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ORISE is continuing normal program operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ORISE EPA opportunities will be offered as long as each individual EPA office is able to complete the onboard process and ensure a meaningful experience for participants. We encourage you to apply and submit your application as soon as possible. If selected for an opportunity you will be provided with up-to-date onboarding guidance at that time.  Updates will be available on this page as needed.

Applicant Information

Applications are accepted from current students, recent graduates, and U.S. College/University faculty year round.


  • Eligibility

    The ORISE Research Participation Programs at EPA are educational and training programs designed to provide college students, recent graduates, and university faculty opportunities to participate in project-specific EPA research and developmental activities.

    Because of the educational nature of these programs, participants must fall into one of the following categories:

    1. Students must be enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university pursuing a degree in a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), and must maintain satisfactory progress in academic coursework.
    2. Postgraduate must have received their degree in an appropriate STEM discipline within 5 years of the appointment start date, or must complete all requirements for such a degree prior to the desired start date.
    3. Faculty must be full-time faculty from an accredited U.S. college or university.

    Applications will be considered without regard to race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, mental or physical disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or covered veteran’s status.

    Currently EPA opportunities are only open to US citizens.  However, ORISE does have many other opportunities which are open to LPRs and Foreign Nationals.  Please check our opportunity catalog on Zintellect, you can filter under “Citizenship.”

    Frequently Asked Questions About Eligibility

    • Can current students participate in research at EPA through ORISE?

    Current undergraduate and graduate students may hold appointments during the summer or part-time appointments during the semester. Please visit current opportunities to find projects that are currently accepting applications from students.

    • The project I want to apply for requires a completed degree. Do I need to have my degree completed before I apply, or can I apply if I am earning it within a few months?

    If you anticipate receiving your degree shortly, then you may apply. If you are selected, you will be required to show proof of degree completion before beginning the appointment. Most opportunities have a degree received by date.

  • Selection Process

    The general selection process is listed below. The time between when an application is submitted and when an offer is sent out can be as short as one week and as long as several months.

    1. Posting is listed on Zintellect.
    2. EPA Selection Committee/EPA Mentor(s) reviews applications.
      1. Some opportunities are reviewed only after the deadline but others are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants are often chosen before the deadline so apply early.
      2. Applications must be submitted and at least one letter of recommendation must be received in Zintellect for the EPA selection committee/EPA Mentor(s) to view the application.
      3. ORISE staff will prescreen applications to ensure that all required materials have been received and that the participant has attained the required educational level, but are not otherwise involved in the selection process.
    3. EPA Selection Committee/EPA Mentor(s) interviews applicants and makes a selection.
    4. Once the selection is approved by the EPA Project Officer it is sent to ORISE.
    5. ORISE reviews the application for accuracy and sends the offer letter.
      1. In general, applicants have one week to accept or decline the offer.
      2. Applicants can submit questions to ORISE or contact EPA directly.
    6. Once the participant accepts they will have onboarding items in Zintellect to complete before starting the appointment.
    7. Participants will also have to complete the EPA security clearance process before starting the appointment. This information is sent to you from EPA.

    Frequently Asked Questions About The Selection Process

    • My mentor has told me that I have been selected for an appointment. When will I receive notification from ORISE?

    All ORISE appointments must be approved by the EPA Project Officer. ORISE will send an appointment letter once this approval is received and the funding for the appointment is in place. See start of appointment for more information.

    • Can I relocate before I receive my appointment letter?

    We do not advise you to do this. Only ORISE is authorized to offer you an appointment so we do not recommend making any changes until you have accepted the offer in Zintellect. The EPA security clearance can often take 4-6 weeks or longer so your start date will often change.

  • Current Research Opportunities

    A list of all current opportunities with ORISE Research Participation Programs at the EPA.

    Find out more

  • Frequently Asked Questions - Opportunities

    Answers to the questions most commonly asked by applicants regarding opportunities at EPA.

    Are there opportunities at EPA through ORISE that are not posted on the ORISE website?

    All opportunities for ORISE Research Participation Programs at EPA should be listed in Zintellect. Check back often for additional postings. 

    How to I know if the opportunity is still accepting applications?

    If you see the opportunity on Zintellect then it is still actively accepting applications. Opportunities are closed on the deadline or after an applicant is selected and starts the appointment.

  • Frequently Asked Questions - Application

    Answers to the questions most commonly asked by applicants about their application.

    How many references do I need? Will it help me to send more?

    Two recommendations must be received before you begin your appointment. Selection officials will not be able to see your application until at least one reference has been received. You may submit more than two names, however, only the first two recommendations received can be viewed by the committee. In fairness to all applicants, we cannot manually provide the committee with the additional recommendations.

    What do I need from my references?

    When filling out your application in Zintellect you will be prompted to enter two names and email addresses for references. Zintellect then sends your reference an email with two open answer questions and 12 questions for them to rate you on a scale. Your reference has an option to attach a recommendation letter. Recommendations cannot come from the EPA mentor or coordinator of the opportunity you are applying for.

    Who should fill out a reference for me?

    You should obtain references from people familiar with your educational and professional qualifications. At least one reference should be from a professor or other similar individual who can comment on your educational experience.

    Can I attach an unofficial transcript?

    Click here for detailed information about acceptable transcripts. Unofficial transcripts are okay for the application but if selected you will need to attach an official transcript or letter from your academic institution stating that you met the degree requirements.

    Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of getting an appointment?

    Please ensure that your application is submitted and your recommendations have been received.

  • Frequently Asked Questions - Appointment

    Answers to the questions most commonly asked by applicants about the appointment.

    Can the anticipated appointment start date be changed?

    All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors including:

    • How long the interview process takes
    • Date the applicant is selected
    • EPA’s desired start date
    • The chosen applicant’s desired start date
    • Completing the EPA security process (~4-6 weeks)

    The appointment end date will change based on your actual start date to reflect a one year appointment.

    How long will my appointment last?

    Initial appointments are usually made for one year. They may be extended up to a maximum total of five years, based upon program needs, funding availability, and participant eligibility. Shorter appointments are also available, based upon program needs and candidate availability. The opportunity should state expected duration of the appointment. 

    What is the average stipend for appointments?

    Stipend rates vary on numerous factors including the opportunity, location, education, and experience. If you are interviewed for the opportunity you will be able to inquire about the exact stipend at that time. The following are very general monthly stipend ranges for EPA ORISE opportunities:

    • Undergraduate student $2,000-$3,000
    • Post BS $3,000-$4,500
    • Graduate student (MS and PhD) $3,500-$6,500
    • Post MS $4,000-$6,000
    • Postdoc $5,000-$7,500