Senior Research Specialist (Aviation Operational Data Analyst)

Warrenton, VA, USA Req #557
Tuesday, October 10, 2023


The location of this position is hybrid to include time onsite at the FAA’s Command Center in Warrenton, VA as well as remote work. We have full-time and part-time positions available. 

CNA is currently seeking Senior Research Specialists – Aviation Operational Data Analyst for our Enterprise Systems and Data Analysis division in our Institute for Public Research. Candidates will join a strong team providing real time data analysis to support aviation operations at the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center.

Candidates will support government clients to enable data driven operations of our national airspace system. The Aviation Operational Data Analyst will be a key team member providing on demand operational data analyses to support air traffic decision making as well as working on longer term air traffic data  analyses. The candidate will contribute to an innovative, operational, data-driven, and customer focused team energized by making an impact in support of the public good. The candidate should have the ability to adopt a flexible schedule to support real-time on-site shift-based operations in a fast-paced environment

CNA fosters an inclusive culture that values diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Our flexible and engaging work environment encourages iterative and creative collaboration at every stage of the problem solving process. Our employees are committed to helping clients develop effective solutions to better manage their programs through scientific, data-driven approaches. We are looking for creative and innovative individuals to help carry out our mission. 


1. Apply standard research methodologies to gather, process, and analyze data. Use relevant database software to effectively organize and present data and generate reports.  Demonstrate facility at the intermediate level with Microsoft Office and other standard CNA software packages to accomplish primary duties. Structure such project tasks as literature reviews, environmental scans and interviews. Take responsibility for drafting the corresponding sections of reports. Begin to structure problems of moderate scope and design research, technical assistance or proposal development tasks.   Ability to construct briefings using MS PowerPoint and intermediate to advanced skills with MS Word and Excel and other standard software packages.


2. Develop a basic familiarity with the missions and organizational structure of the division or team's major client/sponsors. Develop institutional knowledge of at least one primary client/sponsor. Identify key personalities in their organization, and have some sense of the client/sponsor’s relative importance to CNA.


3. Participate in meetings with project team. Support preparation for client/sponsor interactions. Identify client/sponsor POC for their projects. Maintain awareness of major communication between the project team and client/sponsor POC for any project for which they are involved. As needed, contribute in meetings with client/sponsor and project team.


4. Develop a sufficient understanding or expertise on specific tasks, issues or data so as to make a positive contribution to project outcomes.


5. Develop basic knowledge about CNA, its organization, key personnel and personalities, and relevant CNA standard operating procedures (SOPs), to include basic knowledge of CNA business environment. Understand the concepts of core, above core, and above ceiling/ domestic. Have basic awareness of the project development process. Develop fluency in the CNA business environment and SOPs including the procedures for initiating and closing projects, hiring subcontractors and consultants, and monitoring revenue and costs and other project related activities. Capable of contributing to most financial discussions at the project level.


6. Possess the skills necessary to communicate information concisely, precisely, and in a grammatically correct manner in oral and written communication. Present and summarize data effectively. Draft sections of reports, briefings, or other project deliverables in accordance with requirements and scholarly norms (if applicable).


7. Work more independently on focused, well-structured pieces of projects, and estimate how much time and resources they will need as they embark on these tasks. Work under close supervision on broader strands of the project. Track personal project spending. Begin to understand project budgeting and financial tracking over the project lifecycle.


8. Exhibit a positive attitude in interactions with colleagues, clients/sponsors, and staff. Take responsibility for own actions and outcomes. Be proactive in seeking ways to improve processes and operations and in making CNA a better place.


9. Perform other duties as assigned.



1. Education: Bachelor’s degree in mathematics, science, or engineering preferred plus at least 2 years of experience

2. Experience: Minimum 2 years’ relevant experience required, including a combination of the following desired data analysis experience:  

• Data collection, metrics creation and associated analyses; 

• Querying databases using sql; 

• Classifying and summarizing data for the preparation and submission of reports; 

• Clearly documenting and reviewing standard operating procedures, policies, event reports, best practices, and lessons learned; 

• Effectively communicating technical and non-technical data to various audiences.


3. Skills: 

•  Ability to construct effective briefings using MS PowerPoint and intermediate to advanced skills with MS Word and Excel and other standard software packages
• Ability to analyze, interpret, summarize, and present data effectively
• Skilling in programming (R or Python), statistics, SQL, data visualization and other data analysis fundamentals
• Exhibit a positive attitude in interactions with colleagues, clients/sponsors, and staff. Strong customer and client relations management skills
• Ability to work with and provide direction to others
• Ability to plan and organize tasks effectively, both as an individual contributor and as a team member
• Excellent writing and verbal communication skills
• Strong critical thinking and organizational skills
• Basic knowledge of research techniques

4. Desired qualifications: 

  •  Energized candidate interested in supporting data driven decision making in support of the public good. Ability to identify innovative approaches to provide data to support a real-time operational environment. Ability to flex schedule to support real-time on-site shift-based operations in fast-paced environment.
  •  Aviation experience is preferred. Basic understanding of FAA traffic management initiatives and ability to interpret flight data is a plus, but not required. Interest in supporting the mission of an efficient and safe air traffic system is highly desired. 

5. Other: Ability to obtain and maintain an Active Secret Security Clearance 

***Voluntary (but highly desired) document***
Please include a personal statement as part of your application. A personal statement is a chance for us to get to know you. The statement is your opportunity to share your goals, interests, influences and show us that you will be a valuable asset to our organization. Please click here for personal statement guidelines – Click here
Personal statements will not be used as an elimination criteria for this position. They will only be used to enhance a candidate’s application

CNA is committed to providing equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), parental status, national origin, age, disability, family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service and protected veterans, or other non-merit based factors. In addition to federal legal requirements, CNA complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. These protections extend to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting and hiring practices, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training and career development programs. For more information about EEO protections, please view the EEO is the law posters here: "EEO is the Law" Poster""EEO Poster Supplement". The pay transparency policy is available here: Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Poster. To be considered for hire, all individuals applying for positions with CNA are subject to a background investigation. For positions requiring access to classified information, U.S. citizenship is required. Individuals will also be subject to an additional government background investigation, and continued employment eligibility is contingent upon the ability to obtain and maintain an active security clearance.

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  • Job Function Career Path II - Expert & Research Specialist
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  • Warrenton, VA, USA