Human Health Water Research

ORAU Maryland Office
Washington, Dist. of Columbia, US
May 01, 2021
May 11, 2021
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type
Multiple postgraduate research opportunities are available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Water (OW). The appointment will be served with the Human Health Risk Assessment Branch (HRAB) in the Health and Ecological Criteria Division (HECD) of the Office of Science and Technology (OST) located in Washington, DC.

The Office of Water (OW) ensures drinking water is safe, and restores and maintains oceans, watersheds, and their aquatic ecosystems to protect human health, support economic and recreational activities, and provide healthy habitats for fish, plants and wildlife. Among other activities, OW is responsible for implementing the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act. OST provides ecological and human health science support for decisions and policies that implement the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and a variety of other water related statutory programs that protect water quality, aquatic life and human health.

Research Project: The goal of this research project is to assist in the development of human health ambient water quality criteria ( and drinking water health advisories for contaminants in water ( Additionally, the participant will utilize elements of the risk assessment paradigm for both chemical and microbial contaminants including systematic review of literature, hazard identification, dose response assessment, and the use of high throughput assay data for screening and prioritization.

Learning Objectives: With guidance from the mentor, the research participant may be involved the following training activities:

Analyzing health effects data to support Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act activities
Collaborating with scientific experts in the Office of Water and across EPA
Communicating complex scientific information to a non-technical audience
Designing and implementing workshops, webinars, meetings, and outreach both internally to EPA and with federal partners
Other science and science policy projects related to water quality science
The participant will learn to synthesize and clearly communicate science issues; negotiate competing interests; conduct effective and efficient meetings, workshops, and briefings; and will have opportunities to improve oral and written communication skills. This project will provide excellent exposure to a broad range of science, research, and science-based policy issues, resource and program decision-making.

Mentor(s)/Coordinator: The mentor for this opportunity is Gregory Miller ( and the Program Coordinator is Octavia Dixon ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: June 2021. 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. At this time, masters degree stipends are ~$60,000 per year and doctoral degrees stipends are ~$72,000 per year. 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 and include the reference code for this opportunity.

The qualified candidate should have received a masters or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing one of the degrees and will reach completion by the anticipated start date. Degree must have been received within the past five years.

Preferred skills:
Knowledge of Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act or other environmental statutes
Experience in risk assessment methods and tools, including computational toxicology and new approach methods
Excellent written and oral communication skills
Ability to conduct assignments on multiple projects under tight deadlines
Experience with MS Office

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