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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

About FDA

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FDA Pharmacy Student Experiential Program

 FDA Pharmacy Student Experiential Program

The Food and Drug Administration is one of the nation's oldest and most respected consumer protection agencies.  FDA's mission is to promote and protect the public health by helping safe and effective products reach the market in a timely way, and monitoring products for continued safety after marketing.

 Goals and Objectives

The FDA Pharmacy Student Experiential Program provides an opportunity to learn about the FDA’s multidisciplinary processes for addressing public health issues involving drugs, biologics, and medical devices.  Pharmacy students who participate in the FDA Pharmacy Student Experiential Program acquire knowledge, skills, and abilities beneficial to their professional career.  

Each FDA rotation site has its own list of objectives which will be provided on the first day of the rotation. An FDA rotation allows pharmacy students to become familiar with:

 Program Activities

The FDA Pharmacy Student Experiential Program includes opportunities to attend FDA advisory committee hearings, congressional hearings, and a monthly lecture series.  In addition to learning about FDA operations, students interact with other pharmacy students from schools across the country and learn about pharmacist career opportunities available in government.

 Compensation

The FDA Pharmacy Student Experiential Program is part of the FDA Volunteer Program for Students (PDF - 28KB).  The positions are unpaid. However, the program provides academic credit hours required for the Pharm.D. Degree.

Housing, transportation, and parking are not provided by the program. It is the responsibility of the student to make arrangements prior to the rotation.

 Housing

The following document provides questions to help students find safe, affordable, and convenient housing while visiting the FDA: Housing Options (PDF - 62KB)

Temporary housing web sites:

 Parking and Transportation

The FDA has office buildings located in several sites in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Most of the FDA Pharmacy Student Experiential Program opportunities are available in Silver Spring, MD where most parking is free and it is possible to commute by bus. However, at the other sites in Rockville, MD free parking is not guaranteed and parking can cost up to $7. There are shuttles between many of the sites and others are accessible by Metro rail and bus systems. However, depending on the location of the rotation site, private transportation would be a definite advantage.

 Legal Requirements

Students are prohibited from releasing, publishing, or disclosing non-public information, specifically any confidential commercial or trade secret information obtained while serving as an FDA student. Students will be subject to a background check in order to obtain security clearance before their rotation.

All students must complete the following forms and mail them together to their preceptor one month prior to their rotation:

  • E-QIP Initiation Form
  • Form 306 : Declaration for Federal Employment. Students must bring two forms of government issued identification (drivers license, passport, social security card, etc) to the rotation.
  • FD-258: Fingerprinting. Students must obtain this form from their preceptor, and then take it to the Police Station to get fingerprinted.

 How to Apply

Rotations are offered only in the last year of pharmacy school. Students are encouraged to apply in the year preceding their last year of pharmacy school. Rotations are available throughout the entire year, and may last anywhere from 4-6 weeks, depending upon the school’s experiential program. If you are interested in an experiential rotation at FDA, please submit an application containing the following:

1. Resume or curriculum vitae

2. One-page paper focusing on how a rotation at FDA would facilitate achievement of your career goals

3. Three potential time slots for your rotation, keeping in mind that flexible rotation slots will expand placement opportunities

4. Rank order of top three preferred rotation sites. Rotations are available in the Office of Special Health Issues, and in various centers, offices and divisions within the FDA. We have provided you with a list of offices and divisions that participate in the FDA Pharmacy Student Experiential Program. However, this list is not comprehensive and it is possible that a student may be selected by a division/preceptor that does not appear on this list. You may pick rotations in any of the Offices or Divisions listed below:

Applications are to be submitted electronically by each school's experiential coordinator to Pharmacy.Student@fda.hhs.gov

Upon receipt of the application, we will email a confirmation to verify receipt of the application. Please contact us again if you do not receive a receipt confirmation. Applications must be received by December 15, 2013. No applications will be accepted after the due date. Students who are selected will be notified directly by their preceptor. Those that are not selected will receive notification via email by February 28, 2014. We wish to emphasize that the application process is highly competitive and not all applicants will be placed. 

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