FDA Biostatistics Internship

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

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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
12/17/2020 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 Analytics and Outreach (OAO), Biostatistics Team located in College Park, Maryland.

The Biostatistics Team works with scientists across CFSAN and beyond to design and analyze a variety of microbial, chemical studies that involve and predict the safety and nutritional characteristics of food, dietary supplement and cosmetic products. While experimenters often approach the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Staff to help at all stages of the experimental design and analysis process, there are also many occasions where the labs come up with the original designs on their own, and designs may be sub-optimal. Having easy to use apps will aid the investigators as well as the statistics staff in exploring various potential designs before beginning expensive and time consuming work, and also aid in exploring potentially better approaches to performing the experiments. Throughout the course of this research project, the participant will coordinate with research microbiologists, chemists, compliance officers, and others within the Center to make sure that tools develop are comprehensive enough to be of use.

Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will be involved in the development of web dashboards (e.g., R-shiny apps) that will aid in design of improved linear models, such as regression, response surface, ANOVA, ANCOVA, etc. and conducting categorical analyses with optimal treatment selection sample size for microbial and chemical designs. In addition these tools may involve use of nonparametric and permutation tests for analyses of microbial data, especially with non-normal or unusual distributions.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: November 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 bachelor's degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing a master's or doctoral degree. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills:

  • Working knowledge of statistical procedures and basic theory
  • Proficiency with statistical software such as SAS/R/Python or some combination of these and other tools, particularly as they apply to experimental design and analysis and the development of tools to be used by laboratory and other scientists who are not themselves, such as statisticians
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, or Doctoral Degree.
  • Academic Level(s): Graduate Students or Post-Bachelor's.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Mathematics and Statistics (10 )

I have received a bachelor's degree within the past five years, or I am currently pursuing a master's or doctoral degree.


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