US nationals: Environmental Social Science for Resilience Research

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Washington, DC, US

Academic Levels
  • Postdoctoral
  • Post-Master’s

A postgraduate or postdoctoral research opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD)/ National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC). The appointment will be with the Threat Consequence Assessment Division (TCAD) in Washington, DC.

NHSRC is conducting interdisciplinary environmental and social science research on community resilience to natural and anthropogenic disasters, including homeland security incidents. It is developing models, tools, and metrics for resilience. The research participant will collaborate with an interdisciplinary research team that integrates environmental and social science to develop, test, and disseminate models, tools, and metrics of community resilience to disasters. Under the guidance of the mentor, the participant may gain experience by:

  • Contributing to development of models, tools, and metrics and their application to community case studies.
  • Evaluating strategies to integrate qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Designing, carrying out and analyzing results of focus groups and workshops to obtain feedback on proposed models, tools, and metrics.
  • Conducting a literature survey.
  • Preparing articles, reports, conference posters and presentations, and other materials for publication.

This training opportunity will provide the research participant with exposure to emerging interdisciplinary research in community resilience, disasters, social-environmental systems, security, and sustainability. The research participant will have the latitude to exercise independent initiative, innovation, and judgment in her/his research. S/he may have the opportunity to interact with EPA research partners in other federal agencies, state and local government, academia, and community stakeholders. S/he may also have the opportunity to attend technical meetings and workshops to present research.

This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and EPA.


Applicants must have received a master’s or doctoral degree in anthropology, ecology, environmental science, environmental studies, geography, planning, sociology, systems analysis, or a related field within five years of the desired starting date, or have completed all requirements for the degree prior to the start date. Experience with quantitative and/or qualitative research including research design, sampling, field work, data management, and data analysis would enhance the research experience.

The appointment is full time for one year and may be renewed upon recommendation of EPA and contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend. Funding may be made available to reimburse the participant’s travel expenses to present the results of his/her research at scientific conferences. No funding will be made available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, tuition and fees, or participant’s health insurance. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. The participant does not become an EPA employee.

The mentor for this project isKeely Maxwell ([email protected]). The desired start date is August 15, 2016.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Currently pursuing a Doctoral degree or Master’s degree or have received one of these degrees within 60 months.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (All)
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (All)
    • Earth and Geosciences
    • Earth Sciences
    • Environmental Science Studies
    • Geographic Information Systems
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences
    • Ecology
    • Ecosystem Ecology
    • Emergency and Incident Management
    • Environmental Health
    • Forestry Sciences
    • Population and Community Ecology
    • Population Medicine, Public Health and Epidemiology
    • Public Health
  • Veteran Status: None