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The ORISE Research Participation Program at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is an educational and training program designed to provide college students, recent graduates, and university faculty opportunities to connect with the unique resources of the FDA. With the support of an assigned mentor, participants have authentic research experiences using equipment not found on most college campuses. These research experiences compliment the educational nature of the programs and make participants aware of potential STEM employment opportunities at the sponsoring agency. Participants will have access to unique research and training opportunities, top scientists and engineers, and state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

The program is administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) under an agreement between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). ORISE focuses on scientific initiatives including educating the next generation of scientists.

Our participants are excited about the educational research they are doing

  • Maria Ida Iacono

    Maria Ida Iacono, Ph.D.

    Maria Ida Iacono, Ph.D., helped develop a computer model of the head while doing a fellowship with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The model has been used by more than 160 research groups worldwide.

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    Yun Wang, Ph.D.

    Yun Wang, Ph.D., improves detection for the botulinum neurotoxin, the most potent toxin known.

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    Kimberly Kontson

    Kimberly Kontson is a mentor for fellows of Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education having been a fellow previously.

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    Poulomi Nandy, Ph.D.

    When Poulomi Nandy, Ph.D., was looking for a program which combined applied research with the opportunity to have an immediate, direct impact on public health, she turned to a fellowship through ORISE at the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH).

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    Stacey Sullivan, Ph.D.

    Stacey Sullivan, Ph.D., tests the limits of biomedical materials to improve public safety.

  • The program provides valuable experience by learning from and collaborating with scientists across the center, in industry, academia and government. I am encouraged and supported a lot. I love the friendly and cooperative research and learning environment here.

    —Yun Wang, Ph.D.
  • The ORISE program enabled me as a graduate student and postdoctoral fellow to pursue my degree in a rich, challenging research environment and allowed me to fearlessly switch fields to pursue a longtime passion. With my current position at the FDA, I am able to interact with the ORISE program as a mentor and give these great opportunities to passionate, motivated participants wishing to start carving their own career paths, just as I did several years ago.

    —Kimberly Kontson
  • The ORISE program gave me the opportunity to pursue my research goals in a highly stimulating and educational environment. I was, and still am, surrounded by highly-qualified scientists who helped me grow and mature professionally and personally. —Maria Ida Iacono
Read more about our participants
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With the support of an assigned mentor, participants have authentic research experiences using equipment not found on most college campuses.