Reduction of Food Waste Fellowship - Environmental Protection Agency

Opportunity Type: Job

A research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Office of Science Advisor, Policy and Engagement (OSAPE) located in Washington, DC.

Position Overview

The U.S. has set an ambitious goal to halve food waste by 2030. Over one-third of the food produced in the U.S. is never eaten, wasting the energy and water used to produce it, filling landfills, and leading to methane emissions from landfills and water impacts from pesticide and fertilizer use. In collaboration with ORD’s Office of Science Advisor, Policy, and Engagement, the research participant will conduct research to help U.S. meet our food waste reduction goal and meet it in the most environmentally beneficial way.

The research participant may be involved in one or more of the following areas:

  • Quantifying the environmental impacts of food waste, the potential environmental benefits of reducing food waste, and/or the environmental impacts of food waste pathways, from source reduction to recycling to disposal

  • Designing strategies to maximize environmental benefit of food waste reduction efforts

  • Assessing effectiveness of strategies to reduce food waste and its environmental impact

  • Analyzing structural barriers (i.e., the ways we market, sell, store and use food) in the food system to consumers reducing their own household waste, and identifying practical, achievable design changes (e.g., in packaging or kitchen storage) to overcome these barriers

  • Designing strategies to align incentives of consumers and consumer-facing businesses, so they can help each other prevent food waste

  • Optimizing the use of technology to help households waste less food

Required Qualifications

The qualified candidate should have received a master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing a doctoral degree. Degree must have been received within the past five years.

Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at EPA.

Preferred skills:

  • Knowledge of environmental policy, public policy, or interdisciplinary science policy work
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Interest in life cycle and systems thinking desired given the complexity of the food system

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time position with an Anticipated start date of Summer 2021.  The appointment will initially be for six months and may be renewed up to three or four additional years upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding.

The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. 

The mentor for this opportunity is Shannon Kenny ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Application Deadline8/4/2021 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone