Research Project Description
Developing Microbial Exposure Assessment Framework
Research Participation Program
Office of Research and Development
National Homeland Security Research Center
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
A postgraduate research project training opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC). This appointment will be served with the Threat and Consequence Assessment Division (TCAD) in Cincinnati, Ohio.
NHSRC research is focused on three major programs: decontamination of buildings and outdoor areas after an attack with a chemical/biological/radiological threat agent; protection of drinking water supplies and water systems, including wastewater; and provision of timely and longer-term risk assessment methodologies and risk management technologies and strategies. TCAD uses high quality research to address sampling and analysis for site characterization and sound data to inform risk assessments for supporting clearance decisions following environmental chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) events.
While the field of chemical risk assessment has been well developed, microbial exposure and risk assessments are still in their infancy, and have been somewhat limited to qualitative rather than quantitative assessments due to lack of available standardized protocols or methodologies. With guidance from a mentor, the selected participant may be involved in the following activities:
- Developing a practical solution to address health risk research needs surrounding water emergency situations
- Designing and performing experiments/analyses for microbial exposure assessments
- Applying the results from experimental and literature data to develop microbial risk assessment frameworks applicable to water security
- Reporting basic and applied research at scientific conferences and in the scientific literature.
Through this project, the participant will learn a wealth of knowledge regarding risk assessment methodologies, sampling and analytical methods, exposure assessment practices, on-going homeland security research, mathematical modeling to support risk assessments, and translation of research to water utilities and risk managers.
Applicants must have received at least a master’s degree in physical science (microbiology, biology, toxicology, etc.) or engineering within five years of the desired starting date, or completion of all requirements for the degree should be expected prior to the starting date. Experience with computational (i.e., C++, python, or JAVA) and quantitative (i.e., Matlab, Statview, or R) analysis is desired.
U.S. citizenship is required. The program is open to qualified individuals without regard to race, sex, religion, color, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran.
The appointment is full-time for one year and may be renewed for up to two additional years upon recommendation of EPA and subject to availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. The participant does not become an EPA employee.
The contact person for this project is Sarah Taft. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Apply:
The Research Participation Program for EPA ORD is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. Please reference Project # EPA-ORD-NHSRC-CIN-2013-01 when calling or writing for information. For additional information and application materials contact: Research Participation Program/EPA-ORD, 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: email@example.com.
An application can be found at www.orau.gov/orise/edu/EPA/app-gugrgpd.pdf.