USGS Participatory Science Research Opportunity

U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)
Reference Code
How to Apply

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A complete application package consists of:

  • An application
  • Transcript(s) – For this opportunity, an unofficial transcript or copy of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institution systems may be submitted.  Click Here for detailed information about acceptable transcripts.
  • A current resume/CV
  • Two educational or professional recommendations. 

All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

Application Deadline
2/11/2024 11:59:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications are reviewed on a rolling-basis.

USGS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is currently available with the USGS Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC) network, specifically the regional North Central CASC located in Boulder, Colorado. Regional CASCs support and produce science to inform on-the-ground climate adaptation planning by natural and cultural resource managers. The selected candidate can report remotely, however, preference will be given to candidates located in, or willing to relocate to Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, or Kansas.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mission is to monitor, analyze, and predict current and evolving dynamics of complex human and natural Earth-system interactions and to deliver actionable intelligence at scales and timeframes relevant to decision makers. As the Nation's largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, USGS collects, monitors, analyzes, and provides science about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems.

Research Project: As scientists respond to society’s greatest challenges with 21st century science, they are increasingly recognizing the need to engage with the decision makers, individuals, and communities their science aims to serve. USGS projects and programs have generated and utilized a variety of different models, frameworks, processes, and approaches for enabling participatory science (stakeholder and user engagement, actionable science, participatory action research, co-production of knowledge, citizen science, community science, open science, etc.). However, these efforts remain disparate, siloed, and ad hoc within project teams, mission areas, regions, or programs, resulting in a lack of access to or awareness of best practices. The objective of this project is to synthesize USGS scientific insights and leverage existing participatory science efforts to generate a practical set of bureau-wide resources.

Learning Objectives: Under the guidance of a mentor, specific activities include, but are not limited to: 

  • Producing a better understanding of the diverse types of participatory science activities USGS scientists, programs, and regions are undertaking to work with and for the public;
  • Synthesizing conceptual approaches and findings from already-funded, complete, or in-progress participatory science projects;
  • Developing best practices for working with the public, grounded in past experiences, relevant literature, and input of subject matter experts;
  • And creating a Framework or Workflow for future projects to guide science planning and individual scientists’ efforts that is responsive to the needs and priorities of the specific participatory context.

Mentor: The mentor for this opportunity is Aparna Bamzai ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Early 2024. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for two years, but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full time.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.

ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and USGS. Participants do not become employees of USGS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

Questions: If you have questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should have received a bachelor's or master's degree in one of the relevant fields listed in the eligibility requirements section or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with completion before May 31, 2024. Degree must have been received within the last two years.

Preferred Skills:

  • Ability to find, read, summarize, and synthesize scientific literature
  • Experience working on a broad and diverse project team
  • Experience with project coordination and communication 
  • Experience being highly accountable to external customers, public officials, or diverse stakeholders
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Attention to detail and good organizational skills 
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree or Master's Degree received within the last 24 months or anticipated to be received by 5/31/2024 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (1 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (8 )
    • Engineering (4 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (7 )
    • Other Non-Science & Engineering (1 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (14 )