Drinking Water From Source to Tap: Policy and Data Analysis

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Reference Code
How to Apply

A complete application consists of:

All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

If you have questions, send an email to EPArpp@orau.org. Please include the reference code for this opportunity in your email.


The SRMD is the focal point at EPA for developing national policy in support of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). SRMD’s goal is to protect public health by ensuring safe drinking water through executing the regulatory process for drinking water contaminants. This process includes monitoring the extent of non-regulated contaminants in drinking water systems, establishing new standards for drinking water constituents, reviewing existing drinking water regulations, developing technical information to support drinking water standards and providing technical assistance on drinking water issues.

The participant will have the opportunity to gain experience on a project that is part of an overall strategy to protect our nation's drinking water. This is an exciting opportunity to gain hands-on experience on SDWA topics and the process for developing new and evaluating existing drinking water policies and supporting science. The participant will have the opportunity to learn about many different topics including health effects, treatment technologies, economic impact and geographic scope of high profile emerging drinking water contaminant topics such as cyanotoxins, Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), nutrients, harmful algal blooms, disinfection by-products, microbes and pathogens (including opportunistic pathogens such as Legionella). The participant will also learn about the impacts of nonpoint source pollution, nutrients, harmful algal blooms and cyanotoxins in drinking water sources on surface water drinking water treatment plants. Participants will learn about source to tap solutions to managing drinking water quality including source water protection strategies that span both the SDWA and the Clean Water Act authorities. The participant will have the opportunity to be trained with a dynamic, results-driven multi-disciplinary team that includes staff with expertise in ecology, biology, microbiology, chemistry, engineering, statistics and health science.

The participant will have the opportunity to be involved and trained in the following team activities:

  • scientific analyses, regulatory policy evaluations and economic analysis as interest allows;
  • developing documents/reports/papers on drinking water topics of national significance;
  • executing parts of EPA’s drinking water regulatory development and review process including problem identification, health risk/exposure analysis and assessing risk mitigation approaches.

The participant will gain experience in technical writing, risk analysis, communication, strategic planning and project management. They will learn aspects of the Safe Drinking Water Act, EPA's drinking water regulatory process and develop a deeper understanding of the issues that face drinking water systems; and how to coordinate outreach efforts and to share pertinent information with external stakeholders.

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.  The initial appointment is for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of EPA and is contingent on the availability of funds.  The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.  Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program.  The appointment is full-time in the Washington, DC area.  Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.


Applicants should have received a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or Ph.D. in an environmental, biological, microbiological, chemical or physical science, statistics, engineering, health or public health field, or an environmental and/or public health policy field.  The degree must be received within five years of the appointment start date.

Those applicants with experience analyzing data or policies related to drinking water, Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), nonpoint source pollution, ambient water, harmful algal blooms, cyanotoxins, health and/or public health are encouraged to apply. Additionally, those with backgrounds in economics and/or evaluating regulatory policies are encouraged to apply. Other preferred skills include strong analytical skills for analyzing complex data sets or interpreting regulatory policies. Additionally, those applicants with strong critical thinking skills and demonstrated ability to communicate effectively through presentations, papers, or manuscripts are ideal.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 month(s).
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (1 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (5 )
    • Engineering (6 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (15 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (46 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (1 )
    • Other Non-S&E (1 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (12 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 )