Contaminant Monitoring Rule Program

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.

Application Deadline
5/16/2016 12:00:00 AM Eastern Time Zone

A postgraduate internship project is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water in Cincinnati, Ohio. The appointment will be served with the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water in the Technical Support Center (TSC) in Cincinnati, OH.

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), as amended in 1996, requires EPA to monitor up to 30 emerging contaminants in drinking water every five years. EPA implements this requirement through the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR). The data guides the EPA Administrator in determining whether to regulate an emerging contaminant. TSC implements the UCMR program and drives the key components of this complex regulatory effort. Currently, implementation of the third UCMR (UCMR 3) is being completed, and the fourth UCMR (UCMR 4) is being finalized. TSC anticipates that implementation efforts for UCMR 4 will commence in 2017 and effort on the development for the fifth UCMR (UCMR 5) will begin about a year into implementation of UCMR 4.  

The participant will research the quality control (QC) data trends of newly developed analytical methods. This information lets EPA evaluate the accuracy and precision of the methods with nationwide drinking water occurrence data from several different laboratories. The participant will also develop problem solving skills through involvement in several areas of the UCMR program and by encountering complex issues that arise during the implementation of an environmental rule.

Additional research and project activities may include:

  • Learning about the SDWA, the UCMR program, and the UCMR data system
  • Researching past UCMR data systems by analyzing the data elements, their relationships and required functions. Learning how to perform on-site laboratory and data audits for newly developed analytical methods, and making data reporting easier
  • Analyzing, reviewing and evaluating environmental monitoring data including contaminant occurrence and exposure estimates, and responding to technical issues associated with these data
  •  Researching QC data trends of the analytical methods from the third UCMR (UCMR 3), writing a formal paper, and presenting the information gathered
  • Participating on the UCMR 4 & 5 Team, learning about methods development and the regulatory development process

This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and EPA.


Applicants must have a bachelor's degree or higher in environmental science or a closely related field within five years of the starting date, or completion of all requirements for the degree should be expected prior to the starting date, from June 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

The appointment is full time for one year and may be renewed upon recommendation of EPA and contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend. The annual stipend will range from $34,000 up to $45,000 depending on level of education. 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 will be made available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, tuition and fees, or participant’s health insurance. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. The participant does not become an EPA employee.

The mentor for this project is Brenda Parris (

Eligibility Requirements
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 month(s).
  • Discipline(s):
    • Earth and Geosciences (23 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (13 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (47 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (11 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (12 )