The position is located in the Risk Reduction Program Division, Office of Safety Analysis, Office of Safety, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), in Washington, DC. You will serve as an Operations Research Analyst with broad responsibilities for initiating, developing, and directing research and evaluation of programs with particular emphasis on the solution of complex, nationally important railroad safety and regulatory issues.Learn more about this agency
As a Operations Research Analyst, you will:
- Serve as an expert in operations research methodology, especially statistical analysis and statistical modeling, you will be responsible for evaluating the effects of changes within the National Railroad System (NRS) that might affect system factors such as safety, costs, efficiency, and service.
- Based on problem areas identified, you will develop detailed statements of project objectives and goals, plan, manage, and conduct research projects. You will formulate and carry out research plans that explore fruitful areas of research in relation to FRA’s safety programs.
- Develop and specify methods, techniques, and instruments to be used in studies of safety regulations. Expand and enhance new methods especially using statistical or mathematical modeling skills.
- Lead subject matter teams, develop statements of work for and provide technical direction to contract personnel. Serve as Technical Monitor on contracts. You will advise contractors in the design, development, and implementation of complex studies and the development of tools for operations research and statistical modeling. You will obtain information for model inputs and determine appropriate measures for model variables.
- Plan and conduct analysis of data, interpret data, draw conclusions and develop recommendations for system modification.
- Identify critical problem areas and conceive, plan, design and conduct field studies of railroad employee safety related performance. Handle major studies that have far-reaching results on the railroad industry.
- As an authoritative expert, prepare reports and communicate highly complex, technical information.
The ideal candidate statement: This position is perfect for a mid-level professional with strong research and analytical skills and experience with the rail industry and the National Railroad System; mission focused and looking for great health benefits. Top candidates should have knowledge of issues affecting railroad safety in order to develop and initiate new voluntary safety programs and to evaluate existing railroad safety programs. Expert communication skills are essential.
50% or less - Some travel is required for this position.
Job family (Series)
Conditions Of Employment
- You must meet specialized experience to qualify.
- Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on the closing date.
- Review Required Documents Section as documents are required by closing date
- Announcement also advertised Status & VEOA Applicants: FRA.S-2019-0011.
CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT:
- SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for the Selective Service.
- GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARD: This position involves travel. A government contractor-issued travel card will be issued and must be retained for official business only.
- DEU REQUIREMENTS: Applicants selected under delegated examining procedures may be required to successfully complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).
To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must (1) meet the Education Requirement for the series, (2) provide a copy of transcripts for verification, AND (3) meet the specialized experience requirements for the grade at which you are requesting consideration.
To qualify for the GS-12, you must have at least one year of experience equal or equivalent to the GS-11, it must include:
- Experience applying operations research, statistical, or engineering methods to identify or assess advanced technologies and/or new operating strategies to improve safety, efficiency, or effectiveness of transportation systems.
- Experience representing an organization at briefings, meetings, or conferences.
To qualify for the GS-13, you must have at least one year of experience equal or equivalent to the GS-23, it must include:
- Experience using data and analytical tools to analyze transportation programs to identify risks, problems, and trends, and to make policy/program recommendations.
- Experience planning, coordinating, and executing major segments of operations research studies of modal and intermodal transportation issues.
To qualify for the GS-14, (in addition to the GS-13) you must have at least one year of experience equal or equivalent to the GS-13, it must include:
- Experience guiding/mentoring the junior staff in developing or testing mathematical models and performing mathematical or statistical data analysis using SAS or similar software to identify trends, outcomes, and performance levels in transportation or similar related systems AND preparing technical reports/manuscripts for presentation/publication.
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
For additional information about applying to Federal positions, please click on the following link: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-policies/#url=e4
Students enrolled in a qualifying degree program can apply if the anticipated graduation date is within six months of closing date of the announcement. Graduation transcript must be received before start date.
Other applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.
