U.S. nationals: Postgraduate Research Opportunity in Environmental Science and Policy

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Boston, MA, US


*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

A research opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA), Region 1 Water Division, Surface Water Branch, Watershed and Nonpoint Source Management Section located in Boston, Massachusetts. This opportunity will involve efforts towards research topics of interest to the Southeast New England Program (SNEP).

SNEP is a geographically-based program intended to serve as a collaborative framework for advancing ecosystem resiliency, protecting and restoring water quality, habitat, and ecosystem function, and developing and applying innovative policy, science, and technology to environmental management in southeast coastal New England. A critical aspect of this framework is the integration of physical processes, water quality, and critical habitat at a regional, watershed, and/or landscape scale. This ecosystem-based approach increases the effectiveness of regional restoration efforts to enhance the impact and scale of local efforts and limit duplication. It enables sharing of financial and management resources, and builds sustainable frameworks and partnerships needed to invest in wise restoration and proactive measures over the long-term. More information on the program can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/snecwrp.

Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will have the opportunity to be involved with a number of SNEP projects including but not limited to:

  • Investigating models/frameworks for ecological restoration prioritization
  • Investigating models/frameworks to determine high value and vulnerable areas in the SNEP region
  • Participating in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping efforts in the SNEP region
  • Contributing to a “State of the Region” report
  • Researching the timing and extent of algal blooms in the region
  • Cataloging monitoring efforts and collaborations in the region
  • Identifying and researching key information gaps in water quality data in the SNEP region
  • Identifying and researching key information gaps and benefits of ecosystem services in the SNEP region as they pertain to water quality
  • Evaluating ecosystem services and functions provided by SNEP’s watersheds
  • Contributing to facilitation and report synthesis for SNEP’s Monitoring Subcommittee and Ecosystem Services Subcommittee
  • Assessing the effectiveness of innovative approaches to restore ecological integrity in SNEP coastal waters
  • Contributing to the planning and execution of workshops and Subcommittee meetings
  • Participating in identifying and sustaining involvement of stakeholders including contributing to the development of a SNEP communications plan
  • Investigating innovative regulatory tools, management approaches, and technological advances that may better incorporate ecosystem restoration practices as tools to improve water quality in the SNEP region, and beyond

This research opportunity will provide a unique chance to understand and participate in a regional scale effort to advance the tools and opportunities available for more collaborative and innovative management of environmental problems. The participant will be exposed to a broad range of environmental issues, both technical and policy, and will have the opportunity to interact with high-level stakeholders in the public, private, and nongovernmental sectors.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Summer 2020 (Please note: start date and interview process may be impacted by the current COVID-19 situation)

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 appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed upon recommendation of EPA contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. The annual stipend will be $57,043. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. The appointment is full-time at EPA in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.


The qualified candidate should have received a master’s degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing the degree and will reach completion by August 7, 2020. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date. 

The candidate should live within, or be willing to relocate to, commuting distance of Boston. No relocation allowance will be provided. A candidate with a driver’s license and personal vehicle is preferred

Preferred skills:

  • Communication skills (oral and written)
  • Experience conducting research on a team and independently
  • Experience with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Understanding of water quality and habitat restoration practices
  • Understanding of ecosystem management
  • Understanding of key ecological functions
  • Landscape/nature-based interventions
  • Monitoring approaches
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Master’s Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 8/7/2020 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Computer Sciences (2 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (9 )
    • Engineering (3 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (13 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (10 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (2 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (1 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).





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