EPA Office/Lab and Location: One research opportunity is currently available in the Water Reuse Program within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water (OW), Office of Science & Technology (OST) in Washington, D.C.
OST helps implement the National Water Reuse Action Plan, or WRAP. The WRAP leverages the expertise of over 100 different organizations–including scientists, policy makers, and utilities–to address barriers to reuse through a series of actions. Some actions help connect cities to the funding needed to build treatment facilities. Other actions deliver trainings to small or rural water systems. Additionally, actions leaders are leveraging public diplomacy tools to build international water reuse capacity through information exchanges, technical webinars, and case studies.
Research Project: The participant will be exposed to regulatory, policy, technical, and research experiences related to technology, innovation, and policy in the water reuse space and will develop an understanding of:
- U.S. regulatory frameworks for drinking and wastewater;
- Critical challenges to water resources management;
- Technology and innovation initiatives for water reuse;
- The roles of stakeholders; and 5) related research.
Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will engage with scientists and water sector professionals nationwide. Their research project will support the development of materials for medical professionals, as well as synthesizing national regulatory information on water reuse and presenting at conferences for water reuse professionals. Our team encourages participants to suggest research areas of interest that support our mission.
Learning Objectives: Under the guidance of a mentor, the research participant will learn how to research, collect and analyze data, and present information on various topics pertinent to the Office of Water including:
- Traditional and emerging water reuse technologies; integrated water resource management; and water sustainability.
- Development and evaluation of metrics to assess meaningful progress for the National Water Reuse Action Plan.
- State water reuse regulations and policies.
- Public health topics related to emerging contaminants or pathogens in water reuse.
- Effective risk communications, as it relates to public health and water reuse. The participant will also have opportunities to attend meetings and conferences related to the project and their research.
Appointment Length: The appointment initially may be for one year and may be renewed upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding.
Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.
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).
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).
The qualified candidate should have received a master’s or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with completion by January 2023. Degree must have been received within the past five years.
- Knowledge, familiarity and/or work experience with the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, or water resources science and management.
- Possesses the skills for analysis, critical thinking and problem solving.
- Proficiency with Excel.
- Excellent written communication and oral presentation skills.
- Strong networking and communication skills with a broad range of peers, awareness of strategic relationships, and adaptability to collaborate with diverse groups of people of differing opinions.
- Understanding of change management.
- Ability to research a broad variety of water monitoring subjects and projects, while also researching in-depth in a few key subject areas.