FDA Postgraduate Data Science Fellowship

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Reference Code
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 ORISE.FDA.CFSAN@orau.org. Please include the reference code for this opportunity in your email.

Application Deadline
10/31/2020 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 Food Additive Safety (OFAS) located in College Park, Maryland.

OFAS review scientists spend a considerable amount of time researching extensive sources of information. In order to make our business process more efficient, OFAS is researching how to leverage techniques in advanced analytics such as natural language processing and machine learning to provide on-demand analytics and intelligent search capabilities to OFAS staff members. To this end, we are planning to create a Warp Intelligent Learning Engine (WILEE) knowledgebase that will house and manage the disparate databases created by review scientists or through other contract mechanisms. This will enable OFAS scientist get ready access to synthesized information within a single location that can be linked directly to one of the major systems (FARM, CERES/STARI) allowing more efficiencies in our day-to-day operations.

Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will learn about the types of information required to assess the safety of substances added to, or that come into contact with food. The participant will also learn what types of data and data sources are used by the agency to assess the safety of substances added to food. The participant will observe how to architect, develop and construct an operational data store to be used for advanced analytics. The participant will get hands-on experience with how to develop a data product that utilizes data housed in the knowledgebase.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: September 1, 2020

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. 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 degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing the degree and will reach completion by the appointment start date. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preference will be given to candidates with background and/or experience in data science, data analytics or statistics.

Preferred skills:

  • SAS, SAS Visual Analytics, Python, or R
  • Knowledge in SQL
  • Ability and willingness to learn other programming languages
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: LPR or U.S. Citizen
  • Degree: Master's Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 9/1/2020 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (7 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (1 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (46 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (6 )
    • Other Non-S&E (1 )
    • Other Physical Sciences (12 )
    • Physics (16 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (1 )