FDA Fellowship in Developing Versatile Radiochemical Separation Procedures Applicable for Multiple Detection Techniques

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.OC.other@orau.org. Please include the reference code for this opportunity in your email.

Application Deadline
8/31/2024 11:59:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

This project aims to address the challenges associated with ensuring public health and food safety during nuclear or radiological emergencies. These challenges include the need for diverse radioanalytical methods and sufficient testing capacity to effectively monitor radioactive contaminants in food. To achieve its objectives, the project has two main goals:

1. Develop and validate adaptable sample treatment and radiochemical separation procedures: The project aims to establish procedures that can be combined with different detection techniques such as liquid scintillation counting (LSC), gas-flow proportional counting (GPC), alpha spectrometry (AS), or inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). These procedures will enable the analysis of alpha- and beta-emitting radionuclides in various types of food. This involves addressing complex factors like matrix attenuation, naturally occurring radioactivity, and the large sample aliquot required for analysis.

2. Implement the validated procedures across the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) radiological laboratories: The project intends to ensure consistency and accuracy in the analysis of radionuclides by implementing the validated procedures in FERN radiological laboratories. This implementation will be achieved through interlaboratory comparison and laboratory proficiency evaluation studies. By doing so, the project aims to establish standardized methods for analyzing radionuclides in food across different laboratories within the network. It's important to note that this project involves the use of various chemicals and low-level radioactivity for the preparation of food samples and the analysis of different radionuclides.

Scope of Project: This project will be conducted in three phases.

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 seven months, 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 Winchester, Massachusetts, 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 Ethics Requirements

If an ORISE Fellow, to include their spouse and minor children, reports what is identified as a Significantly Regulated Organization (SRO) or prohibited investment fund financial interest in any amount, or a relationship with an SRO, except for spousal employment with an SRO, and the individual will not voluntarily divest the financial interest or terminate the relationship, then the individual is not placed at FDA.   For additional requirements, see FDA Ethics for Nonemployee Scientists. 

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, master's, or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields (chemistry). Degree must have been received within the past five years.

Preferred skills:

  • Experience and skill in preparation of sample for trace metal analysis, chemical separation, and instrumental analysis are highly desired.
Eligibility Requirements
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 month(s).
  • Overall GPA: 3.00
  • Academic Level(s): Graduate Students, Post-Bachelor's, Postdoctoral, or Post-Master's.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences (6 )
    • Communications and Graphics Design (1 )
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (3 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (1 )
    • Engineering (1 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (2 )
    • Physics (1 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).

I have lived in the United States for at least 36 out of the past 60 months. (36 months do not have to be consecutive.)

I have read the FDA Ethics Requirements.


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