EPA Reduction of Food Waste 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
8/4/2021 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 LocationA research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Office of Science Advisor, Policy and Engagement (OSAPE) located in Washington, DC.

Research Project: The U.S. has set an ambitious goal to halve food waste by 2030. Over one-third of the food produced in the U.S. is never eaten, wasting the energy and water used to produce it, filling landfills, and leading to methane emissions from landfills and water impacts from pesticide and fertilizer use. In collaboration with ORD’s Office of Science Advisor, Policy, and Engagement, the research participant will conduct research to help U.S. meet our food waste reduction goal and meet it in the most environmentally beneficial way.

The research participant may be involved in one or more of the following areas:
  • Quantifying the environmental impacts of food waste, the potential environmental benefits of reducing food waste, and/or the environmental impacts of food waste pathways, from source reduction to recycling to disposal
  • Designing strategies to maximize environmental benefit of food waste reduction efforts
  • Assessing effectiveness of strategies to reduce food waste and its environmental impact
  • Analyzing structural barriers (i.e., the ways we market, sell, store and use food) in the food system to consumers reducing their own household waste, and identifying practical, achievable design changes (e.g., in packaging or kitchen storage) to overcome these barriers
  • Designing strategies to align incentives of consumers and consumer-facing businesses, so they can help each other prevent food waste
  • Optimizing the use of technology to help households waste less food

Learning Objectives: The research participant will have latitude in exercising independent initiative and judgment in conducting analyses and identifying and conducting research, under the guidance of ORD’s Senior Advisor on Food Loss and Food Waste. The research participant 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 will collaborate with scientists in environmental and social sciences.

Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Shannon Kenny (Kenny.shannon@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 six months 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.

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 a doctoral degree. Degree must have been received within the past five years.

Preferred skills:
  • Knowledge of environmental policy, public policy, or interdisciplinary science policy work
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Interest in life cycle and systems thinking desired given the complexity of the food system
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (4 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (4 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (47 )
    • Other Non-S&E (2 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (12 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (29 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).

I have received a master's or doctoral degree within the past five years, or am currently pursuing a doctoral degree.