Operations Research Analyst

US Department of Homeland Security - Arlington, VA

Full-time
Duties
Summary
Organizational Location: This position is with the Department of Homeland Security, within U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Enterprise Services, Office of Acquisition, Business Operations Division, Cost and Schedule Branch, located in Arlington, VA.

Responsibilities
Joining Customs & Border Protection (CBP) will allow you to use your expertise in operations research to perform cost estimating and analysis for CBP programs. This position starts at a salary of $99,172.00 (GS-13, Step 1) to $128,920.00 (GS-13, Step 10) with promotion potential to $128,920 (GS-13 Step 10). Apply for this exciting opportunity to strengthen the Department's ability to perform homeland security functions by utilizing operations research analysis principles and concepts to perform a full range of cost estimate and cost analysis duties, that support the improvement of cost estimating/analysis for all program systems within CBP.

In this Operations Research Analyst position you will become a key team member of Homeland Security professionals by performing cost analysis, conducting independent cost estimates, determining cost of systems, performing cost benefit analysis, and adapting scientific and engineering methods to CBP cost analysis applications. Typical work assignments include:

Performing cost analysis of facilities and major systems and their associated subsystems, which includes conducting cost estimates for key program decision points, performing cost analysis core competencies; conducting reviews of CBP cost estimates and analysis, and serving as a consultant to senior CBP and DHS management on the full ranges of matters pertaining to the cost of programs;
Performing cost studies on level 1,2, and 3 systems and providing counsel to program managers on the quality and adequacy of program cost estimates;
Conducting special studies of cost related issues (e.g. program, project, appropriation, annual updates, and affordability analysis), which involve assessments of the magnitude of engineering risks, construction, manufacturing methods and risks, the business and financial aspects of alternative procurement approaches, and the interaction of all these factors to assess the composite risk and quantify it in terms of cost and schedule;
Establishing databases of systems historical costs, and technical and schedule parameters, developing cost models and cost estimating relationships, performing cost sensitivity and cost benefit analyses, and determining whether analyses include all appropriate life cycle costs, and clearly communicate findings to top levels of management within CBP and DHS; and
Adapting mathematical, statistical, economic, and other scientific methods to the CBP cost analysis applications and utilizing these adaptions, to formulate procedures that support CBP CSM's efforts to improve cost estimating/analysis for all programs/systems within CBP.
Travel Required
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
13

Job family (Series)
1515 Operations Research

Requirements

Requirements
Conditions of Employment
You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this position
Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with Selective Service
Primary U.S. residency for at least three of the last five years (additional details below)
You may be required to pass a background investigation and/or polygraph
CBP follows the DHS Drug-Free Workplace Plan for drug testing procedures
Qualifications
Experience: You qualify for the GS-13 grade level if you possess 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level, performing duties such as:
Assisting and performing cost analysis of facilities and major systems;
Serving as a consultant to senior management on a full range of matters pertaining to the cost of programs;
Assisting with preparing, conducting, documenting, and reviewing cost estimates;
Independently and with others, performing cost studies on level 1, 2, and 3 systems and performing special studies of cost related issues (e.g. program, project, appropriation, annual updates, and affordability analysis);
Applying scientific and mathematical approaches to the analysis of program and system problems;
Performing cost sensitivity and cost benefit analysis; and
Monitoring cost issues for programs and proposing innovative approaches to resolve issues in an adequate manner.

Basic Requirements: You qualify for this position if you possess one year of specialized experience, as described above and meet the basic requirement listed below.

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.

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.

You must meet all qualification requirements, including education if applicable to this position, subject to verification at any stage of the application process by 09/27/2019.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must authorize employment offers made to current or former political appointees. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee in the Executive Branch, you must disclose this information to the Human Resources Office.

