*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline. Click here for information about the selection process.
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), Chemical Characterization & Exposure Division (CCED) located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
Research Project: The EPA Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure (CCTE) is responsible for developing new computational tools and providing quantitative analysis for improving public health and environmental risk assessments and regulatory decisions pertaining to chemical safety. Throughout the course of this research project, the research participant will be trained in new approach methodologies (NAMs) that allow rapid estimation of potential risks from chemicals, even when those chemicals do not have traditional toxicity or exposure data available. Using these NAMs, large numbers of chemicals can be rapidly screened and prioritized for more detailed risk assessment. The research participant will be trained in state-of-the-art NAMs, including approaches for computational toxicology, computational exposure science, high-throughput toxicokinetic modeling, in vitro-in vivo extrapolation, and risk assessment. The research participant will have the opportunity to advance these methods and make important contributions to the field.
The tools to be used include existing databases of chemicals of environmental interest; data from animal-based (in vivo) toxicity studies; data from in vitro high-throughput screening assays; data from environmental toxicity studies; toxicokinetics data; and computational models of toxicokinetics, exposure, and hazard. The research participant will be trained in the use of these databases and models, and how they can be combined to estimate potential risk.
Under the guidance of a mentor, participant activities may include:
- Identifying, curating, and analyzing available data regarding human and environmental toxicity and hazard for chemicals of interest
- Identifying, curating, and analyzing both existing and newly-measured toxicokinetics data for chemicals of interest
- Parameterizing and running existing or newly developed computational models for high-throughput toxicokinetics, high-throughput predictions of human and environmental exposures, and/or predicting human or environmental hazard; analyzing and interpreting results
- Developing metrics to estimate potential human and environmental risk and prioritize chemicals accordingly
- Developing approaches to address data gaps, inconsistencies, and uncertainties
- Developing transparent and reproducible data-science methods for managing and integrating data and models from many different sources
- Presenting results in the form of internal presentations, conference presentations, reports, and/or peer-reviewed publications
Learning Objectives: The research participant will be part of an active cross-disciplinary research team, with many opportunities for formal and informal mentoring, collaboration, and connecting with other researchers driving innovation in the field. The research participant will gain knowledge and experience with cutting-edge new approach methodologies for chemical safety assessment, including tools and approaches for computational toxicology, computational exposure science, toxicokinetic modeling, in vitro-in vivo extrapolation, and risk assessment, in preparation for future career opportunities across government, industry, and academic sectors. The research participant may also author or co-author peer-reviewed publications, and present at local and national scientific meetings.
Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Dr. Caroline Ring (email@example.com). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Winter 2021. All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Click here for detailed information about start dates.
Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed up to three to four 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. 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.
Questions: Please see the FAQ section of our website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email EPArpp@orau.org and include the reference code for this opportunity.