Career Opportunities at CDER:
You Can Make a Difference
At the Center for Drug Evaluation and
Research (CDER), you can make a difference in protecting the health of the
American people. We have an ongoing need for qualified individuals with
backgrounds in health-related sciences and information technology.
Become a part of the Department that touches the
lives of every American! At the Department of Health and Human
Services you can give back to your community, state, and country by
making a difference in the lives of Americans everywhere. Join HHS
and help to make our world healthier, safer and better for all
Regular employment in the
United States Federal Civil Service or Public Health Service Commissioned Corp
is limited to U.S. Citizens. However, permanent resident aliens (Green card
holders) and others with visas that legally permit such employments may be hired
through the Service Fellowship or Staff Fellow/Visiting Scientist Programs.
The mission of the Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation
and Research (CDER) is to assure that safe and effective drugs are available to
the American people. CDER promotes, protects, and enhances the health of the
public through the drug development and evaluation process which:
- Approves drugs for marketing that are effective, have had their adverse
effects adequately studied, provide benefits that outweigh their risks, and
are of high quality and have directions for use that are complete and
- Evaluates marketing applications in a timely fashion, with special
priority to drugs for serious illness, especially if there is no adequate
therapy. CDER shares with the regulated industry, scientific groups, and the
public, the goal of identifying promising new drugs and developing them
- Facilitates early access to promising drugs being developed for serious
illnesses with no adequate therapy.
- Promotes innovations and provides scientific leadership in the drug
development process through collaborative work with the industry, academia
and domestic foreign agencies and organizations.
- Assures that the safety and rights of patients in drug studies are
- Assures that product quality and safety are maintained after marketing and
that new information about drugs is actively sought, evaluated, and
communicated in a timely fashion.
To learn more about the FDA, CDER, and new drug development, please use
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The positions below may be filled as civil service or U.S.
Commissioned Corps, both requiring U.S. citizenship.
residents can apply for Staff Fellowship appointments as physicians, scientists,
or mathematical statisticians. Graduates of foreign college or universities must
provide proof of U.S. education equivalency certification. Staff Fellowships provide the employment and development of
promising research/regulatory review scientists by providing the opportunity to
accelerate and enhance scientists’ careers through close associations with
leading authorities in health-related research. Fellowships also serve to
strengthen the research community by assuring a continuous exchange of talent
between the Agency and other research centers. Initial Staff Fellow appointments
will be made for up to four years with extensions made on a year-to-year basis
or conversion to permanent status, once U.S. citizenship is obtained.
- Physicians. (Various medical specialties) Evaluate
data involving the animal testing and human clinical trials of new drugs to
determine their safety and effectiveness. Basic qualification is a Doctor of
Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy. Graduates of foreign medical schools must
be ECFMG certified. Board certification/eligibility in a medical specialty
and experience in conducting clinical trials are highly desired for these
positions. Physicians may also be paid an additional Physician Comparability
Allowance up to $24,000 (depending on years of Federal experience).
- Scientists. Biology, Chemistry, Microbiology,
Pharmacology, Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology, Epidemiology: Scientists evaluate
portions of INDs/NDAs that pertain to their particular discipline. They
determine the scientific validity of manufacturers’ tests, drug safety and
efficacy claims. A doctorate degree in the scientific discipline with at least
two years postdoctorate experience is highly desired for these positions.
- Consumer Safety Officers (Project Managers). Perform management and
liaison responsibilities in conducting records maintenance, monitoring the
work effort and advising review team members on regulatory requirements, and
coordinating information with pharmaceutical industry officials.
Qualifications: a degree or combination of courses in the fields of biological
science, chemistry, pharmacy, physical science, food technology, nutrition,
medical science, epidemiology, engineering, veterinary medical science, or
related scientific fields. Project management experience in the health
care/pharmaceutical industries is highly desired for these positions. GS5-GS13
Mathematical Statisticians. Provide
statistical support to the drug review divisions. Employ a broad variety of
statistical procedures relevant to the regulatory and scientific preclinical
and clinical drug development and approval decision processes. A doctorate
degree in mathematics/statistics and experience in the design, performance and
evaluation of clinical trials or related biomedical or pharmacokinetics
investigations are highly desired for these positions. GS11-GS13
- Computer Specialists. Provide ADP infrastructure,
application and technology services to CDER in support of automated drug
review, administrative, data storage/retrieval and training processes. An
undergraduate/graduate degree in computer science, information science,
information systems management, mathematics, statistics, operations research,
engineering, or course work that required the development and/or adaptation of
computer programs and systems and provided knowledge equivalent to a major in
the computer field, OR experience that demonstrated accomplishment of computer
project assignments that required a wide range of knowledge and techniques
pertinent to the position to be filled, such as experience in software
development tools (Oracle Developer 2000, Oracle Designer 2000 and Java),
server (DEC Alpha, WIN/NT, MS Windows), and web development tools. GS9-GS13
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The Federal General
Schedule (GS) grade levels at which these positions most commonly are filled are
GS-9 through GS-13. Higher grade levels are available based on peer review of
individual accomplishments managerial chain of command. The current GS salaries
and wages can be found at www.opm.gov/oca/payrates/index.htm.
All of our positions are located in Rockville, Maryland with the exception of
our Office of Research located in Laurel, Maryland; therefore, we fall under the
locality pay for the Washington Metropolitan Area.
- Annual Leave. The Federal Government authorizes absence from
work, usually through earned leave for its employees. Annual leave (similar to
vacation leave) is earned on the basis of years of Federal service. Full-time
employees with less than three years of service earn 13 days of annual leave a
year. Full-time employees with at least three but less than fifteen years of
service earn 20 days of annual leave a year; and full-time employees with
fifteen or more years of service earn 26 days of annual leave a year.
Sick Leave. Employees earn a total of 13 days of sick leave a
year, regardless of length of service. There is no limit on the amount of sick
leave which may be accumulated and carried over from year-to-year.
- Other Leave. Provisions are made to accommodate absences for
reasons such as maternity, religious, military obligations, court attendances,
- Holidays. Government workers receive paid time off for 10
holidays; in addition to earned annual leave.
- Health Insurance. The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program is
a voluntary contributory program open to almost all employees depending on the
type of appointment. There are over 100 health insurance carriers participating
in the program. Through these various plans employees are offered an opportunity
to acquire for themselves and their families protection against the cost of
health care services, including those involved in prolonged illnesses or serious
accidents. The Government contributes to the cost of the plans with employee
paying their share through payroll deduction.
Life Insurance. Most Federal civilian employees are eligible to
select low-cost life insurance provided through the Federal Employees Group Life
Insurance Program. Participation is entirely voluntary and the cost of coverage
is based on the employee’s salary. The Government contributes to the cost of
the plans with employees paying their share through payroll deductions.
- Retirement. New employees will be covered by the Federal Employees
Retirement System (FERS). The FERS is a three-tiered retirement system comprised
of payments from Social Security, and Basic Annuity Plan, and a tax-deferred
thrift savings plan. Under the thrift plan, employees may shelter up to 12% of
their salary from taxes and also receives a Government match on these savings of
up to 5%. These savings can be invested in up to three different investment
funds with interest earned being taxed deferred.
Please visit www.opm.gov for
information regarding benefits.
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FDA is an equal opportunity employer with
a smoke free environment.
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Last Updated: May 9, 2008