Background Investigation: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a federal law enforcement agency that requires all applicants to undergo a thorough background investigation prior to employment in order to promote the agency's core values of vigilance, service to country, and integrity. During the screening and/or background investigation process, you will be asked questions regarding any felony criminal convictions or current felony charges, the use of illegal drugs (e.g., marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamines, ecstasy), and the use of non-prescribed controlled substances including any experimentation, possession, sale, receipt, manufacture, cultivation, production, transfer, shipping, trafficking, or distribution of controlled substances. For more information visit this link.

Residency: There is a residency requirement for all applicants not currently employed by CBP. Individuals are required to have physically resided in the United States or its protectorates (as declared under international law) for at least three of the last five years. If you do not meet the residency requirement and you have been physically located in a foreign location for more than two of the last five years, you may request an exception to determine if you are eligible for a residency wavier by meeting one or more of the following conditions:
Working for the U.S. Government as a federal civilian or as a member of the military
A dependent who was authorized to accompany a federal civilian or member of the military who was working for the U.S. government
Participation in a study abroad program sponsored by a U.S. affiliated college or university
Working as a contractor, intern, consultant or volunteer supporting the U.S. government
Probationary Period: All employees new to the federal government must serve a one year probationary period during the first year of his/her initial permanent federal appointment to determine fitness for continued employment. Current and former federal employees may be required to serve or complete a probationary period.

Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) Eligibles: If you have never worked for the Federal Government, you are not CTAP/ICTAP eligible. Information about ICTAP or CTAP eligibility can be found here. You must submit the supporting documents listed in the "Required Documents" section of this announcement. In addition, to be considered well qualified under CTAP/ICTAP, you must be placed in the Well-Qualified category for this position, as described in the How You Will Be Evaluated Section.
Education
Please see the Qualifications and Required Documents sections for more information if education is applicable to this position.
Additional information
Bargaining Unit: This position is covered under the bargaining unit.

Telework: Telework may be available on a regular recurring or situational basis.

DHS Certification: DHS Level II certification in Cost Estimating is required within 18 months of placement.

CBP uses E-Verify, an internet-based system, to confirm the eligibility of all newly hired employees to work in the United States. Learn more about E-Verify including your rights and responsibilities.

Every individual receives a fair opportunity throughout the federal recruitment and hiring process. Learn more here.

Follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Twitter @CustomsBorder

The Department of Homeland Security encourages persons with disabilities to apply, to include persons with intellectual, severe physical or psychiatric disabilities, as defined by 5 CFR § 213.3102(u), and/or Disabled Veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more as defined by 5 CFR § 315.707. Veterans, Peace Corps/VISTA volunteers, and persons with disabilities possess a wealth of unique talents, experiences, and competencies that can be invaluable to the DHS mission. If you are a member of one of these groups, you may not have to compete with the public for federal jobs. To determine your eligibility for non-competitive appointment and to understand the required documentation, click on the links above or contact the Servicing Human Resources Office listed at the bottom of this announcement.

How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

We will review your resume and supporting documentation to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements. If you meet the minimum qualifications, we will use an online self-assessment questionnaire to place you in one of three categories based on your experience, education and training. Your entire application package will then be reviewed. The final determination will be based on all the information provided in your application package.

If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be placed in one of the following categories:

Best Qualified: Applicants possessing knowledge, skills and abilities and/or competencies substantially exceeding the minimum requirements of the position.
Well-Qualified: Applicants possessing knowledge, skills and abilities and/or competencies clearly exceeding the minimum requirements of the position.
Qualified: Applicants possessing knowledge, skills and abilities and/or competencies meeting the minimum requirements of the position.
Veterans: Qualified veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are listed in the best-qualified category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level, or higher. This position is considered scientific/professional. Other 10 point preference eligibles and veterans with 5 point preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligibles within the category in which they qualify. For more information about veterans' preference visit this link.

