The Burden of Secrecy Fellowship

Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)
Reference Code
How to Apply

Create and release your Profile on Zintellect – Postdoctoral applicants must create an account and complete a profile in the on-line application system.  Please note: your resume/CV may not exceed 3 pages.

Complete your application – Enter the rest of the information required for the IC Postdoc Program Research Opportunity. The application itself contains detailed instructions for each one of these components: availability, citizenship, transcripts, dissertation abstract, publication and presentation plan, and information about your Research Advisor co-applicant.

Additional information about the IC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program is available on the program website located at:

If you have questions, send an email to  Please include the reference code for this opportunity in your email. 

Application Deadline
2/28/2024 6:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

Research Topic Description, including Problem Statement:

Can we understand and quantify the psychological burden placed on a person when they must keep a professional secret? Intelligence staff may live a ‘double-life’, for some this is burdensome and for others it is manageable. Changing circumstances may change an individual’s ability to manage the burden. Can we identify the drivers of officer self-identification, and understand those such that we can better manage the burden of secrecy? Are there indicators for when the burden of secrecy may become too much to manage? What characteristics are most suited to the safe conduct of a ‘doublelife’? Can we identify indicators, tipping points or thresholds of when that ‘double-life’ has become overly burdensome, and therefor help mitigate the risk of potentially adverse outcomes?

Example Approaches: 

A literature Review followed by conceptual or experimental quantum sensor development, secure communication and data processing protocols/development, testing and evaluation, cybersecurity and resilience safeguarding.

Relevance to the Intelligence Community: 

Understanding and managing the impact that necessary secrecy has upon individuals is crucial to the success, security, health and safety of intelligence work.


Bedrov, A., & Gable, S. L, (2023), ‘How Much Is It Weighing on You? Development and Validation of the Secrecy Burden Scale’, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 0(0).

Key Words: NIC, intelligence, agent, double-life, security.


Postdoc Eligibility

  • U.S. citizens only
  • Ph.D. in a relevant field must be completed before beginning the appointment and within five years of the appointment start date
  • Proposal must be associated with an accredited U.S. university, college, or U.S. government laboratory
  • Eligible candidates may only receive one award from the IC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program

Research Advisor Eligibility

  • Must be an employee of an accredited U.S. university, college or U.S. government laboratory
  • Are not required to be U.S. citizens
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Doctoral Degree.
  • Academic Level(s): Postdoctoral.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences (12 )
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (17 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (21 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (45 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (11 )
    • Other Non-Science & Engineering (2 )
    • Physics (16 )
    • Science & Engineering-related (1 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (30 )

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