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Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)

The ORISE Research Participation Program has announced new fellowship opportunities at the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

To apply to these opportunities, please visit

BARDA provides an integrated, systematic approach to the advanced research and development of medical countermeasures for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear agents, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases, like COVID-19, that threaten the U.S. civilian population.  This is an exciting opportunity for a research fellow to be involved with such critical activities to help protect our nation. Fellows will conduct research on projects related to medical countermeasure (MCMs) development, including nonclinical model development, testing, and evaluation and clinical trials. Opportunities exist to present the results of these projects at national conferences and have the findings published in peer-reviewed journals. Other opportunities may include providing technical and administrative support to inter-agency working groups, assisting in the development of relevant policy documents and participating in team communications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), drug developers, CROs, and NIH to ensure progress toward BARDA’s mission. 

BARDA is engaged in program management; there will be no bench or wet lab research associated with these opportunities. Travel for presentations at conferences/meetings may be required and if so, will be paid for by the program.  The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience as well as paid health benefits.  The appointment is full-time at HHS in Washington, D.C. Participants do not become employees of HHS or the program administrator, and there are no fringe benefits paid including an allowance for commuting to the office.

Appointment packages include:

  • Monthly stipend
  • Health Insurance Allowance
  • Paid Absences (including maternity)
  • Travel allowance for attendance at conferences and/or meetings

Below are specific opportunities available at BARDA.

Office of the Director

The Office of the Director (OD) coordinates all of the scientific activities within all of the Divisions at BARDA and coordinates the Senior Federal Officials Group in partnership with the Department of Defense within the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE).  The OD also manages external affairs and congressional engagements.  The fellowship within the OD will primarily support the BARDA Director in special scientific projects.  The fellow will play an integral role in an interagency working group that coordinates investments within the PHEMCE and activities across the U.S. government. The fellow will conduct literature searches and market research, as well as participate in communications with interagency partners.  In addition, the emergence of COVID-19 will allow the fellow to support activities for BARDA’s ongoing COVID-19 response.  The fellow will also have exposure to congressional engagements.    

Division of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Countermeasures

Vaccine Branch

With the recent outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases such as Ebola and Zika, BARDA has played a significate role as a response agency, helping to address public health needs by advancing the development of MCMs.  Leveraging BARDA’s recent success in helping to push the Ebola vaccine, ERVEBO®, to FDA licensure, we are working hard to help address the current COVID-19 pandemic by investing in vaccine development and manufacturing. The fellowship within the Vaccine Branch primarily will support COVID-19 vaccine development efforts by coordinating activities related to nonclinical models, clinical trials, and overall product development timelines. As a fellow on the CBRN Vaccine team, the fellow will play a role in a large interagency working group that coordinates investments and activities across the U.S. government. The fellow will conduct literature searches and market research, as well as participate in communications with interagency partners. In addition to COVID-19 specific activities, the fellow will also perform similar market research activities for vaccines against other priority threats against which vaccines are needed such as encephalitic alphaviruses and antimicrobial resistant bacterial threats.  Other opportunities will include providing technical support for current CBRN Vaccine programs for smallpox, anthrax, and viral hemorrhagic fever viruses. This will include technical assessments to support the CBRN Vaccine program mission.

Burn MCM Branch

The focus of the Burn Branch is to deliver medical countermeasures (MCMs) to mitigate a range of burn injuries resulting from the detonation of an explosive device, including nuclear devices.  Critical factors like trauma severity, burn depth, size of the burn (body surface area), and patient comorbidities determine the initial care and management of burn and blast injuries.  Therefore, the development of technologies that provide quick diagnosis and real-time patient prognosis to enable triage and informed transition of the patient to definitive treatment are just as important as MCMs to treat burn and blast injuries.  To ensure physicians have access to life-saving technologies and MCMs, the Burn Program has implemented a strategy that identifies physicians’ needs, develops the relevant technologies and MCMs, and integrates these technologies and MCMs into routine use by physicians and health care providers at various levels within the national infrastructure. Every MCM within the Burn Program portfolio provides a comprehensive solution to address bottlenecks in the delivery of care, a solution that is adoptable to routine care of burn patients, and products that are sustainable in the commercial market.  BARDA’s efforts have led to the development of transformative technologies that are enhancing the quality of burn care and both accelerate and improve triage decision-making processes for burn and mechanical trauma injuries. 

The fellow within the Burn Branch will conduct research to support product development efforts to build national preparedness against burn injuries.  Exciting opportunities range from planning and formulating Branch strategy to supporting and co-managing an advanced product development project.  The fellow will conduct market research on viable technologies that address critical needs in the delivery of care.  The fellow will also help establish new as well as build/maintain engagement with interagency partners as well as the burn, trauma, and emergency care provider communities that are instrumental in providing guidance.  Additional opportunities exist to participate in various project management activities including co-leading and/or supporting ongoing tasks in product development.

