FDA Genomic Epidemiology Fellowship

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.


*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis and the opportunity will close once a qualified candidate is identified.

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 Regulatory Science (ORS) located in College Park, Maryland.

We are looking for an interdisciplinary participant to join our genomic epidemiology team, GenomeTrakr. This fellowship would interface with the next generation sequence data collection of microbial, viral, and metagenomic sequences (including SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater samples), the Bioinformatics pipelines for checking quality and analyzing results, and data science-type summaries for reporting and highlighting curation needs. 

Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will receive hands-on training in the following activities:

  • Development of workflows for management of SARS-CoV-2 data 
  • Development of Bioinformatics workflows for quality control of WGS data
  • Standardization and validation of metadata associated to WGS data
  • Liaising between the groups responsible for data analysis, data capture, software development and laboratory scientists
  • Tracking SARS-CoV2 data from multiple sites providing feedback to contributor labs

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: May 2021 (start date is flexible)

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 with completion by the end of May 2021. Degree must have been received within the past five years.

Preferred skills/experience:

  • Background in Biology, Virology, Microbiology, Bioinformatics, Computer Science, Computational Biology or related field
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Accomplished organizational skills and ability to collaborate with other scientific professionals
  • Prior molecular microbiology experience, preferably in PCR and Sequencing
  • Experience in a statistical software (e.g., R)
  • Experience working with Linux and HPC computing environments
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: LPR or U.S. Citizen
  • Degree: Master's Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 5/31/2021 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (17 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (47 )