FDA Fellowship for Reduction of Bacterial Contamination in Blood

Updated: about 1 month ago
Location: Fairfax, VIRGINIA

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis, and this opportunity will remain open until filled.

A research opportunity is currently available in the Office of Blood Research and Review (OBRR) at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This appointment would take place at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

The goal of this project is to develop a new type of affinity ligands that bind to and potentially remove bacteria from biological fluids including blood. We propose to modify such ligands and adapt them to improve the safety of blood transfusion. The same technology might also be used to concentrate bacteria and enhance sensitivity of detecting bacteria contaminating blood components.

The opportunity to participate on this project will allow the fellow to perform research that supports FDA mission of improving public health. The fellow will acquire experience in how to design, develop, and prepare new ligands at the Center For Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine at GMU. Specifically, the fellow will be trained on techniques such as UV-VIS spectroscopy, liquid chromatography coupled tandem mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry. In addition, the fellow will develop new skills on how safely handle bacteria human blood, and enhance the fellow communication skills by presenting research findings to FDA/CBER community and to the research group at GMU. This training will advance the fellow's career goals as researcher. The fellow will also be able to apply the newly acquired expertise and education at FDA to other future job opportunities.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: July 1, 2023; 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 George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. 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.


The qualified candidate should have received a bachelor's degree in one of the relevant fields, or must be a student in good standing at an accredited U.S. college or university pursuing a graduate level degree in one of the relevant fields. The bachelor's degree must have been received within 5 years of the appointment start date if candidate isn't a current graduate student.

Preferred skills/ knowledge:

  • Basic knowledge of microbiology.
  • Familiarity with basic principles of handling of infected materials desired but not required.
  • Experience with small molecule chemistry and affinity ligand discovery is a plus but not required.
  • Willingness to work with human pathogens and be stationed in a laboratory at George Mason University.
  • The fellow will be trained in the lab on the techniques required for this project.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, or Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 months or currently pursuing.


  • Life Health and Medical Sciences
  • Must have lived in the United States for at least 36 out of the past 60 months (36 months do not have to be consecutive).

To Apply:

https://www.zintellect.com/Opportunity/Details/FDA-CBER-2023-21A .

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.

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