U.S. nationals: Postgraduate Research Opportunity with the EPA's Water Quality Framework

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 Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water (OW), Office of Wetlands, Ocean and Watersheds (OWOW). The appointment will be served with the Watershed Restoration, Assessment and Protection Division located in Washington, DC.

The Water Quality Framework is an Agency strategy to integrate water quality information to better enable science-based water resource decisions in support of water program goals related to nutrients, non-point sources, national surveys, and assessed and impaired waters. The goal of the project is to increase the utility of water quality data by exploring ways to improve access to and analysis of water quality information. 

Under the guidance of a mentor, the selected participant will learn and be trained in the following:

  • Learn how EPA programs support the Clean Water Act and meet EPA water quality goals
  • Experience how EPA collaborates with federal, state, and tribal agencies to support water resources decisions
  • Gain experience with data management and information technologies that support national and local water monitoring program implementation and water resources management
  • Collaborate with state and tribal agencies on issues of national level data quality and data management
  • Have the opportunity to apply data management and technical problem-solving skills while collaborating with diverse stakeholders
  • Gain experience with common software data analysis tools and will receive training in the design and development of new tools to support data publishing and analysis

The mentor for this opportunity is Shelly Thawley ([email protected]).

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.

Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at EPA. OPM can complete a background investigation only for individuals, including non-US citizens, who have resided in the US for the past three years.


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

Candidates with strong technical skills including open source development (R, python, GIS) or a strong desire to gain such skills are preferred.

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 (1 )
    • Computer Sciences (1 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (23 )
    • Engineering (2 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (13 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (47 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (12 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (2 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).

I certify that I have lived in the United States for the past three years.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development