Jobs for humanists 6/18

but what IS an analyst

Hi, everyone! Welcome to this week’s edition of Wine and Government Cheese, where we’ll look through jobs with the federal government which might be suitable for humanists and their cousins. If you’ve never checked out the FAQ page, you might want to give it a go!

Associate Education Research Scientist • Institute of Education Sciences, Department of Education • August 25, 2021

I posted a related position last week.


The incumbent serves as an Associate Education Research Scientist/Analyst in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S Department of Education. Incumbents will engage in one or more of the following: (1) develop plans for agency support of education research, evaluation, and statistics; (2) oversee research, evaluation, and statistics activities and programs carried out or funded by the agency; (3) conduct scientific reviews of research, evaluation, and statistics plans and products; (4) analyze data and synthesize information from education research and related areas; (5) prepare written products to convey research-based knowledge and information to a variety of audiences; (6) conduct evaluations of agency activities; (7) engage in dissemination and outreach activities, such as publishing scholarly work and attending scientific conferences; (8) monitor research grants or manage the scientific peer review of  research grant competitions ;and (9) consult with, or advise staff.

. . .


ASSOCIATE EDUCATION RESEARCH SCIENTIST/ANALYST requires a master's degree or equivalent experience in an appropriate field pertinent to the needs of IES (e.g., cognitive, developmental, educational, or social psychology; economics; education; public policy; statistics). Associate Research Scientist must have experience conducting research in education-related fields or topics (e.g., reading, teacher professional development, psychology, postsecondary education); and demonstration of research skills and knowledge.


Basic Requirements: A. Degree that included or was supplemented by at least 24 semester hours of coursework in a field related to the work of the position to be filled (as presented in the description of duties), of which at least one course was in research methods and at least two courses were in statistics. OR B. Combination of education and experience - (including at least 24 semester hours in a field related to the work of the position to be filled, including at least one course in research methods and two courses in statistics, plus appropriate experience or additional education). The experience must have demonstrated (1) a thorough knowledge of the principles underlying the work of this series, and (2) understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the methods and techniques applied in performing work in this series.

And here’s the questionnaire. It has . . . three questions! So it’s not a place to further demonstrate your suitability to the position, it’s a place to tick a box (I think).

Communications Specialist • Women’s Bureau, Department of Labor • June 23, 2021

I want to note at the top that this position doesn’t include any education qualifications - so read the responsibilities and qualifications carefully.

The mission of the WB is to develop policies and standards and conduct inquires to safeguard the interests of working women; advocate for their equality and economic security for themselves and their families; and promote quality work environments.


. . .

To qualify for GS-12:

Specialized Experience: Applicants must have 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 grade level in the Federal Service.  Specialized experience include, but not limited to the following:

  • Developing written information and data concerning the nature and objectives of agency programs, policies, and activities. This includes writing, developing, planning timely written technical materials, news release, blog posts, tweets, website content, fact sheets, speeches or scripts, on talking points, brochures, pamphlets, and research findings.

  • Collaborating and/or providing guidance on website content, coordinating promotion of website and products among intended audiences; and writing content about programs/initiatives for social media sites, blogs, twitter and Facebook.

To qualify for GS-13:

Specialized Experience: Applicants must have 52 weeks of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 grade level in the Federal Service.  Specialized experience include, but not limited to the following:

  • Developing written information and data concerning the nature and objectives of agency programs, policies, and activities. This includes writing, developing, planning timely written technical materials, news releases, blog posts, tweets, website content, fact sheets, speeches or scripts, talking points, brochures, pamphlets, and research findings.

  • Collaborating and providing guidance on website content, coordinating promotion of website and products among intended audiences; and writing content about programs/initiatives for social media sites, blogs, twitter and Facebook.

  • Overseeing the development and execution of project plans and day-to-day project management, to include developing and implementing a project plan and exercising independent initiative and judgment to troubleshoot and monitor progress.

Here’s the questionnaire - it helps flesh out the job posting. You should also look at the responsibilities section, and keep in mind the competencies: project management, communications and media, technical competence, oral and written communication, creative thinking.

Technical Writer • AVS, Aircraft Certification Service, Compliance and Airworthiness Division, FAA • deadline July 6, 2022 - multiple openings/locations/levels

This may be a stretch for most of us, and because they’re hiring at so many bands/levels my summary is going to be extra short - I’ll try to hit the things that explain why I’m posting it here at all.


