EPA Microbial Risk Analyst

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Reference Code

The EPA Environmental Research and Business Support Program has an immediate opening for an EPA Microbial Risk Analyst with the Office of Research and Development at the EPA facility in Cincinnati, OH.

The Biohazard Assessment Research Branch (BARB) of the Microbiological and Chemical Exposure Assessment Research Division (MCEARD), National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL), Office of Research and Development (ORD) at EPA work to understand and mitigate public health risks of microbes in water.  One team in MCEARD is focused on assessing the microbial risk associated with recycled water.  The team is seeking an individual, at least 18 years of age who has completed a Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, biology, microbiology, or a related field to assist with routine sample processing and analysis of recycled water to assess microbial risks associated with water reuse applications. This effort is expected to begin approximately October 2016. 

The candidate will assist the MCEARD team with providing technical laboratory support for a research project focusing on the microbial risks associated with on-site graywater and combined wastewater reuse systems of various scales, including 1) assessing the occurrence of norovirus and traditional fecal indicators in the on-site reuse systems, and 2) identification of alternative indicators for monitoring system treatment performance using high throughput sequence analysis of the bacterial and viral communities of the systems.

Technical laboratory support responsibilities shall include:

  • Assisting in preparation of Quality Assurance Project Plan,
  • Preparing materials (coolers, bottles, filters, etc.) to be shipped to sites for sample collection,
  • Receiving samples and associated documentation,
  • Processing of samples received, including elution of ultrafilters, followed by solvent extraction and membrane filtration of eluates,
  • Preparing microbiological media and supplements for analysis of culturable coliphage,
  • Analyzing coliphage concentrations in processed samples,
  • Extracting nucleic acid from processed samples using a variety of commercial kits,
  • Analyzing norovirus concentrations in processed samples using molecular techniques (i.e. RT-qPCR, RT-ddPCR),
  • Preparing sequencing libraries for bacterial and viral community analysis using a variety of molecular techniques and validated protocols, including DNase treatment, PCR, whole genome amplification, sample barcoding, product clean-up and normalization,
  • Maintaining careful and accurate records in designated laboratory notebooks, and
  • Maintaining inventory of supplies.

Location: This job will be located at EPA’s facility in Cincinnati, OH.

Salary: Selected applicants will become temporary employees of ORAU and will receive an hourly wage of $20.80 for hours worked.

Travel: Occasional overnight travel may be required.

Expected Start Date: The position is full time and expected to begin October 2016. The initial project is through May 14, 2017, followed by up to four (3) 12-month optional periods.

Working Conditions: 

The work will be in a laboratory setting and may involve exposure to hazardous elements.

For more information, contact EPAjobs@orau.org. Do not contact EPA directly.


Eligible applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age and
  • Have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in environmental science, biology, microbiology, or a related field of study, from an accredited university or college within the last 24 months and
  • Be a citizen of the United States of America or a Legal Permanent Resident.

EPA ORD employees, their spouses, and children are not eligible to participate in this program.

Required Knowledge, Skills, Work Experience, and Education

The applicant shall have:

  • Demonstrated education and/or experience in environmental science, biology, microbiology, or a related field,
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and have experience working in teams, and
  • Strong written, oral and electronic communication skills.

Desired Expertise, Skills, Education, and/or Experience

It is desirable for the applicant to have:

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications (i.e., Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook), and the Internet,
  • Strong communication skills (i.e., written, oral, telephone etiquette, presentation abilities),
  • General laboratory techniques for assessing water quality (i.e., knowledge of aseptic technique),
  • General laboratory safety practices,
  • Training and/or experience with water reuse systems,
  • Training and/or experience in microbiological research, and
  • Training and/or experience in molecular biology research.

How to apply:

Submit application and supporting documents by clicking on Apply Now button.

For more information, contact EPAjobs@orau.org. Do not contact EPA directly.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: LPR or U.S. Citizen
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, or Doctoral Degree received within the last 24 month(s).
  • Overall GPA: 2.00
  • Discipline(s):
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (13 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (45 )

I certify that I am at least 18 years of age; a recent graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in environmental science, biology, microbiology, or a related field of study from an accredited university or college within the last 24 months; a citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident of the United States of America; and not a current employee of EPA ORD or the spouse or child of an EPA ORD employee.

ORAU is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE AA M/F/Vet/Disability); visit the ORAU website for required employment notices.

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