*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

USDA-FSIS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The appointment will be served at the selected participant’s location.

FSIS is a science-based agency and applies the latest advances in food safety technologies to monitor chemical, microbiological, and physical hazards in meat, poultry, and egg products. In addition, FSIS facilitates the application of new food safety technologies to food production by industry. The Agency also uses various strategies and technologies to conduct educational outreach to consumers.

FSIS has identified several food safety research priorities that support its mission. These are listed at the link: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/science-data/research-priorities

Under the guidance of a university mentor, the participant will create a project that is directly or indirectly supportive of FSIS research priorities. The participant will choose one of the topics listed on the FSIS Food Safety Research Studies page or on another project related to food safety. Acceptable projects include either laboratory studies or projects that do not have a laboratory component, for example, a data analytics proposal.

The participant will collaborate with a mentor at FSIS to refine the scope of the project, to ensure it provides an appropriate educational experience, and can be completed within a measurable time frame. The research will be completed at the participant’s university.

This opportunity will provide the participant with an understanding of the type of research that supports FSIS decision making. The participant will learn how science underpins decisions made by FSIS, to ensure the safety of the food supply.

The participant may have an opportunity to visit the FSIS Eastern Laboratory in Athens, GA, and an FSIS-regulated establishment, such as a chicken processing plant. During this visit, the participant will tour the laboratory and meet with senior leaders and mentors.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: October 1, 2024

Appointment Length: The appointment will be for one-year.

Level of Participation: The appointment is part-time at 16 hours per week.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE. The current stipend for this part-time opportunity is $1,800 per month, as well as $6,000 total to spend on either travel or research supplies.

Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals (dependent upon immigration status). Please review the Guideline for Non-U.S. Citizens webpage for more information.

ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Participants do not become employees of USDA, FSIS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits.

Questions: Please email USDA-FSIS@orau.org  and include the reference code for this opportunity.
The qualified candidate should be currently pursuing a doctoral degree in food science, food safety, public health, veterinary medicine, or other relevant fields, at an accredited U.S. college, university or technical institute.

Candidates should complete a 500-word essay describing the project they wish to participate in and how it can help improve the safety of the food supply.

We encourage students from minority serving institutions to apply to this opportunity.

Preferred skills:

Knowledgeable of the principles and practices that underpin the safety of the food supply
Experience in food safety research
Excellent written and oral communication skills

About U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

The application must be completed through Zintellect.