities, and performance management processes

  • Demonstrating mature understanding of the policy context of the Netherlands and European defence and an ability to apply relevant knowledge on defence studies, whilst also remaining agile to work across a broad range of topic areas within the portfolio of the Defence and Security Research Group

  • Demonstrating excellent time management skills to manage involvement in multiple parallel projects, proposals, corporate initiatives and other activities (e.g. outreach, speaking roles at conferences, publication of op-eds etc.)

  • Supporting and contributing as required to the wider management and leadership of the research group and RAND Europe as a business


You will have extensive professional experience (less for candidates with a PhD), in defence-related research and you will have applied a range of research methods in either the public, private or academic sectors.



  • You have an excellent command of the Dutch and English language and demonstrated oral and written experience in both languages
  • You have a good knowledge of Dutch, NATO and European defence issues, including defence capability and industrial base. You are familiar with the Defensievisie 2035 and with the Veiligheidsstrategie voor het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
  • You have achieved impact through the delivery of high-quality research
  • You have designed research approaches tailored to specific policy research questions
  • You have excellent writing skills and have experience leading and coordinating the drafting of complex reports
  • You have managed or led multidisciplinary research teams providing intellectual leadership and coordination, ensuring quality of work delivered and providing guidance and support on methodological, subject matter, and logistical issues
  • You can communicate research findings effectively to policymakers through a variety of written and verbal means
  • You can engage effectively with a variety of government and industry stakeholders at all levels of seniority
  • Your experience includes applying qualitative and/or quantitative research methods to address complex research questions
  • You can communicate research findings effectively to policymakers through a variety of written and verbal means
  • You are a resilient individual and enjoy working as part of a team
  • You have managed a diverse range of clients in the public and/or private sector
  • You have mentored junior researchers to develop their skills and competence
  • You are proficiency in using the Microsoft Office tool suite
  • You are eligible for Personnel Security Clearance (PSC) and/or willing to undergo security screening to request a “certificate of no objection” (Verklaring van geen bezwaar, VGB).


  • You maintain strong networks and relationships with the Ministry of Defence (Ministerie van Defensie), the Defence Academy (Defensieacademie), the armed forces, and various other relevant national and international organisations in this field
  • You possess experience of managing external research partners, such as think tanks, consultancies and academia, including multinational consortia
  • You have additional language skills beyond Dutch and English – of particular interest are German, Russian and Mandarin languages.
  • You can conduct research using additional software and technical skills (e.g. data analytics, statistical software, data visualisation, etc.)
Higher Degree level qualification in a subject that includes significant use of qualitative and/or quantitative research.


  • Pension - 9% employer contribution;
  • 24 days holiday per annum + public holidays;
  • Holiday pay (monthly);
  • Annual salary review;
  • Sick pay; (70% pay for sickness absence up to 104 weeks)
  • Compassionate leave;
  • Paid travel expenses;
  • Home office expenses (if required) and home working allowance €2 per day;
  • Flexible working hours;
  • Learning and development opportunities;
  • Employee wellbeing training;
  • Service awards.


How to Apply

If you believe you are suited to the above role, please submit an application comprising of a CV and covering letter.


If you have not been contacted within 30 days of application deadline, please assume your application has not been successful.