Posted On: February 8, 2011
Media Organization: US EPA
EPA leads the nation's environmental science, research, education and assessment efforts. The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Research and Development
Announcement (Master’s level)
A. Statement of Work
1. Agency and Office Mission
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.
2. Project Description
The Science Communications staff within the Office of Research and Development (ORD) at EPA is responsible for choosing research to be highlighted, translating technical research into understandable language, and effectively communicating the value of this research. The team is expected to develop communication materials, engage in social media, facilitate outreach with the public, and illustrate the relevancy and impact of the ORD research program.
This team is seeking an energetic, creative student to assist the team in communicating the work of ORD through innovative, accessible, and accurate science writing.
3. Period of Performance
Work Hours: Up to 40 hours per week.
Approximate Start and End Dates: April 2011 – March 2012, with the possibility of an extension for an additional 12 months. Total potential hours: 1928, per 12 month period.
4. Description of Student Services
The student will assist the team communicating EPA research. Responsibilities will include:
a. The student will identify, review and summarize information relating to environmental science and policy.
b. The student will interview researchers, write stories, and edit content for both internal and external publications.
c. The student will use creative approaches, including interactive web-based tools, to foster communication of research both inside and outside of ORD.
d. The student will help manage and produce a bi-monthly electronic newsletter highlighting EPA research and development impacts and outcomes for lay audiences. This includes writing articles as assigned by the managing editor.
e. The student will be a regular contributor to the “Science Wednesday” section of Greenversations, the official blog of the EPA.
5. Quality Assurance Requirements
The student contractor will maintain computer files and documentation so that work products can be reviewed for accuracy.
6. Description of Working Conditions
Work will be performed in an office building in downtown Washington, DC. The student contractor will be supervised by a mentor who will provide day-to-day direction, as well as coach, advise, and counsel the student, and review the student contractor’s work.
Occasional overnight travel may be required.
B. Required Knowledge, Skills, Work Experience, and Education
The student contractor should have a master’s degree in environmental science or journalism from an accredited university or college. This degree must have been received within the past two years. The student should demonstrate education and/or experience in both environmental science and journalism. The student should possess strong written, oral and electronic communication skills.
Students under this contract are required to undergo a background check and check of FBI fingerprint files and a suitability determination by the Environmental Protection Agency. Students awarded a contract will have to complete a Standard Form 85 (SF-85) “Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions” and SF-87 “Fingerprint Charts”. All completed forms will be submitted to the ORD Mentor at least 14 business days prior to reporting to work. Fingerprints will either be taken at the ORD duty station (upon reporting for work) or students will be notified to have their fingerprints taken at their local police department. If a background check reveals information to indicate the student represents a risk to the interests of EPA and the national security, the contract may be terminated.
The rate of compensation is $30.99 per hour, based on completion of master’s degree. Student contractors will be paid the basic hourly rate only for the number of hours worked and do not receive overtime premium for any hours worked beyond a 40-hour week. Student contractors do not accrue leave or holiday benefits and are not paid for any non-work days, regardless of the reason.
Student contractors are responsible for all costs of transportation to and from the principal duty station location. EPA does not provide housing, meals or other living expenses while working at the principal duty station. Recent graduates are eligible as long as graduation occurred no more than two years ago. Non-U.S. citizens may be eligible to participate, depending on their immigration status and the applicable regulations of the BCIS.
Federal, State, Local and Social Security taxes will not be withheld; student contractors are responsible for reporting income to authorities and paying all taxes.
F. Principal Duty Station Location:
U.S Environmental Protection Agency
Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC. 20004
G. Resume Requirements:
Interested students may apply to this opportunity by providing a one or two page resume or statement of qualifications including: student’s full legal name; mailing address; telephone number; email address; date of birth; Social Security Number; place of birth; citizenship and, if not a U.S. citizen, immigration/VISA status; education; work or volunteer experience; and attach a copy of the most recent transcript, listing courses taken and the overall GPA.
Three short writing samples, one of no more than 800 words, and none more than 2,000 words should be submitted. Writing samples should demonstrate the student’s ability to translate scientific and/or technical subject matter into language that is at once engaging, accurate, and accessible to nontechnical audiences.
H. Evaluation Factors
Applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria:
1. Master’s level degree in environmental science or journalism
2. Total course hours in science, journalism and environmental policy
3. Relevant employment/volunteer service
4. Total grade point average.
5. Quality of writing sample.
I. Deadline and Address for Submission of Resumes: February 22, 2011.
J. Late Proposal Instructions: Late proposals will not be accepted.
K. Number of Awards Projected: One position.
L. Central Contractor Registration
The student or recent graduate contractor selected for award must register with the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) and Dun and Bradstreet (D& B) (to obtain their Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number or DUNS +4.) Failure to register may adversely affect receiving an award or being paid. Student or recent graduate contractors are required to provide the following business information only once to this common Government-wide data source: their Taxpayer Identification Number (Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number), Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) information, and DUNS number. To obtain a DUNS number, students or recent graduate contractors can call D& B at 1-866-705-5711 or contact D&B at http://www.dnb.com/updte. To register for the CCR, contractors can call 1-888-227-2423 or 296-961-5757 or contact CCR at http://www.ccr.gov.
There is no charge to register for DUNS or CCR.
The following clauses will be applicable to the resulting contract. Full text of these clauses may be found at www.arnet.gov/far or http://www.epa.gov/oamrfp12/ptod/epaar.pdf
Number Title Date
52.213-04 Terms and Conditions – Simplified Acquisitions July 2002