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Research Project Description

Foodborne Pathogens Fellowship
Division of Virulence Assessment & Microbiology Branch
Office of Applied Research and Safety Assessment
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Laurel, MD


Project Description:

A fellowship opportunity is currently available in the Division of Virulence Assessment (DVA) & Microbiology Branch within the Office of Applied Research and Safety Assessment (OARSA) in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). DVA establishes and conducts cohesive mission-relevant research in microbiology and molecular biology that will ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply.

The selected participant will join DVA’s Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) Salmonella investigation team, which seeks to improve the sensitivity and specificity of sampling methods used to recover pathogens from challenging food matrices such as produce and spices. Opportunities may include:

  • Analyzing the changes that occur during the enrichment for pathogens in food through identification and detection methods such as molecular serotyping and DNA sequencing
  • Conducting investigations in new sampling techniques or approach development, multiplex detection systems, and new technologies for detections and molecular characterization of foodborne pathogens in produce and spices, with the goal of reducing analysis time and removal of contaminants from the U.S. food supply

The Research Participation Program for FDA is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). 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 depending on educational level and experience. The participant must show proof of health insurance. The appointment is full-time at FDA in the Laurel, Maryland, area. Participants do not become employees of FDA or the program administrator, and there are no fringe benefits paid.


  • A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in biology, microbiology, biochemistry, or an equivalent field received within the last five years.
  • Knowledge in the areas of bioinformatics and next generation sequencing is highly desirable.
  • Ability to accurately record experimental findings and assist in the preparation of manuscripts and written summaries of experimental finding is also desired.
  • U.S. citizenship or Lawful Permanent Resident status required.

How to Apply:

To be considered, please send a current CV/resume to the attention of Please reference FDA-CFSAN-2014-0009 in all communications.