EPA Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure (CCTE), Chemical Characterization & Exposure Division (CCED) located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
Research Project: Non-targeted analysis (NTA) methods are used by the EPA team to screen for hundreds-to-thousands of chemical species in a wide range of environmental media, including water, soil/dust, and biological material. Chemical identification and data processing require advanced computational approaches and modeling to ensure high fidelity data sets to inform decision making.
The EPA is developing workflows and tools to automate and improve the accuracy, efficiency, and reproducibility of NTA data processing to serve applications monitoring and reporting on chemicals of emerging concern (e.g. PFAS). The research participant will contribute to data collection and coding for NTA and PFAS analysis related applications in development by the Agency. Research training activities may include scientific programming (e.g. R, Python) for validation and automation of data processing, chemical database construction, and creation of predictive quantitative models and statistical analyses. Activities may further include multimedia sample preparation and basic operation of mass spectrometry equipment to collect chemical data for reference chemical libraries and model building. Interest and skills permitting, the research participant will have the opportunity to conduct fundamental scientific analyses, synthesize scientific data, and deliver scientific results in the form of presentations or manuscripts.
Learning Objectives: Through this research training opportunity, the research participant will have the opportunity develop their programming, analytical, and communication skills, as well as further their understanding of environmental health challenges. The participant will be able to generate research hypothesis and goals, develop programmatic tools to address them, and report results to a collaborative team.
Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed up to three to four additional years 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.