EPA Analytical Chemistry Internship

Organization
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Reference Code
EPA-OCSPP-OPP-2021-01
How to Apply
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A complete application 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. All transcripts must be in English or include an official English translation. Click here for detailed information about acceptable transcripts.
  • A current resume/CV, including academic history, employment history, relevant experiences, and publication list
  • Two educational or professional recommendations. Click here for detailed information about recommendations.
All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.
Application Deadline
5/27/2021 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone
Description

*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline. Click here for information about the selection process.

EPA Office/Lab and Location Research Position is located in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP), Office of Pesticide Programs, Biological and Economic Analysis Division. This training opportunity is with the Analytical Chemistry Branch (ACB) laboratory of the Biological and Economic Analysis Division (BEAD), Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) located in Ft. Meade, Maryland (between Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD). For more information on this office, visit their website: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-office-chemical-safety-and-pollution-prevention-ocspp

Research Project: OPP is responsible for the registration of pesticides and must make determinations about whether pesticides pose an unreasonable risk to humans and the environment. Large amounts of data from registrants and other sources must be reviewed and reliable schedules must be maintained in order to meet statutory deadlines for both new and existing pesticides. A critical component of the process for both new and existing pesticides is the work carried out by BEAD. In particular, BEAD assesses the uses, benefits, and economic impacts of pesticides, and collects and analyzes information, including application rates and methods, effectiveness, quantities used, and comparison to alternatives.

BEAD is comprised of an immediate office, and several branches. The ACB laboratory provides analytical chemistry laboratory support to EPA-OPP by furnishing expert technical advice and performing special chemical studies that meet emerging program needs in the areas of risk assessment and enforcement.

This research project will provide the selected candidate an opportunity to collaborate with other chemists in the laboratory and learn about the different phases of the laboratory’s projects. The BEAD-ACB laboratory is ISO 17025 compliant and the participant will learn about the ISO requirements as they apply to an analytical laboratory. Research activities may include:

  • Handling, log in and analysis of pesticide residues in various environmental, food and feed samples. 
  • Sample handling, chain of custody and analysis of pesticide products for label claim verification
  • Analysis using a variety of instrumentation including gas chromatography, liquid chromatography with a variety of detectors including flame ionization and mass spectrometry.
  • Quality Assurance review of data generated and preparation of reports. This includes statistical analysis of data for quality assurance and quality control purpose
  • Creation of a database for tracking, reporting, and performance large projects.
  • Travel to and attendance at scientific meetings (for example AOAC, ASMS, ACS, …) to learn about new technologies and analytical methods for pesticide residues analysis.
Learning Objectives: This program provides an opportunity for the selected candidate to:
  • Learn about the different phases of laboratory projects from sample log in, sample preparation and analysis to data processing, review and finally reporting.
  • Conduct analyses and gain experience in using a variety of instrumentation including gas chromatography, liquid chromatography with a variety of detectors including flame ionization and mass spectrometry.
  • Gain experience in laboratory project design, planning, and analysis as well as quality assurance procedures for data generation and preparation of reports.
  • Interact directly with EPA analytical chemistry staff to understand the workings of an EPA laboratory that provides technical advice and performs pertinent studies that support program needs.

The participant will have an opportunity to develop/hone their analytical chemistry skills and understand the workings of an EPA analytical chemistry laboratory. The participant will also have an opportunity to conduct projects with other analytical chemists and develop pertinent scientific information for the pesticide programs.

Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Thuy Nguyen (nguyen.thuy@epa.gov). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Summer 2021.  All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Click here for detailed information about start dates.

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed up to three additional years upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Click here for detailed information about full-time stipends.

EPA Security Clearance: Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at EPA.

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 EPA. Participants do not become employees of EPA, 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: Please see the FAQ section of our website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email ORISE.EPA.REG@orau.org and include the reference code for this opportunity.

Qualifications

The qualified candidate must have received a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with completion by the appointment start date. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills:
  • Experience working in an analytical laboratory, including experience with chromatographs and mass spectrometers
  • Experience working with the Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Power Point etc.), good oral and written communication skills
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 5/30/2021 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (1 )
    • Engineering (1 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (1 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (5 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).