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Senior Science Advisor

About U.S. EPA; Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention

The Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention’s mission is to protect you, your family, and the environment from potential risks from pesticides and toxic chemicals. Through innovative partnerships and collaboration, we also work to prevent pollution before it begins. This reduces waste, saves energy and natural resources, and leaves our homes, schools and workplaces cleaner and safer.


This position is located in the Immediate Office of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) to promote greater coordination and cooperation on science policy issues across OCSPP’s two major regulatory programs led by the Office of Pesticide Programs and the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. OCSPP is responsible for the implementation of several important environmental statutes with broad cross-media impacts, including the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, the Pollution Prevention (P2) Act of 1990, the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act of 2010, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) and other statutes. OCSPP must evaluate new and existing industrial chemicals and pesticides, require and promote risk reduction and responsible risk management practices through the life cycle of these substances; promote pollution prevention activities and the design, development, and application of safer chemical processes and technologies in the industrial sector; and promote public understanding of the risks of chemicals and pesticides and public involvement in environmental decision-making through development and dissemination of information on toxic chemicals and pesticides. Critical to the agency’s ability to carry out its statutory mandates is the need to create greater efficiencies in implementing TSCA and FIFRA, and other policies, processes and program implementation.

Duties may include, but are not limited to:

- Coordinating across OCSPP's offices in order to provide input and advice to Agency leadership on homeland security incident prevention, preparedness, and response as well as homeland security policy and scientific assessments.

- Serving as OCSPP's liaison with other Agency partners as well as external partners (e.g. government, business, industry, academia) on homeland security policy and strategy as well as science and science policy related to human health and environmental risk assessments and evaluations.

- Leading the collection and analysis of input and data from OCSPP offices during homeland security events to ensure accuracy, timeliness, and usefulness of the federal government's response.

- Identifying, developing, and implementing complementary risk assessment approaches that meet the needs, goals, and outcomes of OCSPP's regulatory programs under TSCA, FIFRA, and FFDCA.

- Identifying and resolving science policy and risk assessment questions within the program office.

- Providing support for testimony and witness testimony in legal and congressional hearings to support and defend the Agency's position for regulatory and enforcement actions. 

- Providing guidance, advice, and direction on the development and/or revision of health and environmental risk assessments for new and existing chemicals and pesticides.

- Providing leadership and scientific knowledge in interpreting and integrating the results of scientific information, studies, and data for use in human health and ecological risk assessments.

- Providing information and conducting briefings for Office and Agency leaders about human health and ecological science policy issues that will then be used to inform and/or craft regulatory opinions and policies.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • You must submit a resume and required documents--see How to Apply section.
  • Pre-employment drug testing is required and random testing thereafter.
  • Position has education requirements--see Qualifications/Education section.
  • EPA and non-EPA applicants must submit transcripts/course listings.

If you are selected, you must complete a one-year probationary period.

The Ethics in Government Act, P.L. 95-521 requires the applicant selected for this position to submit a financial disclosure statement, OGE-278, prior to assuming the SL position, annually, and upon termination of employment.

This position is designated as High Risk and requires a background investigation. Unless an appropriate background investigation is already on record with the Office of Personnel Management, you must undergo a background investigation. All conditions of the pre-employment security process must be met before an official letter of employment can be issued with a report for duty date.

You will be required to obtain and maintain a top-secret security clearance.



In addition to the educational requirements, we are looking for at least one year of specialized experience related to this position as described below:

To qualify for this SL position, you need to have at least one year of full time experience equivalent to the GS-15 level defined as providing expertise and advice to officials on scientific issues of national or international significance; integrating human and environmental risk assessment information and studies into policies and practices for an organization; liaising between multiple offices and/or entities and providing current human health and environmental risk evaluations to both; and briefing and/or testifying to senior officials of an organization and/or Congress, a court, or other legal proceeding.

You will be evaluated on the mandatory Technical Qualifications listed below. Your responses should be clear and concise and show a level of accomplishment and a degree of responsibility.

Technical Qualifications (TQs) - Mandatory for all applicants - Failure to address these factors individually within a limit of two (2) pages per factor will result in your application being disqualified.

TQ 1 - Demonstrated experience managing, directing, developing and providing guidance and policy direction for human health and/or ecological risk assessment policies and initiatives related to the development and use of traditional and advanced toxicology testing techniques, chemical exposure estimation methods, and probabilistic risk estimation.

TQ 2 - Demonstrated experience evaluating advanced risk assessment methodologies relevant to chemical regulations.

TQ 3 - Demonstrated experience communicating complex and politically sensitive environmental policy issues to higher management and externally.

TQ 4 - Demonstrated experience analyzing current domestic and international risk assessment issues for chemicals.


You need a degree or combination of education and experience as described below to qualify for this position.

Biologist: You must have a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position; OR a combination of education and experience with courses equivalent to a major, as listed.

Toxicologist: You must have a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in toxicology; or an appropriate discipline of the biological, medical, or veterinary sciences that included at least 30 semester hours in chemistry, biochemistry, or physiology, and 12 semester hours in toxicology.

Physical Scientist: You must have a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics; OR a combination of education and experience with education equivalent to one of the majors listed that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Chemist: You must have a bachelor's or higher degree from an accredited or pre-accredited college or university in physical sciences, life sciences, or engineering that included 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by course work in mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics; OR a combination of education and experience with education equivalent to one of the majors listed that included the described coursework.

For information about accreditation requirements, visit EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.

Application instructions


Before responding to this announcement, please review the RPCV Career Link Terms of Use [PDF]. The Peace Corps is not able to confirm the legitimacy of every position posted to the jobs board and we ask everyone to use caution when contacting and/or sharing information with any organization while seeking employment. If you believe an announcement has violated the Peace Corps Terms of Use, please contact [email protected].

Equal Opportunity Employment

The posting employer has certified that this announcement complies with Peace Corps’ Equal Opportunity Employment policy:

The Peace Corps is committed to providing equal opportunity to all employees, Volunteers, and applicants for employment and volunteer service. Peace Corps policy prohibits discrimination and harassment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or over), disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, parental status, political affiliation, union membership, genetic information, or history of participation in the Equal Employment Opportunity process, grievance procedure, or any authorized complaint procedure.

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