EPA Postdoctoral Fellowship in Assessing Environmental Media for Partitioning of PFAS
EPA Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Center for Environmental Measurement & Modeling (CEMM), Ecosystems Processes Division (EPD) located in Athens, Georgia.
Research Project: The EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) Chemical Processes and Systems Branch (CPSB) develops and applies analytical methods to characterize environmental exposures of contaminants including Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). Currently, the CPSB is developing laboratory methodologies to shed insight into PFAS environmental mobility within aquatic and terrestrial settings in an effort to understand how fate and mobility impacts exposure and bioaccumulation for organisms within these systems. The CPSB in Athens, GA is seeking qualified candidates for a full-time appointment to support the Agency in these efforts. The candidate will participate alongside a multi-disciplinary team in the laboratory, providing analytical method development, scientific writing, and data management skills. Research training activities may include:
- Preparing and analyzing environmental samples, including soil, sediments, water and biota;
- Developing and validating LC-MS/MS and LC-HRMS methods for detection of small molecules (like PFAS) to meet needs of the analytical laboratory;
- Drafting of technical communication documents including but not limited to manuscripts, protocols, proposals, project updates, and analytical procedure documents;
- Maintaining instruments, including LC and GC mass spectrometers, and keeping logs detailing the performance and function of such instruments;
- Providing technical findings in their area of research and sharing this experience with both internal EPA and external partners as needed;
Learning Objectives: The research participant will have the opportunity to gain valuable skills from a multi-disciplinary team of scientists on laboratory processes to characterize environmental samples. The research participant will learn quality assurance and maintaining careful and accurate records needed to generate high-quality chemical data and may have the opportunity to communicate their findings through publication of manuscript or presentations at national meetings.
Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Marina Evich (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: September 1, 2022. 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. 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.
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 EPArpp@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 (e.g. Chemistry, Environmental Science). Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.
- Experience in preparing analytical samples from complex environmental matrices for analysis on liquid and/or gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, and some knowledge of common PFAS analytes
- Ability to work cooperatively within a team of interdisciplinary scientists and ability to communicate their findings clearly with good verbal and written skills