EPA Urban Waters Federal Partnership Fellowship
EPA Office/Lab and Location: A research training opportunity is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA), Office of Water (OW) in Washington, DC. The opportunity will be served with the Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (OWOW), Partnership Programs Branch (PPB). At this time EPA does not have a 100% remote work option for ORISE participants. Telework up to 4 days per week is possible, but selected candidates for this position will be expected to relocate to Washington D.C. and report for work to the EPA Headquarters.
The opportunity supports EPA’s mission to protect and restore U.S. water resources and habitats for the health and economic benefit of all citizens. PPB plays a critical role in OWOW and the national water program, serving as the focal point for the use of collaborative, stakeholder-driven approaches to help states achieve Clean Water Act goals. The core partnership programs managed by PPB are the Urban Waters Program (UW), the National Estuary Program (NEP), and the Trash Free Waters Program (TFW). These core programs are the facilitators of many successful partnerships to address water quality and other issues. PPB’s role to develop and support partnerships and facilitate action is supported by state and local governments, the business community, citizen groups, and many others. There is broad public recognition that collaborative planning and program development through partnership programs can foster innovation, reduce adversarial barriers, and achieve beneficial and measurable outcomes. The three water partnership programs are particularly focused on priority issues for EPA such as increased green infrastructure investment, climate resiliency, environmental justice and water equity.
Research Project: This research opportunity focuses on researching opportunities for strengthened collaboration between the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP) and the water utility sector. The UWFP is a partnership between fifteen federal agencies working in 20 cities to revitalize urban waterways and the communities and watersheds that surround them, with a central focus on underserved and overburdened communities.
This project will involve research into the current relationships, challenges, and opportunities between the UWFP and the water utility sector. This project will build upon previous research conducted by other ORISE participants. Research opportunities include but are not limited to: expanding research into more of the 20 UW locations; exploring funding for a diversity of green infrastructure investments including a comprehensive understanding of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, other federal programs, water utilities, etc.
For more details on the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/urbanwaterspartners.
Learning Objectives: Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will:
- Better understand complex relationships and institutional dynamics at work in voluntary partnerships.
- Develop a robust understanding of the water utility sector as well as interagency partnerships with wide-ranging community organizations, other non-profits, and governmental agencies.
- Explore opportunities to integrate green infrastructure into the work of water utilities.
- Analyze opportunities and research potential new alignments with partners for strategic and programmatic growth.
- Strengthen creativity and interpersonal skills, and demonstrate leadership in a national program.
- Develop relationships with national, regional and local leaders on issues relevant to water utilities and the UWFP.
- Collaborate with partners to develop multi-benefit solutions to complex challenges.
- Improve flexibility and adaptability as project objectives adjust to meet new funding other opportunities for impact.
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Fall 2022. All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Click here for detailed information about start dates.
Mentor: The mentor(s) for this opportunity is Chris Orvin (email@example.com) and the project coordinator is Cherisse Lewis (Lewis.Cherisse@epa.gov). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s) or project coordinator.
Appointment Length: The appointment initially may be for one year and may be renewed upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding.
Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.
Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. The current yearly stipends for this opportunity are ~$61,947 (MS) and ~$74,950 (Ph.D.). Click here for detailed information about full-time stipends.
EPA Security Clearance: Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at EPA.
ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and EPA. Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.
ORISE offers all ORISE EPA graduate students and Postdocs a free 5 year membership to the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA).
The successful applicant(s) will be required to comply with Environmental, Safety and Health (ES&H) requirements of the hosting facility, including but not limited to, COVID-19 requirements (e.g. facial covering, physical distancing, testing, vaccination).
Questions: Please see the FAQ section of our website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email ORISE.EPA.OW@orau.org and include the reference code for this opportunity.
The qualified candidate should be currently pursuing or have received a master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields. Degree must have been received within the past five years.
- Strategic thinking
- Excellent communication skills
- Ability to balance and prioritize multiple research needs
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Urban environmental planning
- Familiarity with green infrastructure concepts
- Spatial Analysis
- Water infrastructure finance