U.S. nationals: Technology, Innovation and Policy for Clean and Safe Water

Washington, DC, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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A post-graduate research opportunity is available in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Water’s (OW) Office of Science and Technology (EPA-OW-OST).  The selected applicant will be trained in OST’s Immediate (Front) Office with both the Resource Management and Information Staff and the Water Technology and Innovation team.

OST works with states, tribes, and stakeholders to develop and implement the foundational elements of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) such as water quality criteria, standards, effluent limit guidelines and analytical methods throughout the United States.  OST’s Resource Management and Information Staff (RMIS) oversee multiple areas, including regulatory management and communications.  The Water Technology and Innovation (WTI) team conducts a range of technical, policy, and program activities on behalf of the Office of Water to assess how the National Water Program and water stakeholders can better foster sustainability and technological innovations into their activities, operations, and management, as described in the Water Technology Innovation Blueprint.

Under the guidance of the mentor, the participant may learn how to research, collect and analyze data, and present information on various topics pertinent to OST including:

  • The regulatory management process for the OST’s multiple programs; inter-agency coordination (e.g. Office of Management and Budget); and the development and evaluation of metrics to assess strategic progress for different programs
  • Traditional and emerging water monitoring technology (e.g. sensors, remote sensing); the role of data in implementing the CWA and SDWA programs; big data and the Internet of Things as related to water resource management and the environment
  • The 10 market opportunities described in the Water Technology Innovation Blueprints (https://www.epa.gov/water-innovation-tech)

Through this project, the participant will develop a sound understanding of: (1) water resources management, including the critical challenges facing the U.S. and world; (2) gain an understanding of technology and innovation initiatives that are currently being implemented and are on the horizon to solve water resource issues, with an expertise in advanced monitoring and smart water; (3) the regulatory process to publish new federal regulations.  The participant will be exposed to regulatory, policy, technical, and research experiences related to technology, innovation, and policy.  The participant will have the opportunity to attend meetings and conferences related to the project and their research.

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 must have received a master’s degree in environmental engineering, environmental science, environmental studies, environmental public studies or another field of discipline with a focus/interest in water, technology, innovation, and/or sustainability. (e.g. environmental communication, environmental economics, etc.)  Degree must have been received within five years of the desired starting date, or completion of all requirements for the degree should be expected prior to the starting date.