Hacking for Defense Research Assistant

California, United States
11 Dec 2019
End of advertisement period
11 Feb 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Academic Program Professional 1

Job Family: Administration
Job Series: Academic Program Professional
Job Code: 4111
Grade: H
Exemption: Exempt

Fixed term position ending August 31, 2020

Hacking for Defense (H4D) is a Stanford program that applies Lean Start-up principles to solving national security, defense, and/or intelligence community problems. Stanford H4D is responsible for supporting activities on campus and beyond. On campus, H4D offers the Hacking for Defense course which connects teams of multi-disciplinary students to national security, defense and/or intelligence community problems. Over the course of a term, students rapidly develop, iterate, and build prototypes to solve real-world problems. Stanford H4D is also standing up an accelerator capability to support the maturation of student prototypes post-class. Off campus, Stanford H4D is responsible for teaching other universities and research teams about Hacking for Defense methodologies and mentoring students and faculty on applying those methodologies to research.

Stanford H4D is seeking a research assistant to conduct research, match government national security needs with Stanford research and technologies, organize workshops, and contribute to a range of programmatic goals.

Responsibilities include:

  • Contribute in researching and writing case studies from of H4D course teams and faculty/student research teams
  • Draft content of 2-5 events annually of 20-80 people, attend multiple conferences annually, and stay abreast of human-centered design best practices
  • Use independent judgement to formulating research hypothesis, designing research, interpret research results, and draft publications
  • Plan and perform research connecting emergent defense challenges with commercial solutions
  • Search government databases to learn of national security funding priorities to priorities to decide which opportunities most closely align with the program’s strategic vision
  • Conduct literature reviews relating to commercial technologies and defense innovation to aid students in transitioning their classroom projects to real-world impact
  • Develop workshop content incorporating human-centered methodologies (e.g. Lean Startup, Design Thinking) to national security research
  • Prepare H4D workshops and organize conferences
  • Complete project-related administrative responsibilities as needed

Note: Not all unique aspects of the job are covered by this job description


Work under the direction of faculty or other management to implement and administer the vision, strategy, and goals of the assigned academic entity/program(s) utilizing specialized/technical knowledge.


  • Oversee and administer research activities by evaluating academic programs, making recommendations that impact policies and programs, and coordinating and implementing changes.
  • Collect and analyze data, create reports, review and explain trends to determine program effectiveness; formulate and evaluate alternative solutions and/or recommendations to achieve the goals of the program.
  • Teach and/or assist in the teaching and administration of courses. Create and/or advise in the development of curriculum. Make recommendations for course improvements.
  • Write and edit content for proposals, peer-reviewed publications, and other program activities under the general direction of PI. Assist with the development of research grants, (i.e., may suggest new funding opportunities, write portions of grants, and/or summarize data for grant support).
  • Represent the program or function as the key contact and subject matter expert within the department, unit or school and develop communications for internal and external constituencies. Organize and/or participate in outreach activities such as events, partnerships, fundraising, training, and conferences. Lead workshops and facilitate meetings.
  • Monitor expenses, budgets, and finances of the program. Make recommendations on funding based on program spend.
  • May oversee and train student workers.

* - Other duties may also be assigned


Education & Experience:

Bachelor’s degree and two years of relevant experience or combination of education, training, and relevant experience. Advanced degree may be required for some programs. Program administration and or research experience may be required.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated oral, written, and analytical skills, exhibiting fluency in area of specialization.
  • Ability to oversee and provide basic direction to staff.

Certifications and Licenses:

  • For teaching jobs, advanced degree or certification may be required for some programs.


  • Frequently stand/walk, sitting, grasp lightly/fine manipulation, perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Occasionally use a telephone, writing by hand, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 40 pounds.
  • Rarely sort/file paperwork or parts, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh >40 pounds.
  • Ability to use voice to present information/communicate with others.
  • On-campus mobility.

* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.


  • May work extended hours, evenings or weekends.
  • May travel locally.
  • Occasional overnight travel.


  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide, http://adminguide.stanford.edu.

Additional Information

  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Job Code: 4111
  • Employee Status: Fixed-Term
  • Grade: H