Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Reference Code
How to Apply

A complete application consists of:

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

If you have questions, send an email to Please include the reference code for this opportunity in your email.


A postgraduate or postdoctoral research project training opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of the Science Advisor in the Office of Research and Development (ORD). This appointment will be served in Washington, DC.

EPA and state environmental programs are expanding use of citizen science and crowdsourcing.  Two recent reports from an external advisory committee define a proposed vision for citizen science at EPA and the importance of partnerships with other organizations to support the growing number of activities across the U.S.

The participant will be involved in analysis of research gaps and synthesis of innovative research approaches to science and technical issues using citizen science and crowdsourcing. The research participant may be involved in the following activities:

  • Assessing citizen science approaches at the national level, focusing on the feasibility of incorporating data collected and analyzed by citizen scientists into EPA’s science programs and future projects. Research will also include identifying and quantifying gaps in application of citizen science products and conducting research directed at uncovering innovative solutions that remedy the deficiencies in the citizen science approaches.
  • Analyzing how citizen science contributes to environmental protection at the local, regional and national level – including environmental monitoring, research, management and decision making.  This activity will entail investigation of how different organizations (States and tribes, academic institutions, NGOs, private sector, local government) design and organize citizen science programs, and approaches to data management and use.
  • Analyzing citizen science infrastructure and technology that support more effective public participation in scientific research.  Following the analysis phase, the research participant will synthesize new research approaches for development and deployment of the next generation of citizen science activities.

The research participant will have latitude in exercising independent initiative and judgment in conducting the research.  The research will have the opportunity to collaborate with peers at EPA, as well as other federal agencies and non-profit and academic institutions. The research participant may collaborate with scientists in all fields of environmental sciences.  

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. The initial appointment is for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of EPA and is contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. The appointment is full-time in the Washington, DC area. Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.

The mentor for this project is Jay Benforado ( The anticipated start date for the appointment is December 1, 2018.


Applicants must have received a master’s or doctoral degree within five years of the desired starting date, or completion of all requirements for the degree should be expected prior to the starting date.  The degree should be in an environmental or health related field such as earth and life sciences, social science, environmental policy, or interdisciplinary work.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 month(s).
  • Discipline(s):
    • Earth and Geosciences (21 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (46 )
    • Other Non-S&E (2 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (27 )