Skip to section navigation

Research Project Description

Applying Novel Data Streams to Advance Human Health Risk Assessment
Research Participation Program
Office of Research and Development
National Center for Environmental Assessment
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Arlington, VA; Research Triangle Park, NC; or Cincinnati, OH

EPA-ORD/NCEA-2013-01

Project Description:

A postdoctoral research training opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA), in Arlington, Virginia, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, or Cincinnati, Ohio. This project will be a cross-organizational effort that involves close collaboration with other programs, including EPA’s National Center for Computational Toxicology.

This project is focused on applying state-of-the-science computational tools and methods to enhance the efficiency, reduce costs, and promote innovation and sustainability in human health risk assessment. The participant will collaborate with EPA scientists in the design and application of novel approaches to advance EPA’s critical effort assessing the health hazards of environmental chemicals. Specific research opportunities may include one or more of the following:

  • Developing approaches and methods to apply novel data streams (e.g., molecular, systems biology, biomonitoring) in human health risk assessments, including in hazard identification, mode of action analyses, dose-response evaluation, and characterization of variability and susceptibility;
  • Applying decision-support methodologies that interpret across diverse data streams to enhance human health risk assessment;
  • Developing novel approaches to access, capture, evaluate, and apply exposure information relevant to human health risk assessments;
  • Applying computational approaches to advance chemical screening and priority-setting, and health assessment;
  • Expanding implementation of tools and guidance for sustainable molecular design of chemicals;
  • Addressing efforts to improve sustainability of EPA’s human health assessment products and processes;
  • Addressing unmet challenges in evaluating human health and sustainability impacts, including:
    • Developing data, methods and tools to improve efficiency and robustness of cumulative risk assessment methods;
    • Developing risk assessment methods for endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs);
    • Improving environmental sustainability and life cycle analyses;
    • Supporting economic analyses of impacts on human health and sustainability.

Through this training opportunity, the participant will learn to develop, pilot and implement approaches for applying novel data streams, bioinformatics analyses and other tools to address unmet challenges in evaluating human health and sustainability impacts. The participant will have access to a team of experts collaborating in and across disciplines on problems crucial importance to the EPA’s mission.

The participant will be involved in addressing cross-cutting scientific issues that support sustainable decision-making in different risk contexts regarding new and existing chemicals in commerce, and the design of emerging chemical products and processes.

Qualifications:

Applicants must have received a doctoral degree in toxicology, biology, molecular biology, systems biology, bioinformatics, biological, systems or chemical engineering and/or computational biology within five years of the desired starting date, or completion of all requirements for the degree should be expected prior to the start date. Knowledge of risk assessment is desired.

The program is open to all 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. 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 appointment is full-time for one year and may be renewed upon recommendation of EPA and subject to availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend. No funding will be made available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, costs of tuition and fees, or a participant’s health insurance. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. The participant does not become an EPA employee.

Technical Questions:

The mentor for this project will be one of the following, based on the participant location:

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/NCEA-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: betty.bowling@orau.org.

An application can be found at http://orise.orau.gov/epa/applicants/application.htm.