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Research Project Description

Developing Methods/Analyzing Environmental Samples in Water, Land Applied Biosolids, Digester Sludge
Postgraduate Internship Opportunity
Region 5 Chicago Regional Laboratory
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Chicago, IL

EPA Region 5-CRL/RMD 2014-01

Project Description:

A postgraduate internship is available with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Chicago Regional Laboratory (CRL) in Chicago, Illinois. The purpose of this project is to develop methods and analyze samples in water, land applied biosolids and digester sludge.

Project elements will include, but not be limited to: detailed analysis of environmental samples by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, preparation of environmental samples, and preparation of visual materials for oral presentations and communications.

The intern will be mentored by CRL staff scientists involved in the analysis and reporting of environmental data and the planning and conducting of oral or poster presentations. Specific learning opportunities may include, but not be limited to: 

  • Developing or implementing extraction methods for environmental samples utilizing Accelerated Solvent Extraction, Solid Phase Extraction, liquid-liquid extraction or new technologies. Environmental samples may include soils, sludges, water, fish and industrial matrices.
  • Interpreting the data, including statistical analyses, review of quality assurance data, and preparation of tables and figures.
  • Writing papers to be presented at a conference and/or to be issued as post-conference reports.
  • Being involved in creating and improving current methods and technologies.

During this project the intern will:

  • Learn about the many complex environmental analyses concerning EPA.
  • Increase skills in data analysis and reporting.
  • Learn the many facets required to plan and implement a complex project.
  • Learn roles and responsibilities for being part of a team.
  • Obtain professional contacts around the country.
  • Increase sense of professional responsibility.


Applicants must have received a bachelor’s degree in analytical chemistry or a closely related discipline within five years of the desired starting date, or be currently enrolled at an accredited U.S. college or university pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in analytical chemistry. Proof of enrollment is required each semester. Experience in an environmental or industrial laboratory 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 intern does not become an EPA employee.

The appointment will be full time for six months beginning on or about March 3, 2014, and ending September 30, 2014. The participant will receive a monthly stipend. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. 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 does not become an EPA employee.

Technical Questions:

The technical contact for this project is Dr. Lawrence Zintek. He can be contacted at

How to Apply:

An application can be found at Please reference Project # EPA Region 5-CRL/RMD 2014-01 when requesting information.