Environmental Chemical Research

Job Locations US-GA-Athens
Full Time


The EPA National Student Services Contract has an immediate opening for a full time Environmental Chemical Research position with the Office of Research and Development at the EPA facility in Athens, GA.

The Office of Research and Development at the EPA supports high-quality research to improve the scientific basis for decisions on national environmental issues and help EPA achieve its environmental goals. Research is conducted in a broad range of environmental areas by scientists in EPA laboratories and at universities across the country.

What the EPA project is about

The Center for Environmental Measurement and Modeling (CEMM) conducts research to advance the Agency’s ability to measure and model contaminants in the environment, including research to provide fundamental methods and models needed to implement environmental statutes. Many of the contaminants of concern are organic chemicals (e.g., pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, and industrial chemicals) that are released into the environment through waste streams and in runoff from agricultural and urban landscapes.  To improve EPA’s ability to assess human and ecological exposures to harmful organic chemicals, CEMM has developed the Chemical Transformation Simulator (CTS; https://qed.epa.gov/cts/), a web-based application for predicting environmental and biological transformation pathways and physicochemical properties of organic chemicals.


What experience and skills will you gain?


As a team member, you will work within a multi-disciplinary research team and will provide technical support for the development of computational tools to predict the transformation potential of organic chemicals in environmental and biological systems. All data and source code produced under this order will be the property of the Environmental Protection Agency.


How you will apply your skills

Software Development support tasks:

  • Evaluation of existing models and software tools for estimating physicochemical properties and molecular descriptors.
  • Implementation of workflows and algorithms using open-source cheminformatics packages.
  • Reviewing external Application Programming Interface (API) systems to determine how existing databases and tools can be utilized with web-applications.
  • Developing models that explore the relationship between transformation rates of organic chemicals and their molecular structure and properties.
  • Statistical analysis of data using Excel and the R statistical software package.

Communications-related responsibilities:

  • Participating in research team discussions on progress and planned activities.
  • Presenting summaries of research progress and software development activities to a multidisciplinary research team.
  • Assisting in the preparation of model documentation, manuscripts, presentations, fact sheets, and reports.
  • Documenting daily progress in a designated research notebook.
  • Documenting software issues and modifications in a designated repository.

Location:  This job will be located EPA’s facility in Athens, GA.

Salary: Selected applicant will become a temporary employee of ORAU and will receive an hourly wage of $29.27 for hours worked.

Hours: Full-time.

Travel: Occasional overnight travel may be required.

Expected start date: The position is full time and expected to begin November 2021. The selected applicant will become a temporary employee of ORAU working as a contractor to EPA. The initial project is through May 14, 2022, with up to 3 additional option periods.

For more information, contact EPAjobs@orau.org. Do not contact EPA directly.


Required Knowledge, Skills, Work Experience, and Education

  • Demonstrated education and/or experience in developing or applying scientific software;
  • Experience with organic or environmental chemistry gathered from coursework or prior work experience;
  • Experience using at least one of the following: R, Python, or Microsoft Excel, to summarize and manipulate data files, prepare graphics, and conduct basic data analysis such as summary statistics; and
  • Strong written, oral, and electronic communication skills.

Desired Knowledge, Skills, Work Experience, and Education

  • Experience with CDK, KNIME, rcdk or other cheminformatics.


  • Be at least 18 years of age and
  • Have earned at least a Master’s degree in chemistry, cheminformatics, bioinformatics, toxicology, mathematics, computer science, or a closely related field of study from an accredited university or college within the last 24 months and
  • Be a citizen of the United States of America or a Legal Permanent Resident.


EPA ORD employees, their spouses, and children are not eligible to participate in this program.


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