F Band: The incumbent applies experience and a basic knowledge to conduct research using a variety of sources to collect information used as groundwork in generating documents. Gathers necessary technical information from subject matter experts (e.g. aerospace engineers) as well as other technical writers/editors, team lead, attorneys, and/or management officials. Primarily prepare, write, edit, research and develop and/or process the following: Airworthiness Directives (ADs), Advisory Circulars (ACs), responses to FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Safety Recommendations (SRs), Special Airworthiness Information Bulletins (SAIBs}, and/or regulatory/policy documents. These documents include rulemaking notices, amendments, regulatory evaluations, exemptions, special conditions, and related supplementary material. Oversees the timely processing of these documents by tracking, monitoring, and reporting on their progress via computer databases.

[G and H Band responsibilities]


F-Band: To qualify for this position you must demonstrate possession of three years of general work experience of which at least one year was equivalent to the FG/GS-4 level experience that provided an understanding of the basic principles, practices, operations, and specialized vocabulary of technical publication writing. The applicant must have acquired the ability to describe information in simple, clear language.

Education substitution for FV-F, GS/FG-4: Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in any field leading to a bachelor's degree, gained from an accredited college or university.

G-Band: To qualify for this position you must demonstrate in your application that you possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the FV-F, FG/GS-5-9. Examples of specialized experience are: (1) Experience writing or editing technical publications in the aviation field. (2) Experience acquiring and presenting technical information through independent reading, interviews with subject-matter specialists, observation of tests and experiments, interpretation of blueprints or diagrams, or other appropriate methods and (3) Experience writing and editing complex technical material drafted by others using established practices, standards, and guidance including application of technical communications concepts (e.g. writing/editing software and information design)

Education substitution for FV-G, FG/GS-5-9: Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree OR a combination of education and experience may be qualifying for this position. Education at the graduate level in an accredited college or university must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to do the work.

They further specify that to qualify on education, you “[m]ust have included a total of 15 semester hours in an appropriate scientific, technical, or social science field(s), and at least one course above the introductory level in the field(s) covered by the position.”

Here’s the questionnaire. You should definitely check it, as well as the rest of the posting, out. There’s more extra information about the position and process than we often find.

Planning and Environmental Specialist • Bureau of Land Management • June 28, 2021

This position is in Milwaukee, and, once again, any old graduate degree won’t cut it.


  • Reviews environmental assessment documents prepared in the District/Field Office to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

  • Assists team leaders in determining level of detail, scope of analysis, and also checks quality of the documents being produced.

  • Serves as procedure and policy coordinator on all NEPA and planning documentation matters.

  • Reviews all planning and NEPA documents to see that they read smoothly and correctly and that the various portions are coordinated within the interdisciplinary team.

  • Evaluates technical reports, interprets facts, and determines inconsistent or conflicting data, interacts with individual resource specialists and the interdisciplinary team to determine course of action and to complete assigned tasks.

  • Prepares and monitors the District/Field office land use planning annual work plan.

. . .


. . .
For GS-09: You must possess one (1) full year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-07 level that is equivalent in difficulty and complexity as indicated by the following examples: Serving as a member of an interdisciplinary team engaged in land use and multiple-use resource management planning and environmental analysis; Writing and editing planning and NEPA documents to ensure they read smoothly and correctly, and for legal and policy compliance, and; Experience in evaluating and interpreting proposals for minerals (hard rock, leasable, etc.) and/or energy resources (oil/gas, coal, solar, wind, etc.) within the NEPA process, such as: Environmental Assessments(EAs), Determinations of NEPA Adequacy (DNA), Categorical Exceptions (CX), etc.
Education: Have a master's or equivalent graduate degree or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.B. or J.D., if related.

One could qualify for a higher grade with a PhD, but as I said any old PhD won’t do it for this one. You gotta show it’s related. But I bet if it is, you know! This post does have a questionnaire and a hilariously long list of KSAs according to which you will be evaluated:

Attention to Detail, Customer Service, Flexibility, Integrity/Honesty, Interpersonal Skills, Learning, Problem Solving, Public Planning, Self-Management, Stress Tolerance, Teamwork, Technical Competence, Written Communication, Decision Making, Reading, Reasoning

That’s sixteen things - but maybe fairies bestowed these gifts upon you at your birth. (Presumably the evil fairy is responsible for sending you into academia.)

