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EPA Research Opportunity in Chemical/Environmental Engineering

*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 LocationA research opportunity is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Water (OW), Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (OGWDW), Water Security Division (WSD) located in Washington, DC.

Research Project: Exciting research opportunity with an objective to advance the nation's analytical ability to respond to drinking water and waste water contamination incidents. This project is conducting research to support the office's efforts in providing technical assistance to water utilities for conducting vulnerability assessments, developing/revising emergency response plans, and responding to security alerts and attacks; and this project is conducting research on building effective water security practices into the ongoing operations of water utilities. The goal of this project is to build the Agency's capacity to guide and coordinate activities to ensure that water utilities such as drinking water and waste water systems are protecting and safeguarding public health from terrorist and other intentional acts as well as natural and other disasters.

Learning Objectives: Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will develop skills to advance incident response efforts for the nation’s water sector by learning how to create new tools and technical guidance documents. The participant will be able to present research results at technical conferences and collaborate with federal agencies and the general public aimed towards protecting the water and wastewater infrastructure of the United States. In addition, the participant will be exposed to research efforts aimed towards water infrastructure protection, including physical damage, contamination from biological, chemical and radiological agents and system failures. Specifically the participant will:
  • Learn how to research and compose biologic, chemical and radiochemical contaminant profiles
  • Learn about methodologies used to strengthen the infrastructure of water systems
  • Learn how science policy is developed and implemented on the federal level

Mentor(s)The mentor for questions about this opportunity is Veronica Aponte-Morales ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: February 2022. 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 three to four 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. At this time, the annual stipend for bachelor's degree ~$49,157, for master's degree $60,129 and doctoral degree ~$72,750. 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.

ORISE offers all ORISE EPA graduate students and Postdocs a free 5 year membership to the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA).

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