*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 postgraduate research opportunity is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Office of Water (OW), Office of Science and Technology (OST), Standards and Health Protection Division located in Washington, DC.
The Standards and Health Protection Division (SHPD), located in EPA’s OST, directs the national water programs for water quality standards (WQS) to protect the quality of lakes, rivers, estuaries and other water bodies and directs programs regarding advisories for safe fishing and swimming.
The participant will be trained in the Division’s National Branch (NB), the branch that works on guidance on fish and beach advisories as well as one of two branches that work on water quality standards. National Branch develops policy, guidance, and technical documents to assist states, tribes, and territories in implementing their fish and beach advisory programs as well as WQS programs. The Fish and Beach Advisory programs focus on identification of analytes that states/tribes should monitor as part of their advisory program and how to communicate risk, development and implementation of data systems related to advisory monitoring data, and development of tools for better collection of data on pollution sources that cause advisories. The WQS policies, guidance documents, and technical documents focus on protecting high quality waters, establishing goal uses for surface waters, and implementing water quality criteria (i.e., amount of pollutant(s) allowed in the waterbody).
Research Project: The primary goal of this research project is to contribute to the human-health oriented Fish and Beach Advisory programs by providing support to the revision of a major Fish Advisory Program Guidance. This would include research and development of pertinent technical and policy materials related to primarily fish advisories. The applicant will learn to provide science and policy analysis on fish advisory issues that have national implications. In addition, to a lesser extent, the goal of this research project is to support science and policy analysis on water quality standards program issues that have national implications, particularly those pertaining to the implementation of water quality criteria.
Learning Objectives: The participant will learn about the role of fish and beach advisory programs and water quality standards in achieving the goals of the CWA. The participant will learn to research and provide science and policy analysis on fish advisory issues as well as WQS related issues. In addition, the participant will gain familiarity with relevant EPA regulations and guidance documents. This opportunity will provide excellent exposure to: (1) a broad range of water pollution control technical and policy issues; (2) the process of applying technical data and information to policy development; and, (3) synthesizing technical and policy information for presentation to EPA managers and staff and appropriate stakeholder groups.
The participant will be exposed to decision-making discussions with EPA managers, including opportunities to brief those managers. The participant will also be able to meet and collaborate with EPA employees and managers across a wide range of disciplines and EPA offices. The participant will also hone the skill of communicating complex scientific or technical information to a non-technical audience.
Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Lisa Larimer (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Spring 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 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 Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. At this time, master's degree stipends are ~$60,000 per year and doctoral degree's stipends are ~$72,000 per year. 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 EPArpp@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 and will reach completion by the anticipated start date. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.