EPA Research and Analysis on National Water Partnership Programs

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
2/24/2022 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 training 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 Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (OWOW), Partnership Programs Branch (PPB).

The project supports EPA’s mission to protect and restore U.S. water resources and habitats for the health and economic benefit of all citizens, in both urban and rural communities. PPB plays a critical role in OWOW and the national water program, serving as the focal point for the use of collaborative, stakeholder-driven approaches to help states achieve Clean Water Act goals. The core partnership programs managed by PPB are the Urban Waters Program (UW), the National Estuary Program (NEP), and the Trash Free Waters Program (TFW). These core programs are the facilitators of many successful water program partnerships that are led by states and localities. This catalytic role has strong support from state and local governments, the business community, citizen groups, and many others. There is broad public recognition that collaborative planning and program development through partnership programs can foster innovation, reduce adversarial barriers, and achieve beneficial and measurable outcomes. The three water partnership programs are particularly focused on priority issues for EPA such as climate resiliency, environmental justice and water equity, and the impacts of excessive trash pollution on communities and ecosystems.

Research Project: Project research will primarily address substantive issues related to the Trash Free Waters Program (TFW) and the Urban Waters Program (UW), though some research may also address issues related to the National Estuary Program (NEP) or water partnership programs in general. Research and analysis will focus on technical, policy, communications, and measurement issues related to these programs. Specific research topics will focus primarily on the use of collaborative partnership approaches to achieve EPA’s clean water goals, with a particular emphasis on the integration of partnership programs to improve water quality and ecosystem health, ensure water equity among all communities, and address major water resource management challenges in specific geographic locations across the U.S. In 2022, TFW and UW will focus on environmental justice and impacts from trash pollution and climate-related events that are particularly significant in underserved communities across the U.S.

Learning Objectives: With guidance and support from the mentor, plus office managers and staff members, the participant will learn about a wide range of issues related to EPA's water programs. The participant also will have ample opportunity for participatory learning about the use of geographically-based and issues based collaborative partnership programs that play critical roles in support of the Agency's mission to protect and restore the nation's water resources. The participant will perform research that enhances their analytical, communication, and strategic planning skills, while analyzing technical, policy, and programmatic issues on a daily basis. The participant will engage with a wide range of government and non-governmental stakeholders, gaining valuable and diverse perspectives and developing valuable skill sets for collaborative problem solving.

Mentor(s): The mentor9s) for questions about this opportunity is Romell Nandi (nandi.romell@epa.gov) and Chris Orvin (orvin.chris@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 $60,129 and doctoral degree ~$72,750. 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 be currently pursuing or have received a master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields. Degree must have been received within the past five years.

Preferred skills:
  • Knowledge or practical experience regarding EPA programs, particularly the Clean Water Act.
  • Experience working on public/private partnerships, trash prevention programs, state or urban/community programs, freshwater or estuarine programs, water regulatory programs, and/or environmental justice
  • Experience with public policy (complementary to technical skills)
  • Knowledge of water equity issues and strategies
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, and the ability to comfortably interact with internal and external stakeholders from a wide variety of programs, offices, groups, and entities
  • Experience with public outreach
  • Strong analytical skills with regard to program planning, public policy, and technical issues
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or currently pursuing.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (1 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (2 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (4 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).