*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

A research opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), Office of Regulatory Science (ORS), located in College Park, Maryland.

The project involves development and validation of methods for the detection and quantitation of gluten in fermented and hydrolyzed food products. The candidate will learn to use different immunodiagnostic methods for detecting and quantitating gluten protein content in various fermented and hydrolyzed food products. The participant will receive hands-on training on a recently developed multiplex-competitive ELISA method, and preparation of gluten incurred fermented and hydrolyzed food materials to support method development and validation. They will also observe and learn how method validation procedures are used to establish the performance of the developed method to enable assessment of their applicability.

Under the guidance of a mentor, the ORISE Participant will assist in the following research activities during the specified period, including:

Preparation and use of various hydrolyzed calibration standards for accurate quantitation of gluten in various fermented and hydrolyzed food products.
Ascertain the performance and reliability of a recently developed multiplex-competitive ELISA method for the quantitation of gluten in several different fermented and hydrolyzed food products.
Prepare gluten incurred fermented and hydrolyzed food materials to support method development and validation.
Conducting of laboratory experiments to help evaluate and validate the analytical procedures under study.
Assist in the preparation of reports and scientific manuscripts.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: June 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 twelve 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 College Park, Maryland, 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 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 be currently pursuing or have received a doctoral degree in Food Science, Biology, Biochemistry or related fields with at least two semesters of coursework completed. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills/ knowledge:

Strong background and interest in immunodiagnostic methods such as ELISA and western blot
Experience with food proteins, specifically with food allergens and/or gluten
Experience with complex food matrices such as fermented and hydrolyzed products
Knowledge or experience in preparing allergen incurred food matrices to support method development and validation is highly desirable
The ability to effectively communicate both verbally and in writing is essential