EPA Graduate Opportunity in Water Sustainability Research

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
2/22/2022 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 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA), Office of Water in Washington, DC. The opportunity will be served with the Office of Policy Management and Engagement (OPME). The selected participant will be trained in OW with the Water Reuse Team and conduct program research to support the National Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP). The WRAP was released on February 27, 2020 (https://www.epa.gov/waterreuse/water-reuse-action-plan), with an update published April 29, 2021  (https://www.epa.gov/waterreuse/national-water-reuse-action-plan-update-collaborative-progress).

Research Project: The National Water Reuse Action Plan identifies specific actions EPA and its partners are taking to help strengthen the security, sustainability, resilience, and equity of our nation’s water resources. The participant will be exposed to regulatory, policy, technical, and research experiences related to technology, innovation, and policy. The participant will develop a sound understanding of: (1) water resources management, including the critical challenges facing the U.S. and world; (2) gain an understanding of technology and innovation initiatives currently being implemented, with an emphasis in water reuse; (3) water sector stakeholders; and (4) water-related research/practitioner skills. Examples of research projects could include: (1) assessing state and local water reuse programs and policies; (2) research on workforce training needs; (3) identifying effective communication techniques to the public; and (4) research treatment performance.

Learning Objectives: With guidance from the mentor, the research participant will learn how to research, collect and analyze data, and present information on various topics pertinent to the Office of Water including:

  • Traditional and emerging water reuse technologies; water resource management; water sustainability operationalization
  • Development and evaluation of metrics to assess progress for the National Water Reuse Action Plan

The participant will also have opportunities to attend meetings and conferences related to the project and their research.

Mentor(s): The mentor for questions about this opportunity is Ashley Harper (harper.ashley@epa.gov). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s) directly.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Spring 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 additional years upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. At this time, the annual stipend for master's degree $50,110 and doctoral degree ~$60,630. 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.OW@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 end of January 2022. Degree must have been received within the past five years.

Preferred skills:

  • Knowledge, familiarity and/or work experience with the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, or water resources science and management
  • Possesses the skills for analysis, critical thinking and problem solving
  • Proficiency with Excel
  • Excellent written communication and oral presentation skills
  • Strong networking and communication skills with a broad range of peers, awareness of strategic relationships, and adaptability to collaborate with diverse groups of people of differing opinions
  • Understanding of change management
  • Ability to research a broad variety of water monitoring subjects and projects, while also researching in-depth in a few key subject areas
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: LPR or U.S. Citizen
  • Degree: Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 5/31/2022 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (4 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (7 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (15 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (4 )
    • Other Non-S&E (1 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (2 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (3 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).