Job Location: Flexible, particularly given varying regional restrictions on press freedom
Employment Type: Full-Time
Seniority Level: Associate
Job Category: Staff
The DFRLab seeks an open-source researcher to strengthen our extensive research portfolio on Ukraine and Russia. Over the last six years, the DFRLab has built a foundational body of investigations in this space, including documenting human rights violations in the ongoing war in Ukraine and identifying Russian military activity more broadly. This role will contribute to producing DFRLab investigations by applying open-source research methods to analyze influence operations and disinformation campaigns in the region. The position will primarily focus on Russia’s war against Ukraine but will also support broader research as necessary.
The Research Assistant will monitor the Ukrainian information environment. They will work with the DFRLab’s global research team and Atlantic Council experts and will partner with local media outlets to achieve project goals. They will also help build and manage a network of international and local partners to coordinate research activities and conduct trainings on research methods to foster digital resilience throughout the region.
We are hiring for an immediate start. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until an offer has been accepted. The DFRLab is deeply committed to diversity. We strongly encourage applications candidates of any gender, racial, and/or ethnic identity, parents, people with disabilities, veterans, and people of various educational backgrounds.
The recruitment process will entail multiple conversations with DFRLab staff. The first interview will be with members of the DFRLab team who have relevant substantive expertise, while the second will be with staff who will manage or partner with the preferred candidate. Candidates who advance to the final stage should expect to complete a writing exercise in English.
Residence in Central or Eastern Europe is preferred. While we do not require the Research Assistant to be based in a particular country, the security implications of candidates’ country of residence will be a consideration. For the safety and security of the researchers, this team member will ideally be based in a country that has strong protections for journalists and free press.
- Conduct open-source investigative research into the information environment and evolving disinformation trends throughout Eurasia, with a particular focus on the conflict in Ukraine.
- Produce a combination of traditional security reporting on malign influence activities and narrative analysis of disinformation targeting local political processes.
- Gather and analyze relevant narrative data.
- Help build and manage a community committed to better understanding the role of online disinformation in the region.
- Act as liaison for local media and research partners.
- Conduct trainings and capacity building on investigative skills.
- Conduct briefings for government and civil society on research outcomes.
- Identify and pursue additional research cases and topics.
- Assist with broader team reporting, as needed.
- Fluency in English and working proficiency in Ukrainian; proficiency in Russian and other regional languages strongly preferred.
- Minimum of three years of relevant work experience, with a history of journalistic or analytical research preferred.
- Excellent research and writing skills in English in both long (e.g., report-length) and short (e.g., newspaper article) formats.
- Experience and passion for open-source research methodologies.
- Able to work independently on project outputs.
- Professional experience interacting with civil society groups and/or government officials.
- Willingness to work on a Central or Eastern European timezone, regardless of home location.
- Willingness to travel internationally.
- Knowledge of the regional political landscape.
- Proven interest in the overlap between international relations, human rights, journalism, technology trends, social media, and online information environments.
Strongly Preferred Qualifications
- Public-speaking competency.
- Experience running research trainings.
- Experience in specific open-source research methodologies, including satellite imagery analysis, identifying weapon systems, geolocation techniques, and social media monitoring.
- General familiarity with data analysis platforms and scripting languages (e.g., Microsoft Excel, Python, R).
Explore the Program
The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) has operationalized the study of disinformation by exposing falsehoods and fake news, documenting human rights abuses, and building digital resilience worldwide.
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