*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis, and this opportunity will remain open until filled.
EPA Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM) Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (OSRTI), Assessment and Remediation Division (ARD). The appointment will be served with ARD's Science Policy Branch (SPB) located in Washington, DC. Currently, SPB staff are working remotely due to the pandemic.
Research Project: Perfluorinated alkyls (PFAS) are a growing concern for EPA. Human health risk assessments depend on accurate estimates of exposure and as clear an understanding as possible of what exposure levels may be harmful. Very little is known about fetal exposures to PFAS. What is known is limited to cord blood studies, which represent short-term exposures. Meconium accumulates in the fetal gut during the second and third gestational trimesters. It is normally expelled shortly after birth. Meconium analyses have been used to evaluate fetal exposures to heavy metals, pesticides and other environmental contaminants. This project will involve development of analytical methods for analysis of PFAS in meconium as well as an assessment of PFAS exposures among newborns of women living in the Washington, DC and other areas. The data obtained over the course of this project will be used to better assess lifetime human PFAS exposures.
Learning Objectives: Through this project, the participant will have the opportunity to expand skills in analytical chemistry, particularly in analysis of complex biological matrices. The participant will also develop skills in the development of interdisciplinary, multi-institutional teams, collaboration across disciplines, undertake groundbreaking scientific research, develop manuscripts for publication, learn advanced statistical methods and present findings to professional and lay audiences. The participant will be trained in advanced mass-spectrometric techniques, trouble-shooting, human subjects recruitment, protection of human research subjects rules and regulations, and will learn how science informs federal policy by directly interacting with EPA staff responsible for policy development.
Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Andrea Kirk (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Summer 2022. All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors.
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, annual stipend for doctoral degree ~$89,000/year. A $2,500 travel allowance will also be provided for travel to scientific meetings or conferences.
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).
Questions: Please see the FAQ section of our website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email ORISE.EPA.REG@orau.org and include the reference code for this opportunity.
The qualified candidate should have received a doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing the degree with completion by the appointment start date. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.
- Background and experience in methods development, tandem mass spectrometry, and chemical speciation
- Experience with analytical chemistry, fetal development, interdisciplinary research, human subjects research and statistics