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Community Revitalization, Finance, and Wealth Building

Organization
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Reference Code
EPA-OP-OCR-2018-01
How to Apply

A complete application consists of:

All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

If you have questions, send an email to EPArpp@orau.org.  Please include the reference code for this opportunity in your email.

Description

A post-graduate research position is available in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Community Revitalization (OCR) within the Office of Policy (OP), located in Washington, DC. OCR works cooperatively with communities to create locally led, community-driven development strategies that protect the environment, expand economic opportunity, and revitalize neighborhoods. The selected applicant will join a dynamic group of policy experts who offer direct technical assistance, publications, research, and tools that communities can use to set goals and make more informed decisions about how and where they grow and develop. For more information see www.epa.gov/community-revitalization.

Under the guidance of a mentor the participant will have the opportunity to learn how to research, collect and analyze data, and present information on topics, such as:

  • Community wealth-building strategies for more inclusive, healthy, and equitable development; 

  • Public policy solutions to environmental and human health challenges in communities of various sizes, including through incremental rebuilding and revitalization;

  • Funding and financing catalytic, local community revitalization priorities that include infrastructure or related improvements, which require a mix of public and/or private capital;

  • Help advance OCRs understanding of financial mechanisms and approaches that communities, particularly those in weak markets, can use to support revitalization, entrepreneurship or job growth and diversify local economies;

  • Conventional and emerging financing strategies (such as Opportunity Zones and impact investing) and how they can be applied to revitalization projects in economically distressed, environmentally overburdened cities, towns, and villages across the U.S.; and

  • Effectiveness and benefits of place-based assistance conducted by OCR.

Research will require the individual to conduct interviews, participate in meetings, and attend place-based workshops with communities. Presentation of findings may be in the form of case studies, graphs, charts and/or GIS maps, story maps, podcasts, or other digital media. As part of research the participant may be asked to identify issues and opportunities for EPA engagement that will help increase access to capital in weak markets and underserved communities. The research may also support the development of new interagency partnerships with Department of Treasury, Department of Labor and other key Federal sponsors of economic development assistance and/or collaborations with financial institutions with obligations under the Community Reinvestment Act, as well as philanthropy.

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. The initial appointment is for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of EPA and is contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. The appointment is full-time in the Washington, DC area. Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.

This opportunity is open to U.S. citizens.

The mentor for this project is Chitra Kumar (kumar.chitra@epa.gov). 

Qualifications

Applicants must have received a Master’s degree in economic development, finance, community development, public policy, urban or regional planning, environmental policy, environmental science, geography, or related field of study (such as psychology, social sciences, etc.) within five years of the appointment start date.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Master's Degree received within 60 months.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (2 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (13 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (7 )

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