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EPA Fellowship in Supporting Environmental Health and Water Quality

EPA Office/Lab and Location: A postgraduate research project training opportunity is currently available in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water (OW). The appointment will be served with the Ecological Risk Assessment Branch (ERAB) in the Health and Ecological Criteria Division (HECD) of the Office of Science and Technology (OST) in Washington, D.C. 

Research Project: The goal of this project is to assess the potential ecological effects of toxic pollutants on aquatic life as it relates to Clean Water Act ambient water quality criteria development. Under the guidance of the mentor, the participant may be involved in: gathering and evaluating information on the toxicity of pollutants to aquatic organisms and developing ecological effects assessments; investigating recent scientific developments and evolving ecological risk assessment approaches; collaborating with scientific experts in the Office of Water and across EPA supporting the Clean Water Act and a variety of other water regulatory programs; communicating complex scientific or technical information to a non-technical audience; attending meetings and conferences regarding water quality and ecological effects; and, reaching out to stakeholders and developing water-related research/practitioner skills.  

Learning ObjectivesThe participant will have the opportunity to learn about the development of Clean Water Act ambient water quality criteria and benchmarks to help ensure that water is safe for aquatic life. The participant will be part of a multi-disciplinary and/or cross-program team on any given project or issue. The participant will collaborate with a mentor who will introduce the participant to EPA scientists and leaders in environmental science and policy. Additionally, the participant will have the opportunity to assist in the development of criteria, prioritization approaches and/or methodologies for criteria development. Close collaboration with other EPA offices, other federal agencies and external groups is expected. 

Mentor(s)/CoordinatorThe mentor for this opportunity is Kathryn Gallagher ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s) or program coordinator.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Fall/Winter 2022.  All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Click here for detailed information about start dates.

Appointment LengthThe appointment initially may be for one year and may be renewed upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. The current yearly stipends for this opportunity are $61,947 (MS) and $74,950 (Ph.D.). Funding may be made available to reimburse the participant’s travel expenses to travel to workshops, trainings, or conferences related to their research participation with the EPA. No funding will be made available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, tuition and fees, or participant’s health insurance.

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

ORISE InformationThis 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).

The successful applicant(s) will be required to comply with Environmental, Safety and Health (ES&H) requirements of the hosting facility, including but not limited to, COVID-19 requirements (e.g. facial covering, physical distancing, testing, vaccination).

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 master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields (Biology, Chemistry, Aquatic Toxicology, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Ecology), or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with completion before December 31, 2022. Degree must have been received within the past five years.

Preferred skills:

  • Experience in risk assessment methods and tools
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to multitask under deadlines
  • Knowledge of Clean Water Act or other environmental statutes
  • Experience with MS Office / Excel