Skip to section navigation

Research Project Description

Human Behavioral Exposure
Research Participation Program
Office of Research and Development
National Exposure Research Laboratory
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Research Triangle Park, NC


Project Description:

A postdoctoral research project training opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. This training opportunity is with NERL’s Human Exposure and Atmospheric Modeling Division (HEASD).

HEASD ( conducts research and development that leads to improved methods, measurements, and models for evaluating and predicting human exposure to chemical agents in the environment that threaten human health and wellbeing.  Behavior is an important determinant of human chemical exposure.  For example, chemical exposures result from the consumer products we choose and how they are used along with behaviors and activities within the home like cooking, cleaning, and incense burning.  To make further advances in methods, measurements, and models of human chemical exposure, there is a need to better understand these behaviors and the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs that underlie them.

This research opportunity will apply behavioral (or decision) science to human exposure science to provide methods, measurements and models that protect public health and the environment. The participant will be involved in the following research training activities:

  • Reviewing the literature and state-of-the-science as relates to the application of behavioral science to environmental health (e.g. smoking cessation, avoidance of asthma triggers, and work place dermal exposure) for relevance to chemical environmental exposures.
  • Developing, testing and applying survey instruments to evaluate behaviors and underlying knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs that influence environmental health.
  • Collaborating on and contributing to human exposure studies that will benefit from behavioral science capability and expertise.
  • Preparing presentations and journal articles to communicate research findings. 

The research candidate will develop capability and expertise in behavioral exposure science.  Although there are no formal training programs in this field, there is growing recognition of its value and importance. Accordingly, the research experience gained through this position will provide a unique track record, capability, and expertise to compete for permanent positions within and outside of EPA. 


Applicants must have received a doctoral degree in public health or behavioral/decision science within five years of the desired starting date, or completion of all requirements for the degree should be expected prior to the start date.

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 for up to two additional years upon recommendation of EPA and subject to availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend. Funding may be made available to reimburse a research participant's travel expenses to present the results of his/her research at scientific conferences. No funding will be made available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, 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 contact person for this project is Dr. Timothy Buckley.  He may be contacted at

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/NERL-HEASD-2013-02 when calling or writing for information. Applications are accepted and processed on a continuing basis until the selection is made. For additional information contact: Research Participation Program/EPA-ORD, Attn: Betty Bowling, MS-36, 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