U.S. nationals: EPA Drinking Water Data Analysis and Policy Evaluation Postgraduate Research Opportunity

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Washington, DC, US


*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

A research opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water (OW). This appointment will be served with the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (OGWDW) in the Standards and Risk Management Division (SRMD) located in Washington, DC.

The SRMD is the focal point at EPA for developing national policy in support of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The 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. This project will focus on conducting drinking water data analysis and policy evaluation relating to health effects, occurrence, and treatment technologies of drinking water contaminants including microbes, disinfection by-products, as well as emerging contaminants such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and cyanotoxins.

Under the guidance of the mentor, the participant will have the opportunity to be involved and trained in the following team activities:

  • Learn how to compile literature and conduct scientific analyses and regulatory policy evaluations
  • Learn how to develop documents/reports/papers on drinking water topics of national significance
  • Participate in and contribute to 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. The participant 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.

The participant will have the opportunity to be trained with a dynamic, results-driven multi-disciplinary team that includes staff with expertise in microbiology, toxicology, chemistry, engineering, economics, ecology, statistics, health science and drinking water policy.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Spring/Summer 2020

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. The annual stipend will be as follows depending on education level: $48,670 (Bachelor’s), $59,534 (Master’s) and $72,030 (Doctoral). Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. The appointment is full-time at EPA in the Washington, DC area. Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please join us for the ORISE Virtual Outreach Fair on March 25 from 12:00-3:00pm (Eastern)!

There will be ORISE representatives and EPA mentors in the EPA booth.


The qualified candidate should have received a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing one of the degrees and will reach completion by June 1, 2020. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date. 

Preferred skills:

  • Experience analyzing data or policies related to drinking water, health and/or public health, or evaluating chemical and/or microbial contaminants (e.g., per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, DBPs, microbes, Legionella, etc.)
  • Backgrounds in engineering and/or evaluating regulatory policies
  • Good analytical skills for analyzing complex data sets (using R or MS Access) or interpreting regulatory policies
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively through presentations, papers, or manuscripts
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 6/1/2020 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (6 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (13 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (47 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (2 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (12 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (5 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).





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