Job Location: Flexible; Salary is dependent on the preferred candidate’s country of residence, with $50,000 USD as the benchmark against local market rates.
Employment Type: Full-Time
Seniority Level: Associate
Job Category: Staff


The Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) is seeking to hire an open-source researcher to track information manipulation and disinformation relating to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) policy issues. This research will focus primarily on disinformation narratives arising from Russia’s war against Ukraine. Our ideal candidate will be an experienced researcher with Russian and/or Ukrainian language proficiency, a demonstrated passion for both qualitative and quantitative study of internet trends, and a desire to share their knowledge with an international platform and audience.

The Research Associate will join a dynamic and collaborative global research team. They will work with the DFRLab’s internationally distributed staff and broader Atlantic Council expert community to achieve project goals. They will also help build and manage a network of international partners to coordinate research activities related to WMD/CBRN disinformation. They will conduct trainings and pursue policy engagements as appropriate.

We are currently hiring for an immediate start. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until a candidate has been selected for this position. The DFRLab is deeply committed to diversity. We strongly encourage people from any region, women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, new parents, single parents, people with disabilities, veterans, and people of various educational backgrounds to apply.

Job Location

This job location is flexible, although candidates should expect to travel internationally on occasion to fulfill project objectives. While we do not require the Research Associate to be based in a particular country, the security implications of each candidate’s current country of residence will be taken into consideration.

Job responsibilities

  • Conduct open-source investigative research into Ukrainian and Russian information environment, with a particular focus on narratives arising from Russia’s war against Ukraine and WMD/CBRN issues.
  • Prepare short summaries and analyses of relevant narratives, as well as contribute to long-form think tank reports and peer-reviewed journal articles;
  • Gather and analyze relevant narrative data, modes of disinformation dissemination, and techniques used;
  • Coordinate research and workflow with a diverse range of partner organizations;
  • Conduct trainings in research techniques;
  • Conduct briefings for government and civil society on research outcomes;
  • Identify and pursue original research leads; and
  • Assist with broader team reporting, as needed.


  • Fluency in English;
  • Proficiency in Ukrainian or Russian strongly preferred; 
  • Excellent research 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 coordinate across time zones and be available at least four hours daily on Eastern Standard Time, regardless of home base;
  • Willingness to travel internationally;
  • Knowledge of WMD/CBRN policy, especially regarding recent events and international legal obligations;
  • Knowledge of the Ukrainian political landscape; and
  • Demonstrated interest in the overlap between international relations, human rights, journalism, technology trends, social media, and online information environments.

Bonus Qualifications

  • Previous English-language publication history, either in academic or popular press;
  • Previous published work on WMD/CBRN policy issues;
  • Experience in running research trainings or instruction;
  • Experience in specific open-source research methodologies, including but not limited to:
    • narratives analysis;
    • DISARM framework;
    • information verification;
    • geolocation techniques; and
    • social media monitoring/listening;
  • Proficiency with data analysis platforms, dashboards, and scripting languages (e.g., Microsoft Excel, Python, R); and/or
  • Demonstrated passion for both qualitative and quantitative research methods – if you have a Github or digital project you’re proud of, be sure to include a link!

Recruitment Process + Application Instructions

The recruitment process will entail two progressive interview rounds with DFRLab staff, along with a written exercise in English and follow-up conversation for those advanced to the final round. The first interview will be with members of the DFRLab team who have relevant substantive expertise, while the second will be with staff who would manage or directly coordinate with the candidate.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until a candidate has been selected for this position. All documents uploaded as part of the application should be named in the following format: “SURNAME-First Name-Resume” and “SURNAME-First Name-CL”.

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.

All Atlantic Council employees are required to adhere to the Atlantic Council’s vaccination policy. All Atlantic Council employees must be fully vaccinated and boosted, and they must submit proof of both vaccination and COVID-19 booster shot on their first day of employment. Prospective or new employees may seek an exemption to the vaccination requirement through human resources and must have an approved exemption prior to the start of their employment.

Please note: The Atlantic Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer. In accordance with Federal civil rights law and District of Columbia civil rights regulations and policies, the Atlantic Council does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristics covered by applicable law. The Atlantic Council provides reasonable accommodation for all qualified applicants needing assistance, employees whose disability, sincere religious belief, or other protected characteristics are protected by law, and bases all employment decisions on qualifications, merit, and business need. The Atlantic Council believes that equity and inclusion amongst our team members are critical to our success as a global organization, and seeks to recruit, develop, and advance the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. Eligibility to work in the United States is confirmed with E-Verify; employment at the Atlantic Council is eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).