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About the Office of the Science Advisor
What We Do
OSA, led by the Agency Science Advisor, provides leadership in cross-Agency science and science policy development and implementation to ensure the best possible use of science at the Agency. These efforts help ensure regulations are interpreted and enforced in a manner consistent with the science supporting them and will strengthen EPA's overall scientific performance.
The Science Advisor works across the Agency to ensure that the highest quality science is better integrated into the Agency's policies and decisions. In this capacity, the Science Advisor leads the OSA and chairs the Agency's Science and Technology Policy Council which reviews selected science issues that have implications across program and regional offices. The mission of the OSA is to provide leadership and serve as an honest broker for cross-Agency science, science policy, and technology issues.
Dr. Thomas Burke, Science Advisor and Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Research and Development
- Phone: (202) 564-6811
Thomas Sinks, OSA Director
- Phone: (202) 564-6811
Programs and Projects Managed by the Office of the Science Advisor
- Forum on Environmental Measurement (FEM) and Environmental Laboratory Advisory Board (ELAB)
FEM was established in 2003 to promote consistency and consensus within the EPA on measurement issues and to provide an internal and external contact point for addressing measurement methodology, monitoring, and laboratory science issues with multi-program impact. More information on the FEM.
FEM also works with the Environmental Laboratory Advisory Board, a Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) group, that provides consensus advice, information, and recommendations on issues related to enhancing the agency's measurement programs and facilitating the operation and expansion of a national environmental accreditation program. More information on the ELAB.
- Lara Phelps (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Human Subjects Research (HSR) and Human Studies Review Board (HSRB)
Programs of the Office of the Science Advisor provide direct regulatory oversight of Human Subjects Research (HSR) conducted or supported by the Agency. They also support the Office of Pesticide Programs in its regulatory oversight of HSR done by third parties involving substances meeting the regulatory definition of pesticides, over which EPA has statutory authority. More information on HSR.
Ethical HSR is executed through the coordinated activities of its two components: Human Subjects Research Review Official (HSRRO) and the Human Studies Review Board (HSRB).
The HSRB is a federal advisory committee operating in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) 5 U.S.C. App.2 § 9. The HSRB provides advice, information, and recommendations on issues related to scientific and ethical aspects of human subjects research. The major objectives are to provide advice and recommendations on: research proposals and protocols; reports of completed research with human subjects; and how to strengthen EPA's programs for protection of human subjects of research. More information on the HSRB
- Risk Assessment Forum (RAF)
The RAF's mission promotes consensus on risk assessment issues and develops agency risk assessment guidance. RAF guidance is intended to guide the agency as a whole, rather than any specific program. RAF guidance undergoes extensive internal and external peer review along with public comment prior adoption. More information
- Science and Technology Policy Council (STPC)
The success of EPA's mission depends on a strong and credible foundation of science and technology. The STPC serves as a mechanism for addressing EPA's many significant science policy issues that go beyond regional and program boundaries. The STPC's goal is to integrate policies that guide agency decision makers in their use of scientific and technical information. More information
- Science and Technology email (STPC_Staff@epa.gov)
- Scientific Integrity
EPA's Agency-wide Scientific Integrity Policy builds on our long history of scientific safeguards and further ensures that sound science drives Agency decision making. The policy builds on EPA's Principles of Scientific Integrity and outlines foundational principles that promote a culture of scientific integrity, communication with the public, the use of peer review and Federal Advisory Committees, and the development of Agency scientists.
The Scientific Integrity Policy establishes the Scientific Integrity Committee to implement its policy. The Scientific Integrity Official (ScIO) chairs the Committee and reports to the Science Advisor for EPA. The ScIO is the Agency's focal point on scientific integrity and serves as the Agency's expert on such matters. More information on Scientific Integrity.