FDA Postgraduate Research Opportunity in Food Safety and Nutrition (Data Analysis/Programming)

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
9/14/2020 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), Division of Science and Technology (DST) located in College Park, Maryland.

OFAS/DST is initiating a research project to advance the understanding of the United States food supply by establishing a monitoring plan for foods, ingredients, and nutrients in the US. This research project may involve searching scientific literature, public information websites, and databases as well as building databases and web applications, organizing data, cleaning and loading data, performing quality control of data, developing and documenting methodology, utilizing quantitative skills, answering various questions through analysis of data, and providing summary reports. The audience for this research includes the FDA scientists, policy makers, and regulated industry.

Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will receive training on public policy initiatives, interacting with various databases, and performing research and review of different types of scientific information. The participant will be involved in organizing, cleaning, loading, managing, analyzing, and performing quality control on data, performing analyses and summarizing findings, and contributing to the development of various reports. The participant may learn how to write summary memoranda or other publications that document the research, methodology, and conclusions resulting from the review of the information as well as how to respond to public questions.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: September 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 bachelor's or master's degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing one of the degrees and will reach completion by the appointment start date. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills:

  • Adept at SAS and/or R, and/or SQL (applied skills; more than just having taken basic classes)
  • Working with large databases
  • Using quantitative skills
  • Performing data analysis
  • Organizing and managing data
  • Developing and documenting methodologies
  • Performing quality control of data
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Knowledge of foods and ingredients on food labels
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree or Master's Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 9/30/2020 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (8 )
    • Engineering (3 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (7 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (5 )