U.S. nationals: Monitoring Water Contamination Research Opportunity

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Cincinnati, OH, US


*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline. Click here for information about the selection process.

EPA Office/Lab and Location: An applied research project is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office Water (OW), Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (OGWDW), Technical Support Center (TSC) located in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Research Project: The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires public water systems to monitor for unregulated contaminants in drinking water every five years. The U.S. EPA implements this requirement through the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR). The national drinking water occurrence data gathered through the UCMR program assists the U.S. EPA Administrator in determining whether or not to regulate a particular contaminant. The Technical Support Center (TSC) in Cincinnati, Ohio implements the UCMR program, and manages the key components of this complex regulatory effort. The fourth UCMR (UCMR 4) concludes at the end of 2021, and the fifth UCMR (UCMR 5) should start in 2022.

Learning Objectives: The participant will carry out various research projects related to the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR). This includes learning about the Safe Drinking Water Act, evaluating UCMR 4 data, and developing/contributing to UCMR 5. The participant will develop problem solving skills by encountering complex issues that arise during the development and implementation of an environmental rule. Additional research and project opportunities include:
  • Participating on the Workgroup, learning about stakeholder involvement, and the regulatory development process
  • Researching ways to develop and improve the database that supports UCMR 5
  • Analyzing, reviewing and evaluating environmental monitoring data in a database, including contaminant occurrence and exposure estimates, and responding to technical issues associated with these data
  • Learning how to perform on-site laboratory and data audits for newly developed analytical methods, and addressing data reporting issues

Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Brenda Bowden ([email protected]). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: August-September 2020.  All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Click here for detailed information about start dates.

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed up to three additional years upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Anticipated starting stipend is between $44,966 and $79,764. Click here for detailed information about full-time stipends.

EPA Security Clearance: Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at EPA.

ORISE Information: 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. Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

Questions: Please see the FAQ section of our website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email [email protected] and include the reference code for this opportunity.


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

Preferred skills:
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Strong technology skills and skillful in Microsoft Office, specifically Word, Excel and PowerPoint
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or currently pursuing.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Earth and Geosciences (23 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (13 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (47 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (12 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).





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