FDA Food Safety Modernization Fellowship

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Reference Code
How to Apply

A complete application consists of:

  • An application
  • Transcripts – Click here for detailed information about acceptable transcripts
  • A current resume/CV, including academic history, employment history, relevant experiences, and publication list
  • One educational or professional recommendation. Your application will be considered incomplete, and will not be reviewed until one recommendation is submitted.

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

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

Application Deadline
1/31/2020 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

A research opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), Office of the Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network (CORE) located in College Park, Maryland.

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it. While prevention is key to the focus of Food and Drug Administration (FDA), each year there are numerous illness outbreaks associated with FDA regulated products. The FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) provides scientific, policy, and regulatory guidance to FDA in response to a contamination of a food, dietary supplement or cosmetic. This project is with CFSAN' s Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network (CORE). CORE works to provide a safer food supply through a systematic, science-based approach to preparedness, early detection, rapid response, and post-response investigations of human outbreaks of illness. The CORE staff work internally with colleagues across FDA and externally with Federal, State, Local, Territorial, and Tribal governments to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of outbreak/incident response, leading to even better public health protection and preventive food safety policies.

Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will be involved in the following activities:

  • Research pathogens, vehicles of transmission, and contamination processes and their behavior and impact on outbreak investigations
  • Analyze and evaluate data (epidemiological, microbiological, investigational, etc.) to inform overall outbreak response
  • Communicate with various scientific, regulatory, and policy officials to assist in the prevention of such outbreaks in the future based on the information, research, and data gathered during foodborne outbreak investigations
  • The participant would be encouraged to participate in emergency activities as needed

This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and FDA. The initial appointment is for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of FDA contingent on the availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Some tuition assistance, travel and training allowance is available in the amount of $3,000. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. The appointment is full-time at FDA in the College Park, Maryland, area. Participants do not become employees of FDA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.

Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at FDA.  OPM can complete a background investigation only for individuals, including non-US Citizens, who have resided in the US for a total of three of the past five years.

FDA requires ORISE participants to read and sign their FDA Education and Training Agreement within 30 days of his/her start date, setting forth the conditions and expectations for his/her educational appointment at the agency.  This agreement covers such topics as the following:

  • Non-employee nature of the ORISE appointment;
  • Prohibition on ORISE Fellows performing inherently governmental functions;
  • Obligation of ORISE Fellows to convey all necessary rights to the FDA regarding intellectual property conceived or first reduced to practice during their fellowship;
  • The fact that research materials and laboratory notebooks are the property of the FDA;
  • ORISE fellow’s obligation to protect and not to further disclose or use non-public information.

The qualified candidate should have received a master's or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing one of the degrees and will reach completion by the start date of the appointment. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills:

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of emergency preparedness and response
  • Knowledge of food safety with an understanding of epidemiology, microbiology and environmental investigations
  • Excellent skills for preparing written documents and in giving oral presentations
  • Practical experience collaborating with multi-disciplinary teams
Eligibility Requirements
  • Degree: Master's Degree or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 9/30/2019 11:59:00 PM.
  • Academic Level(s): Graduate Students, Postdoctoral, or Post-Master's.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (1 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (45 )

I have lived in the U.S. for 3 out of the last 5 years.


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