Finally, there is an assessment associated with the position, for which they advise you block off three hours (though they don’t expect it to actually take that long). They say you can come back to the assessment if you need to leave. No previews for that, I’m afraid!

If you apply to this, good luck! I think the rest of us might feel a little better about research statements and “evidence of teaching excellence” now.

Paralegal Specialist • Office of Disaster Assistance, Small Business Administration • June 30, 2021

A palate cleanser from above.

I’m including this one for general information purposes, as “what about paralegal work?” comes up pretty often in alt-ac conversations. A lot of paralegal listings on USAJOBS require prior experience, or a paralegal certification. Some require a J.D. (although I know at least one person reading this has a J.D., so that might be a path to keep in mind).

This posting does not require those things.- It is also temporary (and at a lower grade, though see the listing for the same posting at a higher grade.). However, see the description of the season to which it applies: for all I know, it could be an 18-month posting.


PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Due to the amount of mandatory overtime, outside employment is strongly discouraged.
As a Paralegal Specialist at the GS-0950-7, some of your typical work assignments may include:

  • Reviewing Loan Authorization and Agreement and all other necessary legal instruments to ensure these documents are properly prepared and executed.

  • Addressing inquiries and concerns from borrowers and/or their authorized representatives regarding loan closing documentation and loan requirements.

  • Obtaining and reviewing all necessary loan closing documentation, ensuring proper execution and recording.

  • Using Microsoft Office software or other computer applications such as mainframe database software to do research and perform a wide variety of other functions.

. . .


. . .
Experience: To receive credit, you must indicate the month and year as well as the average hours worked per week for each employer or that experience will not be credited for meeting the specialized experience requirement.

GS-07: To qualify you must have at least 1 full year (52 weeks) of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and complexity to the GS-05 level in the Federal service that has equipped you with the particular knowledge, skill, and ability to perform successfully in this position. This experience may have been gained in a Non-Federal service position. In addition, this Specialized Experience must demonstrate the following:Responding to a variety of customers calmly and effectively in high stress situations; ANDReviewing documents (such as legal, loan closing, banking, contracts, insurance, etc.) for compliance with applicable standards and guidelines.

In addition to the above specialized experience for the GS-7 level, applicants must indicate proficiency in utilizing Microsoft Office programs, such as Word and Excel on their resume.



If qualifying based on education, you must submit transcripts to be eligible.

GS-07: Bachelor's degree with GPA of 3.0 or better (Superior Academic Achievement) OR have at least one (1) year of graduate education, in any major or field from an accredited college or university . . .

If you’ve done any LinkedIn Learning/Lynda courses, this might be a good position to mention that. Here’s the questionnaire. It is mostly procedural.

Analyst in Education Policy • Domestic Social Policy Division, Congressional Research Service • July 14, 2021

Applicants should have advanced knowledge and experience in policy analysis and quantitative research techniques for examining the efficacy of education policies and programs. Strong research, writing, and presentation skills and the ability to work as part of a collaborative team and to be responsive under time pressure are essential for success in this position.


The ideal candidate will have substantive knowledge of public policy issues related to education, advanced training in quantitative research strategies and techniques for examining the efficacy of education policies and programs, and demonstrated experience in the use of quantitative analysis software for the analysis of large data sets. The position requires an ability to lead the conceptualization, design, and execution of quantitative studies that inform the design of federal education policies and programs. The ability to conduct research that simulates the effects of changes to the design of education programs and benefits is an important element of this position as well. The ability to critically examine existing research on the efficacy of public policies is another important component of this position. The work often requires rapid response to emerging policy issues during all phases of the legislative process. Given the breadth of education policy issues DSP covers for Congress, analysts must be capable of working on a range of issues in an education portfolio that will likely evolve over time.

. . .


Applicants must have had progressively responsible experience and training sufficient in scope and quality to furnish them with an acceptable level of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the duties of the position without more than normal supervision.
Knowledge of education policies and analytical approaches for examining education policies.**

Ability to analyze public policy issues.**

Ability to write in a public policy context.**

Ability to convey analysis and information orally through briefings, consultations and other presentations.

Ability to lead collaborative research tasks.

Ability to exercise objectivity in all phases of analysis and consultation.

Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing.

Asterisks mean “most critical” - the asterisked KSAs seem consistent with the responsibilities/position description, which is good. It means you know what you need to demonstrate. Here’s the questionnaire - which includes narratives (lots of LOC jobs have narratives). FYI, formatting often doesn’t translate in the narratives box - even basic formatting like returns. I have not figured out what to do about that.

