U.S. nationals: National Water Reuse Postgraduate Research Opportunity

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Washington, DC, US


*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

Two research opportunities are currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water (OW), Office of Science and Technology (OST) located in Washington, DC. The selected participant will be trained in OW with the National Water Reuse Action Plan team. The National Water Reuse Action Plan was released on February 27, 2020 and can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/waterreuse/water-reuse-action-plan.

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.

The National Water Reuse Action Plan 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. The National Water Reuse Action Plan; released on February 27, 2020, identifies specific actions EPA and its partners are leading to help strengthen the security, sustainability, and resilience of our nation’s water resources. This project focuses on implementation of these actions.

The participant will be exposed to regulatory, policy, technical, and research experiences related to technology, innovation, and policy. Under the guidance of the mentor, 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 currently being implemented and on the horizon to solve water resource issues, with an emphasis in water reuse; (3) the regulatory process to publish new federal regulations; (4) water sector affairs/stakeholders; and (5) water-related research/practitioner skills. Examples of research projects could include: (1) Assessing state and local water reuse programs and policies; (2) Research on workforce efforts and training needs; (3) Identifying effective communication techniques to the public; and (4) Research on the efficacy of treatment performance.

Through this project, the participant may learn how to research, collect and analyze data, and present information on various topics pertinent to OW including:

  • Traditional and emerging water reuse technologies; water resource management; water sustainability operationalization
  • Development and evaluation of metrics to assess progress for the National Water Reuse Action Plan
  • The 10 market opportunities described in the Water Technology Innovation Blueprints (https://www.epa.gov/water-innovation-tech)

The participant will also have opportunities to attend meetings and conferences related to the project and their research.

The mentor for this opportunity is Jeff Lape ([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 participants 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 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.


The qualified candidates should have received a master’s 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.

Preferred skills:

  • Knowledge, familiarity and/or work experience with the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, or water resources science and management
  • Possesses the skills for analysis, critical thinking and problem solving
  • Proficiency with Excel is desired
  • Excellent written communication and oral presentation skills
  • Strong networking and communication skills with a broad range of peers, awareness of strategic relationships, and adaptability to collaborate with diverse groups of people of differing opinions
  • Understanding of change management
  • Ability to research a broad variety of water monitoring subjects and projects, while also researching in-depth in a few key subject areas
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Master’s 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 )
    • Computer Sciences (1 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (3 )
    • Engineering (2 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (2 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (4 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (3 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (4 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).