Tag Archives: operations research analyst

Senior Operations Research Analyst Position with GAO Center for Science, Technology, and Engineering

Job Title: Senior Operations Research Analyst

Job Announcement Number: GAO-13-ARM-1515-3b

Salary Range: $79,110-$117,416/year

Application Period: February 11-26, 2013

USA Jobs: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/337577000

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) supports the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities to legislate, appropriate, and oversee the Federal government for the benefit of the American people. The GAO, commonly referred to as the investigative arm of Congress, or the congressional watchdog, is independent and nonpartisan. The GAO assists Congress in making informed decisions by providing information on policy and program issues, as well as by providing recommendations to make government more effective and responsive.

This a Senior Operations Research Analyst position, located in GAO’s Applied Research and Methods (ARM) Team, Center for Science, Technology, and Engineering (CSTE). ARM’s primary mission is to provide technical and specialist expertise that supports and extends the work of other GAO teams and thus contributes to the overall quality of the information GAO supplies to Congress and federal agencies. ARM operations research analyst staff  serve as consultants to other GAO teams, provide technical analyses where required, in the areas of cost estimation, earned value management, and schedule and schedule risk analysis.


  • Conducts cost estimating, earned value management (EVM), and schedule and schedule risk  analyses of large systems and acquisitions in the federal government including, but not limited to, major weapons systems, IT modernization, aircraft, and satellite systems.
  • Performs assessments of a program’s life cycle cost estimate (LCCE), EVM, and schedule data to determine to what extent each is meeting best practices called for in GAO’s Cost Estimating and Schedule Assessment Guides (cf., GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide – Best Practices for Developing and Managing Capital Program Costs, GAO-09-3SP, Mar 2, 2009 and GAO Schedule Assessment Guide – Best Practices for Project Schedules—Exposure Draft, GAO-12-120G, May 30, 2012), and interviews agency officials to discuss audit findings related to best practices.
  • Prepares written assessments of cost, EVM, and schedule analyses that contain sufficient support and rationale for conclusions.  Works with experts outside GAO to conduct cost risk analyses when necessary.  Provides related oral presentations to both internal GAO customers and external clients such as Congressional staff.
  • Reviews products for adequate coverage and supportable conclusions regarding sound cost estimating, EVM, and scheduling.
  • Identifies key deficiencies in LCCEs and analyzes and interprets earned value management data including evaluation of formats I through V.
  • Provides training to staff as required on cost estimation, EVM, and schedule analysis.


Degree in operations research or at least 24 semester hours in a combination of operations research, mathematics, probability, statistics, mathematical logic, computer science, or subject-matter courses requiring substantial competence in college-level mathematics or statistics.  At least 3 of the 24 semester hours must be 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 fundamental concepts and techniques of operations research methods analysis.

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, Mathematics, Statistics or Management Science).


1. Experience with Life Cycle Cost Estimates during all phases of the acquisition process; developing and evaluating unit costs and applying advanced theories, concepts, principles and processes for Life Cycle Cost Estimating such as conducting learning curve analysis, developing cost estimating relationships, and performing cost risk and uncertainty analysis.

2. Experience in earned value management analysis for various commodities (e.g., weapons, satellite, construction, transportation, IT systems).

In addition to the education requirements and the selective placement factors described, applicants must have at least one year (52 weeks) of specialized experience at the next lower level/band, equivalent to the GS-12 grade level in the Federal service, which has equipped the applicant with the skills and knowledge to successfully perform the duties of the position. Specialized experience is defined as practical experience in developing, analyzing, and evaluating life cycle cost estimates for reasonableness.