EPA Fellowship for Social/Behavioral Scientist to Evaluate Impacts of EPA Contaminated Land, Hazardous Waste and Recycling Programs

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Reference Code
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

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

Application Deadline
8/8/2022 5:24:17 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting will remain open until filled. Click here for information about the selection process.

EPA Office/Lab and LocationA postgraduate internship project is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM). The internship will be served in the OLEM Office of Communications, Partnerships and Analysis (OCPA) in Washington, D.C.  OCPA serves as the principal office to the Assistant Administrator for OLEM.

Research Project: OLEM programs and regional colleagues regularly work in communities across America-cleaning up Superfund sites; responding to emergencies; assisting tribes, state and local governments in the cleaning up and redeveloping contaminated properties, brownfield sites and underground storage tanks sites; establishing protections for the management of hazardous waste; and promoting recycling and sustainable materials management. It is a very exciting time to join OLEM as a research participant due to:

  • The unprecedented recent investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to cleanup legacy pollution at Superfund and brownfield sites, which will help to advance environmental justice, spur economic revitalization, and create jobs by cleaning up contaminated, polluted, or hazardous properties, and to transform recycling and solid waste management across the country in order to relieve communities that are burdened by pollution impacts from inefficient waste management systems;
  • The Justice40 Initiative, that for the first time in our nation’s history, the Federal Government has made it a goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution; and
  • The ongoing implementation of the Foundations for Evidence Based Policymaking Act of 2019, which requires federal agencies to develop evidence to support policymaking. 

With these important investments and initiatives, the research participant will have a real opportunity to contribute to research projects related to these efforts that will have real benefits for the American people, particularly those who are disadvantaged or overburdened by environmental hazards.

Learning ObjectivesUnder the mentorship of OCPA staff, the research participant will learn about a variety of OLEM programs and will have the opportunity to design and participate in benefits analyses and program evaluations of OLEM programs related to the investments and initiatives identified above, while gaining experience in one or more of the following activities:

  • Collaborate on research projects with economists and program evaluation experts to identify the environmental, health, social and/or economic impacts of OLEM programs;
  • Analyze the impacts of OLEM programs including study design, statistical analysis, quasi-experimental analysis, hedonic analysis, geographic information systems analysis, and preparation of results for manuscripts, reports and briefing documents;
  • Collect, review, organize, verify, and analyze OLEM program data; and
  • Review scientific literature and develop syntheses and summaries of information for technical and nontechnical audiences.

Through the internship, the participant will benefit by learning new approaches to evaluate and analyze data to inform program and policy decisions in OLEM. The participant will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge of data analysis and geographic information systems. S/he may have the opportunity to communicate his/her analysis through peer-reviewed publications and/or presentations at conferences. Furthermore, s/he will gain an understanding of how scientific evidence is used to inform EPA decision-making processes.

The participant will be exposed to and interact with researchers and program staff from a variety of disciplines and organizations. S/he will have latitude in exercising independent initiative and judgment in the research commensurate with the level of training. Collaborating on project-related manuscripts will be encouraged.

Mentor(s): The mentor for questions about this opportunity is Karen Sullivan (sullivan.karen@epa.gov). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s) directly.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date:  August 1, 2022.  All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Click here for detailed information about start dates.

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

Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Click here for detailed information about full-time stipends. Funding may be made available to reimburse the participant's travel expenses to present the results of his/her research at scientific conferences. No funding available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits or relocation costs. 

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.

ORISE offers all ORISE EPA graduate students and Postdocs a free 5 year membership to the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA).

The successful applicant(s) will be required to comply with Environmental, Safety and Health (ES&H) requirements of the hosting facility, including but not limited to, COVID-19 requirements (e.g. facial covering, physical distancing, testing, vaccination).

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.


The qualified candidate should have received a master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields (e.g. Evaluation, Economics, Public Health, Geography, Public Policy), or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with completion before August 1, 2022. Degree must have been received within the past five years.

Preferred Skills:

  • Advanced skills in data analysis and using quasi-experimental statistical methods are preferred
  • Experience with Census data is also desirable 
  • Experience in communicating science and/or policy to both technical and non-technical audiences is also desired
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: LPR or U.S. Citizen
  • Degree: Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 8/2/2022 11:59:00 PM.
  • Academic Level(s): Graduate Students, Postdoctoral, or Post-Master's.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (17 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (1 )
    • Engineering (1 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (2 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (11 )
    • Other Non-Science & Engineering (2 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (27 )

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