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EPA Toxicity of Environmental Chemicals Internship

*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 LocationTwo research opportunities are available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure (CCTE), Biomolecular & Computational Toxicology Division (BCTD) located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
The EPA Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure (CCTE) is responsible for improving risk assessments and regulatory decisions pertaining to chemical safety and sustainability.
Research Project: Under the guidance of a mentor, the research participant will test chemicals in larval zebrafish to determine if the chemical is likely to produce developmental or neurodevelopmental toxicity. The research participant will collaborate with a multifaceted team of investigators to screen libraries of chemicals of interest to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. The objective of this research project is to test chemical libraries in a developing zebrafish model to determine the potential for the chemicals to produce perturbations in the normal development. The research participant may be involved in developing assays for toxicity testing in zebrafish by collecting, summarizing, and analyzing data for publication. This data will be combined with other data on the same chemicals to develop models and adverse outcome pathways.
Research activities may include:
  • Designing experiments to test chemical libraries
  • Learning about zebrafish animal husbandry
  • Exposing zebrafish to chemicals to determine if those chemicals cause developmental or neurodevelopmental toxicity
  • Assessing zebrafish for toxicity
  • Adapting or developing novel tests for developmental or neurodevelopmental toxicity
  • Maintaining an accurate and timely laboratory notebook
  • Collating data for publication or presentation
  • Learning proper laboratory maintenance
Learning Objectives: The research participant may author or co-author on peer-reviewed publications/presentations and will present at local and national, and international meetings. The research participant will be a member of a multi-disciplinary research team.
Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Stephanie Padilla ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).
Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Summer/Fall 2020. 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 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 and include the reference code for this opportunity (EPA-ORD-CCTE-BCTD-2020-01).