If you are best qualified, you may be referred to the hiring manager for consideration and may be called for an interview. To preview the job questionnaire, see https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10592346

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics (KSAOs): Candidates who meet the minimum qualification requirements are required to possess certain Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, or Other Characteristics (KSAOs) to successfully perform the functions of this position. Candidates will be asked to demonstrate their attainment of these KSAOs in their resume. The KSAOs are:
Skill in applying broad mathematical, statistical, econometric and other scientific methods and techniques to test, evaluate, and improve cost estimating and analysis theories, principles, concepts, and practices;
Knowledge of operations research analysis principles and concepts sufficient to analyze the magnitude of scientific and engineering risks, manufacturing methods and risks, the business and financial aspects of alternative procurement approaches, and the interactions of all these factors to serve as an authoritative advisor;
Ability to perform and develop cost studies, cost sensitivity, and const benefit analysis of major Level 1,2, and 3 systems and subsystems;
Skill in developing new methods and/or modifying, adapting, and refining broader cost assessment and estimating guidelines to resolve specific complex and intricate cost issues and problems; and
Skill and ability with both written and oral communication, sufficient to prepare authoritative cost analyses, and to brief and advise senior operating officials on cost assessment issues.

Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required
No

Required Documents

Required Documents
Your resume: A resume describing your job-related qualifications is required and will be used for the purpose of reviewing your qualifications and determining what training, if any, would be required when placed. A resume in English is required. It must contain your full legal name, address, phone number, complete work history including a detailed description of your duties, the dates you performed those duties (MM/DD/YY), your hours worked per week, job title, as well as series, grade, and salary (if applicable). NOTE: Resumes stored on USAJOBS will not automatically carry over to this announcement. You must upload your resume and any other applicable supporting documentation.
Your responses to the job questionnaire: https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/10592346
Your transcripts: All applicants are required to submit a copy of your college transcript (unofficial is acceptable at this time; however, official copies will be required prior to entrance on duty) or a list of coursework with hours completed provided from the institution. If you are a current CBP employee within the position series announced, transcripts will not be required at the time of application; however, education will be verified if you are selected and you may be required to submit transcripts at that time. Education must be from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Education obtained from a foreign university or college is not creditable unless it has been evaluated by an organization that specializes in interpretation of education credentials. For a listing of accrediting agencies, please see www.naces.org
Are you claiming special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP)? You must submit a separation notice; your most recent SF-50 (noting your current position, grade level and duty location); a current (or last) performance rating of record of at least fully successful or equivalent; an agency certification that you cannot be placed after injury compensation has been terminated; an OPM notification that your disability annuity has been terminated; or a Military Department of National Guard Bureau notification that you are retired under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456.
Are you a veteran? To apply veterans' preference you must submit proof of eligibility as appropriate for your preference type:
Five Point Preference: Member Copy 4 of your DD 214 reflecting qualifying medal(s) or service period
Ten Point Preference: Member Copy 4 of your DD 214 and supporting documentation as listed on the Standard Form 15 (application for 10 Point Veterans' Preference). Submitting an SF-15 with your application is encouraged. Veterans with a service-connected disability must also submit a VA Disability Award letter dated 1991 or later, OR supporting documentation as listed in the SF-15
If you are currently serving on active duty, you must submit a written statement from the armed forces certifying your dates of service, rank, expected type of discharge, and anticipated date of separation. If you apply with a written statement at this stage, your preference will be verified by a Member Copy 4 of your DD 214 upon separation from the military.
For more information about veterans' preference visit this link.
Are you a current or former federal employee? If yes, it is recommended that you submit a copy of your SF-50(s) (Notification of Personnel Action) to support your experience.
Are you a current or former political Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES or Presidential Appointee employee? Submit a copy of your applicable SF-50, along with a statement that provides the following information regarding your most recent political appointment:
Position title
Type of appointment (Schedule A, Schedule C, Non-career SES, or Presidential Appointee)
Agency
Beginning and ending dates of appointment
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.

Benefits

Benefits
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