Degree: in operations research; or at least 24 semester hours in a combination of operations research, mathematics, probability, statistics, mathematical logic, science, or subject-matter courses requiring substantial competence in college-level mathematics or statistics. At least 3 of the 24 semester hours must have been in calculus.
Evaluation of Education:
The primary requirement of operations research work is competence in the rigorous methods of scientific inquiry and analysis rather than in the subject matter of the problem. Therefore, applicants should have sufficient knowledge of applied mathematics to understand and use the fundamental concepts and techniques of operations research methods of analysis. In addition, some positions may require knowledge of a specific subject area.
Courses acceptable for qualifying for operations research positions may have been taken in departments other than Operations Research, e.g., Engineering (usually Industrial Engineering), Science, Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, or Management Science.
The following are illustrative of acceptable courses: optimization; mathematical modeling; queueing theory; engineering; physics (except descriptive or survey courses); econometrics; psychometrics; biometrics; experimental psychology; physical chemistry; industrial process analysis; managerial economics; computer science; measurement for management; mathematical models in social phenomena; and courses that involved application of operations research techniques and methodologies to problems of management, marketing, systems design, and other specialized fields; or other comparable quantitative analysis courses for which college-level mathematics or statistics is a prerequisite. Courses in theory of probability and statistics are highly desirable, but are not specified as minimum educational requirements because to do so would possibly exclude some applicants who would otherwise be well qualified.
Displaced employees may be eligible for ICTAP or CTAP priority consideration. For more information, please review the OPM Employee's Guide to Career Transition.
EEO STATEMENT: The Department of Transportation (DOT) maintains a model federal work environment that is free of discrimination. DOT ensures equal employment opportunity for employees and applicants for employment, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), genetic information, age, disability, sexual orientation, or protected activity.
RAILROAD STOCK: Pursuant to 5 C.F.R. Parts 2635.403 and 6001.104, all FRA employees (or spouses or minor children of FRA employees) are specifically prohibited from holding railroad stock (including shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. which owns 100% of BNSF), whether held outright, in an IRA, or in a 401(k) or other plan. (Employees may hold a mutual fund which invests in railroad stocks, so long as the mutual fund does not invest more than 30% of its assets in such prohibited investments.) Employees having a prohibited financial interest must divest themselves of railroad stock within 90 days after their appointment to their positions. Neither the rule against holding railroad stock, nor the divestiture period, is in any way affected by the existence of re-employment rights which employees might have with railroad companies. Nor is there any monetary threshold for applicability of the rule against ownership of railroad stock; all dollar amounts are prohibited.
This position is eligible for AD HOC telework.
This vacancy may be used to fill similar positions within 90 days for this location.
How You Will Be Evaluated
DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE: PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume/ application does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s). Your resume must contain sufficiently detailed information upon which to make a qualification determination. Please ensure that your resume contains specific information such as position titles, beginning and ending dates of employment for each position, average number of hours worked per week, and if the position is/was in the Federal government, you should provide the position series and grade level.
If you meet the qualification requirements, your application will be placed in one of four categories: Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze, which is based upon your responses to the vacancy questions. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference that have provided supporting documents will receive selection priority over non-veterans. The top rated applications will be reviewed for the quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position.
Your application will be rated on the extent and quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position. The answers you select in the on-line process must be substantiated in your application package. If upon review, it is determined that your described work history, competencies, and/or supporting documents do not support your answer choices, your application may be updated or you may not be referred to the selecting official. Please ensure that your work history provides enough details to support your answers. The Automated Staffing Office is ultimately responsible for determining your final rating.
To preview questions please click here.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
ALL Applicants must provide a resume that fully supports the required specialized experience and was created within USA Jobs Resume Builder and respond to the vacancy questions by the closing date of the vacancy.
The following is a list of documents that are only required based on the type of position and consideration for which you are applying.
TRANSCRIPTS - Transcripts are REQUIRED as there is a stated education requirement for the series. The transcripts need not be official, but must show that you meet the stated education requirements, including specific major or class requirements.
