EPA Oil Spill and Response Fellowship

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. Click here for detailed information about recommendations.
All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.
Application Deadline
10/21/2020 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*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: A research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response (CESER), Homeland Security Materials Management Division (HSMMD) located in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Research Project: One of EPA's top priorities is to help the nation be better prepared to respond to oil and fuel spills that threaten public health and natural ecosystems. This research project supports the high-priority, immediate efforts of emergency response teams, as well as decades-long monitoring of the impact of spilled oil. This research project involves developing tools and methods to assess and remediate contamination from oil and fuel spills with Agency researchers and their partners. The research project also looks at the ecological and human health impacts of spilled oils and fuels, and of agents used for cleanup activities, including dispersants, surface washing agents, and solidifiers.

Learning Objectives: Under the guidance of a mentor, the research participant will gain state of the science knowledge on the environmental behavior and toxicity of oil spill treating agents by engaging with EPA experts on the environmental fate and effects of petroleum. The research participant will be given opportunities to conduct research on oils treated with chemical agents and to study how in situ burning changes the chemistry and toxicity to aquatic organisms. The research participant will learn about the biodegradation of oils exposed to spill treating agents under polar conditions as part of EPA research using cultures of high latitude microbial communities. The research participant will receive guidance from international oil spill scientists on state of the science challenges, including determining which oil-water mixing approaches provide the greatest environmental realism.
This research learning opportunity will enhance the education of the research participant by providing hands-on experience and providing opportunities for presenting research results at scientific conferences, and publishing research articles in peer reviewed science journals.

Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Robyn Conmy (conmy.robyn@epa.gov). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Fall 2020.  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 three to four 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. A travel/training allowance will also be provided. 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 EPArpp@orau.org and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should have received a doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing the degree and will reach completion by October 2020. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills:
  • Education/experience with statistics, environmental and analytical chemistry, and ecotoxicology
  • Experience working with petroleum and/or oil spill response agents
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 10/30/2020 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (1 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (1 )
    • Engineering (3 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (12 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (1 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (2 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).