Antivirals and Antitoxins Branch

The Antivirals and Antitoxins Branch is focused on the development of therapeutic medical countermeasures that can be used to respond to public health emergencies caused by Anthrax, Botulinum, Smallpox, and selected filoviruses, including Ebola, Marburg, and Sudan viruses.  The selected fellow will join a group of experienced scientists tasked with managing a portfolio of complex advanced research and development initiatives to augment and improve on existing capabilities and fulfill unmet needs across the Branch’s threat space.  The fellow’s activities will align closely with those of existing personnel in order to provide the fellow with an in-depth understanding of all aspects of medical countermeasure development, including manufacturing, nonclinical, clinical and regulatory components.  Primary activities of fellows will include literature reviews, market research, portfolio evaluation, communication with interagency and industry partners, and program management, each of which will be tailored to the selected fellow’s experience level while remaining true to the intent of the opportunity and allowing for growth.

Radiological/Nuclear Countermeasures Branch

The Radiological/Nuclear Medical Countermeasure (MCM) program at BARDA is focused on identifying MCMs that can be used in radiological/nuclear mass casualty events and the development of animal models as tools for identifying products that can be developed as MCMs to treat radiation victims. Areas of interest include the impact of radiation on vascular injury, coagulopathy, and dysregulation of the hematopoietic system.  The Radiological/Nuclear Medical Countermeasure (MCM) program has been able to identify new biomarkers for radiation injury and is beginning to identify novel treatment targets.  This fellowship will primarily be focused on collaborating with the team to refine nonclinical models, analyze data, and use the information to identify new MCM targets.

The fellow will conduct research with the nonclinical model development team and with some of the medical countermeasure program teams.  Main activities will include contributing to discussions on study design for development of acute radiation models, assisting in data analyses, and participating in drafting manuscripts to report findings from various models.  This will require comprehensive literature searches on a variety of topics including but not limited to vascular injury, prospective medical countermeasure targets, market research for certain prospective product classes, and radiation biology.  The fellow will be reporting and sharing their findings with the team and assist in development of a spreadsheet for prospective MCMs targets to screen.  Other opportunities may include providing support for the Inter-agency Integrated Program Team for Radiological Nuclear Countermeasures, assisting in the development of relevant policy documents, interacting with model developers, participation in team communications with FDA, drug developers, CROs, and NIH all to ensure progress on the mission of the Radiological/Nuclear Medical Countermeasure (MCM) program.

Division of Research, Innovation and Ventures (DRIVe)

DRIVe’s mission is to accelerate the development and availability of transformative technologies and approaches to protect people from health security threats. One of the hallmark features of DRIVe is its ability to quickly partner with scientists from industry, academia, and entrepreneurial teams through funding mechanisms that were created in response to the 21st Century Cures Act. The current technology investment Areas of Interest that form the core of DRIVe’s approach to health security issues are Solving Sepsis, ENACT (Early Notification to Act, Control, and Treat), and ODIs (other disruptive innovations) and rapidly deployable capabilities, which is balanced by a team whose mission is to seek innovation in business practices and processes​ to greatly improve upon the current technology and response landscape.  As COVID-19 continues to impact communities across the country, DRIVe has added the search for innovations in COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines and other innovative approaches.  This is a fast-paced group that supports management of innovative programs, and constantly seeks novel approaches and ideas to address health challenges and health security threats, including COVID-19, sepsis, influenza and other infectious diseases.

An ORISE fellow in DRIVe will have the opportunity to assist one of the program leads in technical and programmatic oversight of programs as well as participate in the development of strategic initiatives. In this capacity, the fellow will need to stay abreast of emerging technologies and identify trends in and challenges to medical countermeasure development, will help create analytical models, will draft reports and presentations for leadership and public health officials regarding disease outbreaks in real-time, if relevant, and will participate in working groups to help monitor the performance of DRIVe’s partners. Fellows should have excellent research and written communication skills, be technically strong in sciences (life sciences and physical sciences), and be able to analyze, translate, and communicate complex trends in the scientific community as they relate to DRIVe’s mission.

  • The ENACT Program is especially interested in hosting ORISE fellows with expertise in human factors research, physiological sensors, or algorithm development.
  • The Solving Sepsis Program is specifically interested in ORISE fellows with expertise in immunology, sensor/diagnostic development or health data analytics.
  • The Ecosystem Development office seeks ORISE fellows who want opportunities in the business components of life science and technology development, particularly around venture capital practices and methods as well as product acceleration and providing technical, scientific, and business acumen to scientific problems

Division of Nonclinical Development

BARDA’s Division of Nonclinical Development (DND) supports BARDA Medical Countermeasure Divisions and Medical Countermeasure (MCM) developers by providing the expertise and laboratory capacity to establish and share nonclinical models, conduct appropriate nonclinical studies to support FDA approval and evaluate potential MCM candidates to support BARDA investment decisions. Nonclinical efforts provide regulated nonclinical model development, proof of concept studies, product repurposing studies, product utilization studies and nonclinical studies supporting response efforts to advance MCM advanced development.  The overall objective of the nonclinical fellowship program is for the fellow to become proficient in the methodological aspects of conducting nonclinical model development in support of MCM advanced research and development. The fellow will provide technical, scientific and program management recommendations to support requirements in nonclinical model development.  During the nonclinical fellowship, the fellow will have exposure to all BARDA MCM Division core areas of research.  At completion of the fellowship period, the nonclinical fellow will have a fundamental understanding of nonclinical model development in support of MCM advanced research and development. 

How To Apply

To apply to these opportunities, please visit