EPA Fellowship in Ocean and Coastal Protection/Marine Pollution Prevention
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Reference Code
How to Apply
Connect with ORISE...on the GO!  Download the new ORISE GO mobile app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to help you stay engaged, connected, and informed during your ORISE experience and beyond!
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
4/30/2022 11:59:00 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 Location: Three research opportunities are currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Office of Water (OW), Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (OWOW). The appointments will be served in the Oceans, Wetlands, and Communities Division (OWCD) in the Freshwater and Marine Regulatory Branch (FMRB) or the Ocean and Coastal Management Branch (OCMB) located in Washington D.C.

OWCD manages and implements a number of ocean and coastal protection programs. The programs are responsible for the development of policy, guidance, and regulations that protect our ocean, coastal, and wetland resources. The programs include Ocean Dumping Management, Coastal Wetlands, Ocean Acidification, Coral Reef Protection, Vessel Discharges, and Coastal Resiliency. The programs work closely with EPA’s seven coastal Regional Offices (Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9 and 10), partner agencies, states, and a vast number of interested stakeholders.

For nearly 50 years, EPA has worked to prevent adverse impacts to human health and the ocean and coastal environment. Specifically, EPA’s Freshwater and Marine Regulatory Branch, in coordination with EPA’s seven coastal Regional Offices (Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9 and 10), administers the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act permitting and ocean disposal site designation, management, and monitoring program (Ocean Dumping Management Program) to protect human health and the environment from pollution caused by ocean dumping. EPA’s Ocean and Coastal Management Branch manages a myriad of ocean and coastal programs aimed at controlling vessel pollution, protecting coral reefs and coastal wetlands, monitoring and assessing coastal acidification, and enhancing coastal resiliency.

Research Project: The specific project will vary based on candidate background; however, the focus of the research will support EPA’s ocean and coastal protection and marine pollution prevention efforts.

The participant’s research will focus on assisting with the development of national-level monitoring reports, evaluation of materials that may be considered for dumping into the ocean (this may include data analysis and/or literature reviews), and/or the development of tools to support the national ocean and coastal programs.

Learning Objectives This project will provide exposure to scientific, technical, and policy issues pertaining to sources of marine pollution and the protection of ocean and coastal environments.

Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will gain an understanding of EPA’s ocean and coastal protection programs, have an opportunity to develop research projects to support EPA’s role in working with international and federal agencies and state and local governments on ocean and coastal management, and learn firsthand about the interaction between the various levels of government and the private sector on these issues. 

Mentor(s): The mentor(s) for questions about this opportunity is Sarah Gilliand (gilliand.sarah@epa.gov). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s) directly.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: June 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 may be for one year and may be renewed 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 degrees is ~$61,947 per year and doctoral degrees ~$74,950. 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. Degree must have been received before June 30, 2022 and within the past five years.

Candidates with strong communication, writing, and analytical skills are preferred.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 6/30/2022 11:59:00 PM.
  • Academic Level(s): Postdoctoral or Post-Master's.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences (12 )
    • Communications and Graphics Design (1 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (21 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (48 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (1 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).

The ORISE GO mobile app helps you stay engaged, connected and informed during your ORISE experience – from application, to offer, through your appointment and even as an ORISE alum!