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EPA Fellowship on Applying High-resolution Mass Spectrometry and Non-targeted Analysis Methods for Environmental Health Protection: North Carolina

Job Description

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
Job Category
Monthly Stipend TBD
Last Date to Apply
*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline. EPA Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure (CCTE), located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Research Project: High-resolution mass spectrometry used as a critical component of non-targeted analysis (NTA) methods is transforming the way that local, state, regional and federal environmental health agencies are able to achieve their mission of protecting human health and the environment. Over the last ten years, EPA's Office of Research and Development has been a leader in the development of NTA methods, tools, and workflows to enable more broad adoption and application of NTA. At the same time, state and local government labs are recognizing the value of NTA to their programmatic interests and are taking steps to develop this capability. Numerous obstacles are being encountered. ORD has anticipated these obstacles and has been developing methods, tools, and workflows to address them. Accordingly, the goal of this project is bring together state needs with available ORD resources building capacity and empowering states and regions to access high resolution mass spectrometry NTA knowledge and tools to independently apply NTA in their management of PFAS and other contaminants of emerging concern. The project was awarded under EPA's Regional-ORD Applied Research (ROAR) program that seeks to advance collaborative ORD and regional research partnerships to address high priority near-term regional, state, tribal and strategic Agency research needs. Learning Objectives: The research participant will advance their NTA expertise by learning of ORD's advanced resources and capabilities. This research training will be further enhanced by the research participant visiting state stakeholder labs to gain knowledge of their NTA capabilities, limitations, and opportunities. The research participant will collaborate in transferring ORD's NTA methods, tools (e.g., web resources, code), and workflows to states so that their independent NTA capabilities are enhanced. The research participant will further their training and expertise by learning of ORD's advanced capabilities and resources relating to NTA. Research training activities may include scientific programming (e.g. R, Python) for validation and automation of data processing, chemical database construction, and creation of predictive quantitative models and statistical analyses. Activities may also include multimedia sample preparation and application of high-resolution mass spectrometry instrumentation to collect chemical data for reference chemical libraries and model building. The research participant will have the opportunity to conduct fundamental scientific analyses, synthesize scientific data, and deliver scientific results in the form of presentations or manuscripts. Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Tim Buckley ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s). Anticipated Appointment Start Date: January 6, 2022. All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed up to three additional years 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. 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 and include the reference code for this opportunity.
The qualified candidate should have received a master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields (e.g. Chemistry, Computer Science, Biology, Public Health, Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, Ecology, Mathematics). Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date. The research or practicum experience associated with the degree includes the application of high-resolution mass spectrometry for chemical discovery and experience using a scientific programming language (e.g. R, Python) to summarize and manipulate data files, manage data, and conduct basic data analysis such as statistics and modeling. Preferred Skills: - A working knowledge of high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) for the purpose of chemical discovery in environmental or biological samples including the use of vendor or other proprietary software for chemical discovery. This working knowledge of HRMS and its data output is fundamental to the data processing and analysis skills that are also desirable. - Data skills including the development of code such as R or Python for the purpose of data processing, curation, and creation of predictive quantitative models and statistical analyses are desirable but not essential. - Experience with the open source software FluoroMatch ( is also useful but not a requirement. - Teaching, communications, and interpersonal skills that will result in effective and positive stakeholder interaction related to transfer of ORD capabilities, technology, and resources.
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