- If you have previously held a government position in the same series as this position, you may be able to provide an SF-50 showing that you have already qualified and worked in the federal service in this series.
VETERANS: Your last DD214, Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, that shows the type of discharge and all dates of active duty is required to verify your eligibility. It need not be official.
- If you are applying to a vacancy opened to all US Citizens under category rating and wish to be considered as a preference eligible, you need to submit a copy of your DD214.
- If you are claiming preference eligibility as a disabled veteran, you must submit proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally a valid letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability. An SF-15 is desired, but not required.
- If you are applying to a vacancy opened Status and you are requesting consideration under Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) (https://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/shav/#veoa), you need to provide a copy of your last DD214, which verifies your military service dates, reason for separation, OR certification of separation that shows a discharge date within 120 days of the closing of this announcement, and eligibility for consideration under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act.
STATUS APPLICANTS: If seeking eligibility consideration as status/agency/DOT employee, you must provide proof of eligibility in the form of an SF-50. Your SF-50 must verify the highest grade held competitively, full performance level of position, and eligibility as a status applicant. Please do not submit an Award SF-50, as these are often incomplete and do not verify grade or status eligibility.
NON COMPETITIVE APPLICANTS: If requesting concurrent consideration for Non-competitive (NC) appointment eligibility, you must provide the appropriate SPECIAL APPOINTING AUTHORITY DOCUMENTS, such as PCS orders (military spouse) describing move & marriage certificate; letter from VA or DD214 describing 100% disability of spouse; letter from State Vocational Office certifying disability (schedule A), etc. For more information, visit military spouse NC appointments or Persons with Disabilities NC appointments.
DISPLACED EMPLOYEES: If requesting consideration under the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency CTAP program (ICTAP), you must meet the well qualified standards for this vacancy (meeting minimum requirements for position and scoring at least an 85 or falling in the Gold Category) and provide all of the following documents:
- your most recent performance appraisal,
- the proof of eligibility letter from the Agency, and
- your most current SF-50, displaying current series and grade.
Failure to submit any of the required documents by the closing date of the vacancy will result in your removal from consideration for this position. Please review your application prior to final submission and ensure you have submitted all appropriate documents. Uploading documents to USAJobs does NOT ensure inclusion with your application to our system. You must verify that the documents are in the system with your application prior to final submission.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.
The Federal Railroad Administration’s mission is to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods for a strong America, now and in the future.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) promulgates and enforces rail safety regulations; consolidates government support of rail transportation activities; administers financial assistance programs; conducts research and development in support of improved railroad safety and efficiency, and national transportation policy, including improved intercity passenger service.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is ranked #4 in the 2017 best places to work in the Federal Government!
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
You must submit a complete application package (including resume, vacancy questions and supporting documents) no later than midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.
- To begin, click the "Apply Online" button on the job announcement posting.
- Follow the directions to register, submit all required documents and complete the assessment questionnaire.
- You may review your saved application(s) at https://my.usajobs.gov.
Agency contact information
Automated Staffing Office
AddressDOT, FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION
Submit Application and Documents Online
1200 New Jersey Ave SE / HAHR - 50
Washington, District of Columbia 20590
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Learn more about what it's like to work at Federal Railroad Administration, what the agency does, and about the types of careers this agency offers.
You may check your application status by logging into USAJobs.com. (Select "My USAJOBS" and click "Applications"). Within two weeks of the closing date, a Human Resources Specialist will evaluate your application. Ratings will be determined based on the documents and information received by the closing date. Qualified candidates will be assigned a category, not including points that may be assigned for veterans' preference. If the vacancy is advertised under status, your application will be scored on a scale between 70 - 100. The most highly qualified candidates are then referred to the hiring manager for further consideration. If the vacancy was advertised under category rating, then the appropriate veteran's preference will be applied. If you are selected for an interview, we will contact you directly. Once the position is filled, we will notify all applicants of their final status.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must provide reasonable accommodations:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/518877800. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.