However, one nice thing about the questionnaire is that it expands upon the KSAs using resumé-esque language, so you can think about the competency in a more granular way. That may be a helpful exercise even if you aren’t going to apply to this position!

There is also a CRS position in Government IT Management, but I think that’s more of a stretch for my readers. If it’s for you, though, you probably know!

Foreign Affairs Officer • Office of Economic and Regional Affairs, Bureau of African Affairs • July 7, 2021

If you’ve got expertise in Sub-Saharan Africa, this might be a good fit for you! Another thing to note is that Foreign Affairs Officer positions often include humanities in the relevant degrees - so you may want to keep an eye out if you have research expertise in a specific geographic or cultural area.

The incumbent provides foreign policy advice and advice on health, sciences, foreign assistance, and human rights and democracy issues in promoting, advancing, and integrating U.S. policy interests and priorities relative to Sub-Saharan Africa.


  • Provides advice and guidance on Sub-Saharan Africa regional and country-specific policy issues, including but not limited to health, sciences, foreign assistance, and democratization, human rights, labor, economic, and social trends

  • Responsible for foreign policy development, as it relates to events, key trends, and major socio-economic and political issues affecting developments in sub -Saharan Africa.

  • Performs review and analysis of programs in areas of responsibility, including those with limited programming funds. 

  • Liaises with the Office of the Science Advisor and on the Science Envoys program and with the National Academies and other entities in the development of policies of interest to the Bureau and the Department on science issues.

. . .


. . .

Applicants must have the required experience or education as described below and meet any selective factors, when specified.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS: Have a bachelor's or graduate degree from an accredited college or university in international law, international relations, political science, economics, history, sociology, geography, social or cultural anthropology, law, statistics, or in the humanities;

[a bunch more ways to qualify]


Have completed at least 4 years of appropriate experience in one OR more of the fields listed above in work associated with international organizations, problems, or other aspects of foreign affairs. (NOTE: qualifying work experience may have been gained through residence, study, teaching, business or commercial activities, military service, newspaper work, military or civil government activities, missionary or international relief work, or other experience in foreign countries.) 

IN ADDITION to meeting one of the basic entry qualifications requirements listed above, applicants applying for the GS-11 MUST also meet one of the requirements listed below: Have at least 1 year of specialized experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position. This experience must be related to the work of the position and equivalent to at least the GS-09 level in the Federal service.

Qualifying specialized experience must demonstrate the following:

  • Experience developing foreign policy and guidance related to the sub-Saharan Africa region.

  • Experience analyzing and/or evaluating factors and conditions of the sub-Saharan Africa region to produce strategic foreign policy assessments.

  • Experience managing foreign assistance budgets, accounts, and/or resources.


Have 3 full years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree OR Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree. This education must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the work of the position to be filled.

. . .

Your qualifications will be evaluated on the following knowledge, skills, abilities (KSAs) and other characteristics that are relevant to the duties of this position and must be fully supported by information in your resume: 

  • Knowledge of sub-Saharan African politics, economics and societies.

  • Knowledge of foreign policy/international affairs.

  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with various groups and individuals.

  • Ability to analyze and evaluate information derived from a variety of sources.

  • Ability to communicate persuasively.

Here’s the questionnaire. It asks for more detail on expertise, but does not have narratives.

Program Analyst • National Endowment for the Humanities • July 8, 2021

You need a PhD and to know something about grants for this one:


At the GS-11 level Qualified candidates must possess:
1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-9 level or a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral graduate degree or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.M., if related.
. . .

Selective Placement Factor
In addition to the qualifications listed above, applicants must also possess the following criteria in order to be considered minimally qualified for this position.

1. Experience participating in grant program administration including advising or responding to inquiries from applicants and grantees.

2. Experience analyzing data and trends in scholarship.

As part of the online application process you will need to respond to a series of questions designed to assess your possession of the following knowledge, skills, abilities, and/or competencies:

  • Grant Management

  • Manages and Organizes Information

  • Oral Communication

  • Writing

And here’s the questionnaire!

There are a few other program analyst positions that might be worth a look for some of you.

If you have budgeting/policy/energy experience: Program Analyst (ENERGY) with the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Urban Development - June 28.

If you’ve got public housing/policy/legislation expertise: Program Analyst with the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing - June 24.

That’s it for this week! See you next Friday.