EPA Research & Analysis on Issues Related to National Water Programs Fellowship

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 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
4/12/2024 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 Location: A research opportunity is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Office of Water (OW), Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds (OWOW), Partnership Programs Branch (PPB) located in Washington, DC to research activities related to the National Estuary Program (NEP).

The National Estuary Program (NEP) is an EPA non-regulatory, place-based program established by Congress and authorized by Section 320 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in 1987. Currently, 28 estuaries located along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts and in Puerto Rico are designated as estuaries of national significance with the goal of protecting and restoring their water quality and ecological integrity. Each NEP focuses within a study area that includes the estuary and surrounding watershed. The 28 NEPs develop and implement Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plans (CCMPs), which are long-term plans that contain actions to address water quality and living resource challenges and priorities. The NEP uses an inclusive decision-making process to define challenges and priorities with the help of local, city, state, federal, tribal, private, and non-profit stakeholders. The program is an important national model for the protection and management of watersheds. 

Research ProjectProject research will aim to address substantive issues that impact the partner-based National Estuary Program (NEP). Specific research topics will focus on the use of collaborative approaches to achieve EPA’s clean water goals, with a particular emphasis on the integration of partnership and other EPA 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. Project research will focus on climate resiliency, environmental justice, and ecosystem services with an opportunity to develop and/or work with tools and data to support strategically communicating the benefits of the NEP on a national scale. The Participant will learn about and assist the team to increase and improve partnerships with key stakeholders.

Learning Objectives: Under the guidance of a mentor, research and analysis will focus on technical, policy, communications, and measurement issues related to this program. For example, in 2024 the NEP will continue prioritizing environmental justice and climate-related topics that are particularly significant in underserved communities. In support of these goals, the research participant will research how NEP programs are implementing climate and equity objectives and how effectively targets are being achieved. The participant may also research grants and other funding sources, technical assistance and other successful programs to develop strategies in support of work conducted by place-based partners and other important stakeholders. Other activities may include: research in support of online training webinars and newsletters, and/or exploring CWA authorities to address programmatic issues. Participant will learn to communicate the HQ experience and better understand how interdisciplinary sciences support national policy.
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Spring 2024. All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Click here for detailed information about start dates.
MentorThe mentors for this opportunity are Kathleen Kutschenreuter (kutschenreuter.kathleen@epa.gov) and Noemi Mercado (mercado.noemi@epa.gov). If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor(s).
Appointment LengthThe appointment initially may be for one year and may be renewed upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding.
Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time.
Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. The annual stipend will be as follows depending on education level: ~$64,957 (Master's) and ~78,592 (Doctoral).

EPA Security ClearanceCompletion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at EPA.

ORISE InformationThis 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).

QuestionsPlease 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 before the appointment start date. Degree must have been received within the past five years.

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 6/30/2024 11:59:00 PM.
  • Academic Level(s): Graduate Students, Postdoctoral, or Post-Master's.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences (1 )
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (21 )
    • Engineering (2 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (8 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (30 )

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!