*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 Public Health Environmental Assessment (CPHEA), Health & Environmental Effects Assessment Division (HEEAD) located in Washington, D.C.
Research Project: EPA ORD provides scientific leadership for evaluating human health and ecological risks associated with exposure to physical, chemical, and biological stressors, including environmental pollutants and climate change. CPHEA is responsible for environmental assessments that inform regulatory offices of the EPA, regions, states, communities, and authorized tribes. This involves the use of both environmental and social sciences to clearly articulate the attributes of ecosystems that are valued by stakeholders, analyze, and synthesize information from disparate sources, and communicate the uncertainties inherent in the conclusions. Assessments must also consider the context of decision making, and as such use translational research approaches that involve stakeholders in problem formulation and development of assessment goals and strategies that result in products designed to be highly usable and actionable. The focus of this research opportunity is at the intersection of social science, environmental assessment, and climate change vulnerability and adaptation.
The research participant will have the opportunity to engage in the development of frameworks, tools, assessment methods, and processes to help build regional and community capacity to achieve sustainable natural resources and address cumulative impacts of stressors to underserved communities. This may involve interacting with environmental scientists on stakeholder co-production through human-centered design (HCD) of an interactive online “organon” (thought instrument or logic system) for building capacity of regional and local stakeholders to organize, understand, and integrate climate change vulnerability and resilience-based knowledge into management decisions and project designs for sustainable natural resources. The organon will be piloted through regional case studies to test its utility for supporting orientation and education, program evaluation, and detailed project planning centered on resilience to changing environmental conditions.
This research opportunity may also involve assisting in the development and evaluation of citizen science projects, focusing on the ways they may strengthen community capacity for environmental problem solving. In these activities, the research participant will have the opportunity to engage in identification of social elements of social-environmental systems and assist with research designs to incorporate these elements into translational science strategies and community-driven solutions.
Learning Objectives: The research participant will have the opportunity to learn and practice approaches for designing products, engaging with project partners, and developing outreach materials. The participant will gain an understanding of how scientific evidence is used to inform EPA decision-making processes. The participant will also have the opportunity to collaborate with scientific staff in CPHEA, EPA Regions, states, and communities.
Under the guidance of a mentor, specific research training activities may include:
Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Jordan West (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: September 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 will initially be for one year and may be renewed up to three or 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. 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.
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.ORD@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, 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.