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Research Project Description

Faculty and/or Postdoctoral Research Participation Program
Office of Research and Development
National Center for Environmental Assessment
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Cincinnati, OH


Project Description:

Up to four research project training opportunities for university faculty and/or postdoctoral candidates are currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)National Centerfor Environmental Assessment (NCEA) in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The participant will learn how to perform critical, in-depth reviews and analyses of toxicological and epidemiological studies in support of the qualitative and quantitative assessments of health effects associated with exposure to chemical substances. He/she will prepare with assistance of EPA staff, health assessment documents that reflect current scientific principles and risk assessment methodologies; and application of quantitative dose-response models. In this process, the participant may develop new approaches to human health assessment issues, guidance for conducing human health hazard assessments, and improvements of risk assessment methodologies and their implementation. This experience will provide the participant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform human health risk assessments which have impact at the national and global scale.

The selected individual will be exposed to many technical activities related to human health assessment. This may include the development or review of multiple, concurrent health assessments, response to peer review comments and interaction with other scientists to identify and resolve scientific issues. The participant will also learn from interaction with other individuals aspects of scientific issues that arise in the conduct of human health assessments. With guidance from his/her mentor, the participant may be involved in the following training activities:

  • Reviewing and analyzing studies supporting qualitative and/or quantitative estimates of health effects associated with various chemical substances.
  • Developing credible health assessment documents that reflect current scientific principles and risk assessment methodologies. Activities may involve interpretation of data on chemical residues and their potential fate/metabolism in the human biological system. The participant will learn how to synthesize and succinctly and clearly communicate various types of scientific information relevant to health assessments. 
  • Arranging peer reviews for health assessments, and responding to peer review comments from scientists in NCEA, other parts of EPA, and external reviewers. 
  • Devising scientific approaches and guidances in conjunction with other scientists in EPA to improve risk assessment methodologies and implementation. 

The participant will be mentored by an NCEA team member. The participant will have latitude in exercising independent initiative and judgment commensurate with their level of experience and education. EPA will be responsible to review completed projects for adherence to NCEA principles and policies, quality, and soundness of scientific conclusions.


Applicants must be either a full-time faculty member at an accredited U.S. college or university or have received a doctoral degree (in pharmacology, toxicology, biochemistry, health sciences, epidemiology, risk analysis or other appropriate scientific field) within five years of the desired starting date. Experience in providing substantive initiatives in a teamwork environment, demonstrated excellence in oral and written communication, and mastery of toxicological and risk assessment principles are strongly desired.

The program is open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, sex, religion, race, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran. U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status is preferred (but can also hold an appropriate visa status, however, an H1B visa is not appropriate). The participant does not become an EPA employee.

The appointment is full-time for one year and may be renewed for up to two additional years upon recommendation of NCEA and subject to availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance.

How to Apply:

The Research Participation Program for EPA is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. Please reference Project # EPA-ORD/NCEA-CIN-2012-01 when calling or writing for information. For additional information and application materials contact: Research Participation Program/EPA, Attn: Betty Bowling, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, P.O. Box 117, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-0117, Phone: (865) 576-8503 FAX: (865) 241-5219 e-mail:

An application can be found at