*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline. Click here for information about the selection process.
EPA Office/Lab and Location: A postgraduate research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP). This training opportunity is with the Analytical Chemistry Branch (ACB) laboratory of the Biological and Economic Analysis Division (BEAD), Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) located in Ft. Meade, Maryland (between Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD).
Research Project: The BEAD is one of nine divisions that supports the OPP in regulating pesticides and ensuring that their use does not pose unreasonable risks to human health or the environment. BEAD’s diverse staff works together to provide data, analyses and assessments, as well as laboratory technical support, to other OPP divisions and others within and outside EPA. BEAD is comprised of an immediate office, and several branches. The ACB laboratory provides analytical chemistry laboratory support to EPA-OPP by furnishing expert technical advice and performing special chemical studies that meet emerging program needs in the areas of risk assessment and enforcement.
Throughout the course of this project, the participant will collaborate with other chemists in the laboratory and learn about the different phases of the laboratory’s projects. The BEAD-ACB laboratory is ISO 17025 compliant and the participant will learn about the ISO requirements as they apply to an analytical laboratory. Research activities may include:
- Handling, log in and analysis of pesticide residues in various environmental, food and feed samples.
- Sample handling, chain of custody and analysis of pesticide products for label claim verification
- Analysis using a variety of instrumentation including gas chromatography, liquid chromatography with a variety of detectors including flame ionization and mass spectrometry.
- Quality Assurance review of data generated and preparation of reports. This includes statistical analysis of data for quality assurance and quality control purpose
- Creation of a database for tracking, reporting, and performance large projects.
- Travel to and attendance at scientific meetings (for example AOAC, ASMS, ACS, …) to learn about new technologies and analytical methods for pesticide residues analysis.
Learning Objectives: This program provides an opportunity for the selected candidate to:
- Learn about the different phases of laboratory projects from sample log in, sample preparation and analysis to data processing, review and finally reporting.
- Conduct analyses and gain experience in using a variety of instrumentation including gas chromatography, liquid chromatography with a variety of detectors including flame ionization and mass spectrometry.
- Gain experience in laboratory project design, planning, and analysis as well as quality assurance procedures for data generation and preparation of reports.
- Interact directly with EPA analytical chemistry staff to understand the workings of an EPA laboratory that provides technical advice and performs pertinent studies that support program needs.
The participant will have an opportunity to develop/hone their analytical chemistry skills and understand the workings of an EPA analytical chemistry laboratory. The participant will also have an opportunity to conduct projects with other analytical chemists and develop pertinent scientific information for the pesticide programs.
Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Thuy Nguyen (email@example.com). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Fall 2020. 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.
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.