Postdoc research project training opportunity, LCA Data Development and Management, EPA-ORD

A postgraduate research project training opportunity is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Risk Management Research Laboratory (NRMRL) in Cincinnati, Ohio. This appointment will be served with the Sustainable Technology Division.

STD’s mission is to advance the scientific understanding, development, and application of technologies to address a variety of areas related to sustainability, including systems analysis, environmental management, clean processes, green chemistry, and green engineering. This project, in collaboration with other ORD research, will lead to at the continued development, maintenance and application of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) database framework and associated tools.

The project involves the curation, maintenance and description of life cycle inventory and life cycle impact assessment datasets created through EPA LCA research, as well as the development of new datasets for projects in programmatic research areas including Chemical Safety and Sustainability and Air, Climate and Energy. The research participant may be involved in the following:

  1. Life cycle inventory and impact assessment data for the EPA LCA database using openLCA and the LCA Harmonization Tool
  2. Project-specific LCA research
  3. Critical components of LCA datasets that have not been through peer-review.

Through engagement with the community, and with ORD LCA and sustainability experts, the research participant will learn innovative methods and tools in life cycle assessment and related sustainability disciplines. S/he will learn the process of producing and managing high quality scientific data and models for LCA in the context of a government research laboratory, as well as the use of the innovative LCA tools being developed, including openLCA and the LCA Harmonization Tool. In addition, s/he will be exposed to project-specific LCA research to see the application of LCA and the interpretation of results. The participant will learn the process of writing, quality control, and publishing data in peer-reviewing journals, reports, and government LCA portals. The participant will learn about topics related to the research areas of chemical sustainability and energy systems.

The research participant will be exposed to and interact with a large team of researchers from a variety of backgrounds across EPA and other government and non-government institutions. S/he may also have the opportunity to present research findings at conferences and will collaborate on project-related manuscripts.


Applicants must have received a master’s degree in economics environmental science, environmental engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering or similar field within five years of the starting date, or completion of all requirements for the degree should be expected prior to the starting date. A background in either Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) or Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) is desired.

The program is open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, sex, religion, color, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran. U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status is preferred (but can hold an appropriate visa status, however, an H1B visa is not appropriate).

The appointment is full time for one year and may be renewed for up to three additional years upon recommendation of EPA and subject to availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. The participant does not become an EPA employee.

Funding may be made available to reimburse the participant’s travel expenses to present the results of his/her research at scientific conferences. No funding will be made available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, tuition and fees, or a participant’s health insurance.

Technical Questions:

The contact person for this project is Dr. Wesley Ingwersen  (

How to Apply:

An application can be found at reference Project # EPA-ORD/NRMRL-STD-2014-02 calling or writing for information.

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